22 Most Anticipated Albums of Sep.-Dec. 2011 (Part 1)

As we kick off September, I thought I’d share with you one of the recent fruits of my spiraling descent into ever-deeper realms of music nerddom: a spreadsheet tracking upcoming releases of albums I’m interested in, both with announced release dates and ones rumored to be landing sometime in the next six months or so. There are some very exciting releases planned for September, October, and November of this year (none of the already-determined releases dates are in December, due to the record industry’s tradition of basically shutting down during that month — if there are reasons for this tradition other than the holiday season, I’d love to know) so I thought I’d put on my curatorial hat and collect those for you here, along with some links and streams of advance tracks from those albums. Sprinkled in there are a few with no set date yet but a strong likelihood they will appear before the year is through — these seems especially to be the case with rap albums, as the genre has a much more pronounced tendency towards rumored collaborations that never come to fruition, label-related delays, and early hype that proves false. (Andre 3K and Big Boi are both rumored to have completed solo albums that could drop any time, but I didn’t have enough evidence to include them here.) As for that decade-overdue Avalanches album, we’ll have to wait til early 2012 to be blessed by it.

A quick note: you may notice some highly anticipated albums due to be released in September or October missing from the list. That is because they’ve leaked and I’ve heard them, making them no longer anticipated. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out and support the artists, because they at the very least quite good and incredible at best. Those albums are: Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls, Looping State of Mind by The Field, Only In Dreams by Dum Dum Girls, Dreams Come True by CANT (Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor), cover-of-the-year contender In The Grace of Your Love by The Rapture, Megafaun by Megafaun, and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83, which I’m listening to for the second time as I write this. 🙂

Without further ado, my most anticipated albums of the final third of the penultimate year of human existence on Earth. Come back tomorrow for Part 2.

Atlas Sound – Parallax [Nov 8 on 4AD]

Deerhunter’s endlessly talented frontman Bradford Cox recently dropped “Terra Incognita” under his rightly beloved Atlas Sound solo project, announcing that the new track was our first glimpse of Parallax, his upcoming third LP as Atlas Sound. There’s basically no reason to believe this won’t be good.

“Terra Incognita”


Björk – Biophilia [Oct 10 on Nonesuch / One Little Indian]

I’m no Björk fanatic, but her creative longevity, singular style, and unstoppable desire to push boundaries has shown that even as her career enters its third decade, she should not be underestimated or taken for granted. Biophilia was recorded mostly on an iPad, but if that sounds like a gimmick to you, you really have to check out one of the many fascinating interviews she’s given on the project to understand just how innovative the thinking behind this album is. From mobile apps for each song to bizarre custom-made instruments to concert residencies to ideas about music education, there’s a LOT behind Biophilia that goes far beyond the music itself. Reading one of those interviews is definitely worth your time, and if you’re like me, it’ll make you very excited to hear how Biophilia turns out.

Below, listen to advance single “Crystalline”, which is very good, and watch the Michel Gondry-directed video, which is disappointing.


Cass McCombs – Humor Risk [Nov 8 on Domino]

The first album of the year by this folkie weirdo, WITS’ END, left me sleepy-eyed. I love repetitive music, but the songs on WITS’ END, the graceful “County Line” excepted, feel repetitive to a fault, and I found little to love about the album. Zoom ahead to a couple weeks ago, and the guy announces he’ll release another album this year, and drops “The Same Thing” — an ironic title, because the song also highly repetitive, but I happen to love it. (Come to think of it, I’ve been meaning to write a post about the role and effect of repetition in music.) Check out “The Same Thing” below, and here’s hoping Humor Risk is the follow up to 2009’s beautiful Catacombs that I was hoping for.


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical [Sep 20, self-released]

I feel that history (that is, the compressed time span of blog history) has not been particularly kind to CYHSY. After an alienating sophomore album (Some Loud Thunder) and an extended hiatus filled with lackluster side projects, the band’s once-beloved self-titled (and self-released, in TRUELY “indie” fashion) debut has in some circles been dismissed as an early product of the blogosphere’s now-characteristic over-hype, and mentions of the band are often met with varying degrees of skepticism. But Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is an album that’s extremely special to me, and one that I’ll never tire of. Combine that with exuberant first single “Same Mistake”, and I await Hysterical with bated breath. I previously blogged about “Same Mistake”, because it is fucking good. But here it is again for you.

“Same Mistake”


Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto [Oct 25 on Parlophone]

You know what? Screw you for pretending you’re too cool to like Coldplay. I recently relistened to 2008’s Viva La Vida for the first time in a couple years and thought goddamn this is a good album! Maybe my inherent knack for ignoring lyrics makes me better prepared to forget Chris Martin’s ham-fisted words and focus on the band’s world-conquering arrangements. I even put on the lackluster X&Y every now and then. So I’m not going to act like I don’t expect their fifth album to be good, especially because Brian Eno stuck around to produce it with them. First single “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” doesn’t make me jump for joy, but as boilerplate Coldplay, is has its charms. It also has a special (and underrated) power shared by many Coldplay singles: to not become completely worn out by repeat playing when they inevitably become ubiquitous. This one hasn’t achieved “Viva La Vida” levels of ubiquity, but maybe next single “Paradise”, due September 12th, will. Check out the paint-covered video below.


