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19 albums we'll be listening to this fall

This fall, the musical stakes couldn't feel higher. What splashy surprises await on the latest Taylor's Version? How will a sequel to Pink Friday stack up to the 13-year-old original? How much cringe heartfelt spoken-word can we expect from Drake's poetry-book companion record? Will Gaga out-Jagger Jagger? Here, we round up 19 new albums we'll be eagerly (or anxiously) exploring this fall.

Nicki Minaj; The Rolling Stones; Taylor Swift; Drake
Nicki Minaj; The Rolling Stones; Taylor Swift; Drake

Alex Sandoval - Source: Mark Seliger / Getty Images Nicki Minaj; the Rolling Stones; Taylor Swift; Drake

SEPTEMBER

Doja CatScarlet (out now)

After denouncing her two previous albums — including 2021's pop blockbuster Planet Her — as "cash grabs" amid criticism of her bona fides as a rapper, the L.A. native returns with something to prove. Hence, you won't find any pop songs on Scarlet; instead, Doja is in full hip-hop mode, starting with the chart-topping lead single "Paint the Town Red." —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Kylie Minogue — Tension (out now)

With the success of this summer's "Padam Padam," Kylie Minogue is enjoying a much-deserved resurgence, despite having consistently made good to great to occasionally excellent (looking at you, Fever) pop records for the past 35 years. Naturally, the inescapable earworm opens the Aussie star's 16th studio album, while the title track is another entry in Minogue's enviable catalog of pristine nu-disco. —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Animal Collective  Isn't It Now? (Sept. 29)

One year after Animal Collective returned with Time Skiffs, the patron saints of lush noise are back with Isn't It Now? Made up of songs written in tandem with their previous record, their 12th LP is their longest yet, clocking in at 64 minutes. One-third of that real estate belongs to the storied and hopeful "Defeat" — a "Rite of Spring" for the electronica age that lurches between synth-laden chants and feral choral coos — proving the multi-genre trailblazers still have surprises in store for even the most seasoned of their die-hard fanbase. —Allaire Nuss

Ed Sheeran  Autumn Variations (Sept. 29)

As the first orange leaves begin to fall and the temperature drops, Ed Sheeran is thinking about the many ways life can change in a single season on the upcoming Autumn Variations. Less than six months after the release of his soul-searching album - (Subtract), the English singer-songwriter has teamed up with the National's Aaron Dessner again for 14 songs detailing haunting heartbreaks, autumnal anxieties, and the pumpkin-spiced sugar rush of falling in love. —Emlyn Travis

Jorja Smith — Falling or Flying (Sept. 29)

The acclaimed singer-songwriter, who was named Best British Female Artist at the 2019 Brit Awards, turned 26 this year and found her mind racing as she mapped out her reflective sophomore LP. "I don't slow down enough" she said when it was announced earlier this year. "This album is like my brain." But if Falling or Flying flits between jazz, soul, rock, and ginned-up club music (early single "Little Things" gallops over crisp snares and a clattering '90s garage beat), Smith's voice grounds the proceedings, wounded but smooth as silk. —Jason Lamphier

Wilco 'Cousin'
Wilco 'Cousin'

dBpm Records

Wilco — Cousin (Sept. 29)

At times, Wilco's 13th album can feel almost mechanical, its layered percussion and guitars orbiting like satellites in an assured dance. Its producer, Welsh art rocker Cate Le Bon, describes this texture as "the weather" coloring frontman Jeff Tweedy's musings (and misgivings) about connection. While most of the indie darlings' previous ventures could be likened to sad music for a sunny day, there's something distinctly cloudy about Cousin. Maybe it's the sonic doom and gloom, or maybe it's the lyrics pointing to the pangs of detachment that seem to touch us all these days. —Allaire Nuss

OCTOBER

Dogstar — Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees (Oct. 6)

More than two decades after the release of their last album, the Los Angeles band — Bret Domrose, Rob Mailhouse, and Keanu Reeveshas reunited for Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees, a collection of breezy, California-cool rock anthems that may be destined to soundtrack your next sunset drive. Just make sure the windows are rolled all the way down and the volume is cranked all the way up. —Emlyn Travis

Drake  For All the Dogs (Oct. 6)

Drizzy's fourth album in three years, the delayed For All the Dogs is a companion piece to his 2023 poetry book, Titles Ruin Everything. Drake may be stretching himself a bit thin, as the quality of his output has been, well, all over the place, but you don't get to be The Biggest Rapper in the World™ without an insatiable appetite. There's still no one quite as hungry. —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Reba McEntire  Not That Fancy (Oct. 6)

Drake isn't the only one with a new book-album combo. McEntire's Not That Fancy, a set of acoustic covers of some of her biggest hits, is a companion piece to the tome of the same name, a collection of personal stories, photos, lifestyle tips, and recipes. In the world of country, only Her Majesty Dolly out-brands Reba. —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens

Asthmatic Kitty

Sufjan Stevens — Javelin (Oct. 6)

The elevator pitch for Javelin: Sufjan Stevens sounds like Sufjan Stevens. While his recent LPs eschewed the vibe of his earlier work for classical piano compositions and meditation soundscapes, his 10th solo studio album is a homecoming akin to 2015's celebrated Carrie & LowellAnchoring moments of kaleidoscopic production, acoustic guitars that trickle like rain, and barely-there keys are Stevens' sparse but personal lyrics and his contemplative whisper. It's as if he's unaware he's singing out loud while wondering if he'll ever find love. —Allaire Nuss

