The 36 Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2019
Pop stars, indie darlings, rock legends and rap legends-in-the-making: although 2019 has already contained a slew of celebrated music projects, this fall will include some of the most anticipated releases across genres.
From Miranda Lambert’s high-energy return to Kanye West’s gospel pivot to Kesha’s no-F’s-left attitude, check out the 35 albums we can’t wait to dig into before year’s end.
While it's been five years since Charli XCX released a proper album, her multiple mixtapes and many collaborations since 2014's Sucker have helped make her a beloved indie-pop auteur. She's also made a lot of friends in the interim: Sky Ferreira, Haim, Lizzo and Troye Sivan are among the featured artists on her upcoming full-length. -- JASON LIPSHUTZ
Twenty years after becoming one of the leading artists of the nu-metal movement, Korn are still going strong. The band returns this September with THE NOTHING, and if the title suggests a bleak mind state for frontman Jonathan Davis -- following a year in which his wife Deven passed away -- there might be something to that. "It's a very dark record," he told Kerrang! in June. "I locked myself in my studio and spent a lot of time reflecting and healing and making my art." - ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Although they may still be best known for “Ho Hey” and their place in the folk-rock revival at the beginning of the decade, the Lumineers have become one of alternative radio’s most consistent presences in recent years. New album III — which comprises a narrative told in three chapters, each one featuring a member of a different generation from the same family — will be supported by a 2020 arena headlining tour that shows off their live appeal. -- J.L.
Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba’s Nine is set to be released via the band’s new label, Columbia Records, at the tail end of their massive joint tour with Lil Wayne. If previously released tracks "Darkside" “Happy Days,” “Generational Divide” and “Blame It On My Youth" feel like most of Blink’s first album since 2017’s California has already been given away, no fear: the trio has plenty of tricks up their sleeve yet (see: a song called "On My Emo S**t."). -- GAB GINSBERG
Zac Brown Band
After reverting back to a more country-leaning sound on 2017’s Welcome Home, frontman Zac Brown promises that The Owl will be “a really good exploratory record” — likely thanks in part to the band’s stacked lineup of producers, including Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Skrillex, Andrew Watt, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and Benny Blanco. The 11-track album, which will be marketed through BMG, will also feature a collaboration with Brandi Carlile. Brown hints that some of the tracks are so personal (like the super-vulnerable lead single “Someone I Used to Know” and heartbreaking ballad “Leaving Love Behind”) that they "still tear me up,” but overall the album is “a good mixture of everything.” -- TAYLOR WEATHERBY
The Alabama Shakes frontwoman and guitarist prepares to make her solo debut with Jaime, which is named for Howard's sister, who tragically died of cancer when the two were teenagers. First single “Stay High" peaked at No. 44 on Billboard's Rock Airplay chart, while tracks “He Loves Me” and “History Repeats" illustrate Howard’s departure from the classic Shakes sound into more psychedelic R&B territory. -- G.G.
Why Me? Why Not.
No, Oasis aren't getting back together, but the ongoing rivalry between the Brothers Gallagher has helped push both Noel and Liam to some of their best post-Britpop work yet in recent years. Liam's up next for a full album -- this September's Why Me? Why Not. -- and features added firepower in accomplished co-writers Andrew Wyatt and Greg Kurstin, who help out on most of the LP's 11 cuts. "I know my strengths and I know my limitations," Gallagher explained via press release. "I’m an OK songwriter, but I’m a great singer and frontman." -- A.U.
Cause and Effect
Keane’s first album since 2012’s Strangeland was inspired by “marital breakup and various romantic disasters,” says the British alt-rock group’s Tim Rice-Oxley in a recent Billboard interview. Although songs like the single “The Way I Feel” revel in the hurt, the group’s polished refrains shine through. The band members themselves feel refreshed: “We make such great music together, I would’ve been really sad if we never followed that through again,” says Rice-Oxley. -- J.L.
Tove Lo is, as the kids say, on one right now. While the star is best known for hits like "Habits (Stay High)" and "Talking Body," each of the new singles off of her upcoming "pussy power" album sees her letting loose in the most delightful of ways. With "Glad He's Gone, "Bad as the Boys" and "Jacques" already out, Lo has shown the world that Sunshine Kitty promises to be her most whimsical album yet. -- STEPHEN DAW
Though it’s been three years since Jon Pardi’s last LP, the country star’s lead single and title track from Heartache Medication showed fans he certainly hasn’t lost his twang on his third album. But Pardi promised at a recent listening partythat the project’s 14 tracks (half of which Pardi co-wrote) aren’t all sad, and the album goes “great with beer and good times” — after all, there are track titles like “Tequila Little Time,” “Me and Jack” and “Buy That Man a Beer.” -- T.W.
Sound & Fury
Sturgill Simpson is following up his Grammy-winning set A Sailor’s Guide to Earthin bold fashion: the outlaw country singer is releasing his next album alongside an anime film. Both titled Sound & Fury and arriving on Sept. 27, the album will soundtrack the film, with each of the LP’s 10 tracks accompanying a different segment of the movie. Simpson has said in a statement that his latest album is his “most psychedelic” and “heaviest” yet, as indicated by the gritty, electric guitar-heavy lead single “Sing Along.” -- T.W.