Dapperest Motherfucker Alive. Not the actual album cover.

Common – The Dreamer, The Believer [Nov 23 on Warner Bros.]

The awesomeness of Nas-featuring first single “Ghetto Dreams” and the promise that veteran beatmaker No I.D. (who produced the entirety of Common’s classic Resurrection) will produce the whole thing gives me the impression that actor and erstwhile rapper Common will be swinging his focus back to the music that made him famous in the first place on his upcoming album. After the creative missteps of Finding Forever and Universal Mind Control, my hopes for a return to the top-notch quality of Be and Like Water For Chocolate are high.

Stream “Ghetto Dreams”:


Das Racist – Relax [Sep 13 on Greedhead]

Are you white? Do you love guilt? If you’re not white, do you love when white people feel guilty for liking hip-hop? Then this is the album for you. I’m a fan of Das Racist, despite them trying their damndest to deter me, because like thousands of other hip-hop fans, I found the strength of last year’s one-two mixtape punch (Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man) too great to ignore. Advance single “Michael Jackson” promises an album of thornier beats with the same hilarious, reference-packed rhymes. And who can resist an unusually hoarse Heems yelling “I’M FUCKING GREAT AT RAPPINNNNNGGGGG”? Below, behold the explosive power that is “Michael Jackson”.


I both pray this is not the actual cover and sorta hope it is.

Drake – Take Care [Oct 24 on Young Money / Cash Money / Universal Motown]

Boy oh boy. Just as I surprised myself by loving Drake’s Thank Me Later, I’m now surprised by just how excited I am for Take Care. Check out my post on the new Drake-featuring Weeknd song for more on Drake and just why I’m excited about this album. I’m not crazy about the two tracks we’ve heard so far from the album — “Headlines” and “Marvin’s Room” — but I wasn’t crazy about the singles that preceded Thank Me Later either. I’m fairly certain its follow-up won’t disappoint.

Below, stream “Headlines” and check out the hilariously awful video for “Marvin’s Room”



The real cover will be much more garish than this.

The-Dream – The Love, IV: Diary of a Madman [Sep 20 (maybe?) on Def Jam]

T to the H! E to the D! R to the E! A to the M! I hope Terius Nash gets his disagreement with Def Jam cleared up quickly so we can hear more of the vocals-and-synth wizardry he brought us on 2010’s Love King. In the meantime, feel free to download the free album he released just a couple days ago. And for a taste of Love IV, stream the thumping “Body Work”, and if you’re really feeling it, stick around through the second half for the sub-par “Fuck My Brains Out”.

“Body Work / Fuck My Brains Out”


Feist – Metals [Oct 4 on Cherrytree / Interscope]

Leslie Feist’s presence has been sorely missed since she released 2007’s excellent The Reminder. And if the upcoming Metals contains anything on par with The Reminder‘s “Past In Present”, I will melt on the spot.

But most importantly, ONE OF THE SONGS WILL FEATURE VANESSA CARLTON. What’s next, Jack White collaborating with the Insane Clown Posse?!!? Stream the gentle “How Come You Never Go There” below.


"Fitting In"

Jay Electronica – Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn) [TBA on Roc Nation]

After several years of hip-hop heads of all stripes salivating with anticipation and individual mp3s leaked through obscure internet channels, the brilliant and enigmatic Jay Electronica has announced that his debut LP, the infuriatingly-titled Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn) is finally completed and will most likely reach our ears before the end of the year. And thank god, because I can only go so long on mixtape compilation repackagings of the stuff he’s already released. For more on why I love Jay and why I’m confident this album will be incredible, check out my post on his song “Something To Hold On To”. And since no tracks from this album have been released yet, check out the bizarre-yet-kinda-awesome, Jay-Z-featuring “Shiny Suit Theory”, the only track Jay has officially released with Roc Nation since Jay-Z signed him last November.

Continue to Part 2

~ by toren on September 2, 2011.

4 Responses to “22 Most Anticipated Albums of Sep.-Dec. 2011 (Part 1)”

  1. Excellent list

  2. Really liking “The Same Thing” by cass mccombs , thanks for that. I agree, county line was among the best tracks on the album

    Nice compilation of anticipated albums here, appreciate the work gone into this.
    You can check out my anticipated list here :


  3. […] gang, hope you enjoyed the first half of this feature yesterday and got amped on the absurd amount of good music that we’ll get to hear before the […]

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