Jamila Woods  Water Made Us (Oct. 13)

Woods' last album, 2019's Legacy! Legacy!, paid homage to Black and brown artists who've been instrumental in her life, but on her third full-length the Chicago poet and songwriter turns her gaze inward. Its title inspired by a Toni Morrison quote, Water Made Us employs free verse, voice memos from family and friends, and sterling arrangements crafted with L.A. producer McClenney to examine her past relationships. The result, however, transcends personal revelation to chronicle the universal cycle of love — reluctance, infatuation, tension, rupture, heartache, and hard-won wisdom. —Jason Lamphier

Troye Sivan — Something to Give Each Other (Oct. 13)

The Australian singer's third album blends the introspective, late-night longing of 2015's Blue Neighbourhood and the joyous sensuality of its 2018 successor, Bloom. But this time the songs (especially sweat-drenched summer single "Rush") are souped up with seductive, shimmering club beats and dreamy synths to create a slick — and unabashedly sexy — celebration of love, loss, and self-growth. —Emlyn Travis

The Rolling Stones — Hackney Diamonds (Oct. 20)

Leaning into their blues roots, the Stones' first studio album of original material in almost two decades bursts with guitar licks and Mick Jagger's signature yowl. Its members might be entering their 80s, but the group's rebellious spirit and rock & roll phantasmagoria is as potent as ever. The record features late drummer Charlie Watts on two tracks and assists from the likes of Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Lady Gaga. But the Stones hardly need them — no doubt Hackney Diamonds will prove fans can still always get what they want. —Maureen Lee Lenker

Sampha 'Lahai'
Sampha 'Lahai'

Young

Sampha — Lahai (Oct. 20)

While his Mercury Prize–winning debut, Process, documented his profound grief after the death of his mother to cancer, the British's songwriter-producer's sophomore album (named after his paternal grandfather) finds him reborn, enraptured by life's simple pleasures and its mysteries. "Ain't as scared as before," he proclaims on its stirring first single, "Spirit 2.0," a track that spans gospel, hip-hop, drum and bass, and classical. Sampha still may not have all the answers, but on Lahai he starts to embrace the beauty in the unknown. —Jason Lamphier

Duran Duran — Danse Macabre (Oct. 27)

Simon Le Bon and crew are hungry like a werewolf on Danse Macabre, which is designed to soundtrack a Halloween party and features covers like Billie Eilish's "Bury a Friend," Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," and the Specials' "Ghost Town." Its original songs include the arena-goth-rock title track and recent single "Black Moonlight," on which the band's Notorious-era producer Nile Rodgers contributes predictably funk-tastic guitar. —Clark Collis

Prince  Diamonds and Pearls (Deluxe Edition) (Oct. 27)

The Purple One's vault is a magical place, containing countless hours of hidden music and videos. Now it's being mined for a third super-deluxe reissue, following fresh editions of masterpieces 1999 and Sign o' the Times. 1991's Diamonds and Pearls, Prince's first album with the New Power Generation, didn't reach the heights of his '80s output, but it boasted its fair share of highlights, from "Cream" and "Get Off" to "Money Don't Matter 2 Night" and the title track. This colossal version features 47 previously unreleased tracks and more than two hours of video concert performances. —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Taylor Swift — 1989 (Taylor's Version) (Oct. 27)

Fans mostly know what to expect from the re-recorded edition of Taylor Swift's fifth album, which marked her first full foray into pop: clean takes on the original's 13 tracks, plus "New Romantics," "You Are in Love," and "Wonderland" finally, finally taking their rightful place among them. However, in true Swiftian style, extra goodies abound, this time in the form of five unheard tracks, which the songstress claims are "so insane" that 1989 (Taylor's Version) is her "most favorite re-record" yet. Sounds like something from our (ahem) wildest dreams. —Lauren Huff

NOVEMBER

Dolly Parton – Rockstar
Dolly Parton – Rockstar

Big Machine

Dolly Parton  Rockstar (Nov. 17)

After gracefully withdrawing her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination and then getting inducted anywayDolly Parton is leaning into her new status with the aptly named Rockstar. The collaborative album is a roll call of genre legends performing encores of songs that made music history (most notably, the rare reunion of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on "Let It Be"). But along with a handful of originals, covers like "Purple Rain" are all Dolly, who explores her edgier side while still exhibiting her country pedigree. She's got big shoes to fill, it'll be just fine, darlin'. —Allaire Nuss

Nicki Minaj  Pink Friday 2 (Nov. 17)

It's been 13 years since Nicki Minaj christened her reign atop hip-hop's hierarchy with Pink Friday, simultaneously ushering in a wave of female MCs and would-be successors in her raunchy, rapid-fire, genre-bending mold. Pink Friday 2's plaintive lead single, "The Last Time I Saw You," however, is a marked change for the raptress, who recently told Apple Music's Zane Lowe that a casual Nicki listener might assume she only does "the boobs and butt and penises." But after having a child and losing her father, the 40-year-old artist said she wanted to put out a song to represent her growth "not just as an artist, but as a human being." Long live the queen. —Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Make sure to check out more of EW's 2023 Fall Music Preview, including interviews with Dogstar and Troye Sivan.

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