Jesus Is King
Last year, Kanye West diehards were left disappointed after the announced project Yandhi failed to materialize. After reconnecting with his spiritual side through his weekly Sunday Service arrangements, however, West is seemingly eyeing redemption (based on the title, track list and release date his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, shared on social media, and West later confirmed) with Jesus Is King. -- CARL LAMARRE
Tegan and Sara
Hey, I’m Just Like You
Everyone’s favorite Canadian twin-sister duo is about to release perhaps its most ambitious effort yet: an album of reimagined songs that were originally written when the sisters Quin were in high school. Along with a heavier reliance on guitars, Tegan and Sara crafted their ninth studio album with an all-female team, including producer Alex Hope (Troye Sivan, Ben Platt) and engineer Rachael Findlen (Katy Perry, Fergie). -- G.G.
Turn Off the Light, Vol. 2
Kim Petras shows absolutely no signs of slowing down: she released her creepy, Halloween-themed debut EP last October, followed by her first full-length project in June of this year. But the pop princess is eager to give her loyal subjects more, and just in time for All Hallows Eve. Turn Off the Light's first volume was a pulsating spookfest, filled to the brim with excellent production and some of her most dance-ready tracks to date ... so we only expect this album to deliver those same bops once again. -- S.D.
Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen reached a new level of acclaim with 2016 set My Woman, which also became her first album to reach the top 50 of the Billboard 200. But if she seems daunted by increased success and expectations, it doesn't show from the title track to her upcoming All Mirrors, a two-part synth-rock opus in which Olsen explores the least-visible parts of herself. "This record is about owning up to your darkest side," she explained via press release, "finding the capacity for new love and trusting change even when you feel like a stranger." -- A.U.
My Name is Michael Holbrook
After releasing his 2015 album No Place in Heaven, pop virtuoso Mika seemed to disappear -- that is, until he returned earlier this year with "Ice Cream," an instantly danceable pop jam that saw Mika embracing his signature sound once again. My Name Is Michael Holbrook is said to be the star's most confessional album to date, and if his first string of singles is anything to go by, then it may also be one of his best yet. -- S.D.
Ode to Joy
It’s only been three years since Wilco released its last album, but during that down period, frontman Jeff Tweedy has issued three solo albums, the first three of his career. He has returned to his enduring alt-country band to help deliver a timely message: “The record is, in a weird way, an ode; this terrible stuff is happening, this deepening sense of creeping authoritarianism that weighs on everybody’s psyche on a daily basis, and you’re allowed to feel a lot of things at once,” Tweedy says in a press release. -- J.L.
No Home Record
Despite enduring as one of post-punk's most iconic artists thanks to her work with Sonic Youth, Free Kitten and Body/Head, Kim Gordon has still yet to release a solo album. That'll change this October with No Home Record, her first full-length under her own name, to be released by Matador Records. And from the bass bombs that punctuate advance track "Sketch Artist," it sounds like she still has some new sounds in store for longtime fans. -- A.U.
Gallant is ready to woo us once again with his upcoming sophomore album Sweet Insomnia, the follow-up to 2016's Ology. “Instead of being so critical of myself,” he told Billboard in June, “I’m exploring more sides of what I’ve wanted to say musically. And for the first time, I think, people will actually see me.” Singles like the ‘90s-inspired “Sleep On It” and the vulnerable “Sharpest Edges” prove that, as far as Gallant is concerned, classic R&B never went out of style. -- BIANCA GRACIE
In 2018, Mikaela Straus, better known by her stage name King Princess, became an overnight sensation with the release of her Make My Bed EP. Now, with a co-sign from Mark Ronson, a growing fanbase and a litany of songs ready to be unveiled, Straus is showing the world what she is fully capable of with Cheap Queen. The album promises to deliver a variety of new sounds for the star, from the woozy, bedroom pop synths of the titular track to the rocked-out slow jam "Prophet." -- S.D.
With six Country Airplay No. 1 singles, there’s no denying Old Dominion know how to pen a hit song. But lead singer Matthew Ramsey says the quintet “put it out there a little more obviously” on their third LP, as evidenced by their piano-tinged ballad “Some People Do” and the bitter breakup tune “My Heart Is a Bar.” But they seemingly haven’t lost their touch for hits, as uplifting lead single “Make It Sweet” earned OD their sixth No. 1 — and, according to Ramsey, the group has honed in on their craft more than ever: “We’ve finally started to become Old Dominion in its truest form.” -- T.W.
The Good & The Bad
Call it the Hamilton Effect: along with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos is using his role in the original Broadway production of the smash musical as a springboard to a sustained mainstream career. His soulful debut album will be released ahead of another team-up with Miranda, as Ramos will star in next summer’s film adaptation of In The Heights. - J.L.
Next month, acclaimed experimental R&B auteur FKA Twigs will return with a new album that features production work from Nicolas Jaar, previously released single “Cellophane” and a guest spot from Future, on a tantalizing as-yet-unreleased song titled “Holy Terrain.” In the meantime, Twigs has announced a series of North American shows that, as previewed by select dates earlier this year, will combine pole dancing, costume changes and the singer’s ethereal voice. - J.L.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Yes, Neil Young has returned with legendary backing band Crazy Horse, for their first album together since 2012's well-received Psychedelic Pill. “We believe we have a great Crazy Horse album," Young wrote on his Archives website back in April. "One to stand alongside Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Rust Never Sleeps, Sleeps With Angels, Psychedelic Pill and all the others.” Big talk, but based on first taste "Milky Way" -- almost as haunted and vulnerable as Young's unnerving recent New York Times profile -- it's at least got a shot at living up to it. - AU
Hootie & The Blowfish
It’s been over 14 years since Hootie & The Blowfish, once pop-rock behemoths, released a new collection of songs, although frontman Darius Rucker has spent the extended hiatus developing into one of country music’s most celebrated crooners. Imperfect Circle will serve as an exclamation point of sorts on a triumphant road return: their ongoing reunion tour enjoyed a blazing start, with the first 13 dates grossing over $10 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. -- J.L.
Country’s feistiest female seems to be bringing back her trademark audaciousness on her seventh studio LP, with titles like “Pretty Bitchin’” and “Way Too Pretty For Prison” (a collaboration with Maren Morris) hinting at a more upbeat vibe than 2016’s heartbreak-laden double album The Weight of These Wings. While the change of pace could have something to do with the Lambert’s happier love life, she said on Instagram that she credits New York City -- where her new husband, Brendan McLoughlin, is a police officer — for putting “a new energy into my music and my writing.” -- T.W.
Charlie's Angels soundtrack
When the original Charlie's Angels film came out in 2000, Destiny's Child was the clear choice to put out a "theme song" of sorts — thus, the No. 1 smash "Independent Women Pt. 1“ was born. So for the 2019 remake, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus picked up that mantle to create the new song "Angels." From the snippets in the trailer, the song is destined to be a hit; plus, with Grande taking up a role as co-executive producer on the full soundtrack, we are all in for a treat come November. -- S.D.
The country mega-star has been collecting top 40 hits ever since he broke through with his debut album, This One’s For You, in 2017. Although his upcoming LP isn’t out until November, Combs slaked his fans’ thirst for new tunes with The Prequel EP, featuring the hit single “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” earlier this year. -- J.L.
“Early on I always thought if we ever got to make nine albums, I’m going to call it ‘9,’” Aldean says of his upcoming full-length in a press release. "I remember cutting the first album and thinking 'that’s forever away,' and now here we are.” Indeed, the country veteran has become one of the genre’s most consistent recording artists, and his forthcoming album has been preceded by the new single “We Back.” -- J.L.
After scoring back-to-back Billboard 200 No. 1 albums with 2015's Dark Sky Paradise and 2017's I Decided, Big Sean looks to net a trifecta with his upcoming project this fall. Though Sean is "Single Again" after his fallout with ex-girlfriend Jhene Aiko, the Detroit rapper isn't letting the breakup slow him down, releasing "Overtime" and "Bezerk,” the latter featuring A$AP Ferg, in recent weeks. "I got a lot of layers to the album. I got a lot of things I touch on," he told Billboard last month. -- C.L.
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
Jam & Lewis: Volume One
In April, renowned production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis made a splashy return with their inspirational record "Til I Found You,” slated to reside on the group's first compilation album. With Jam & Lewis: Volume One, the songwriting tandem are hungry to add more hits to their towering discography, which already includes multiple Hot 100 chart-toppers such as Janet Jackson's "All For You" and Usher's "U Remind Me." "We can't wait for our fans to hear what's next," said Lewis following the release of "Til I Found You." -- C.L.
Hay Más Futuro Que Pasado
Latin legend Juanes will gift fans a new full-length by fall’s end, after linking up with Alessia Cara earlier this year for the single “Querer Mejor,” and Sebastian Yatra for "Bonita." Along with prepping the new collection, the singer-songwriter has stayed busy in 2019, with international tour dates — including an opening slot for The Rolling Stones in Miami last month. -- J.L.
The follow-up to 2017’s triumphant Rainbow album finds Kesha collaborating with producers like Jeff Bhasker and Ryan Lewis (who helped craft her hit ballad “Praying”), along with co-writers like Nate Ruess, Tayla Parx and Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds. “While writing my new album, I seemed to lose track of all of my fucks,” Kesha recently told Billboard of the highly anticipated new project. “I have danced a lot while making this one and cried some tears. I’m not sure what genre it is. Y’all will have to tell me.” -- J.L.
Imagination & the Misfit Kid
Between his work on music for HBO’s Euphoria, his contributions to Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift project and his work with Sia and Diplo as one-third of supergroup LSD, the British songwriter-producer also found time to work on his first album since 2012’s Electronic Earth. “The biggest challenge for me is to not get distracted by success,” Labrinth told Billboard last month. -- NOLAN FEENEY
The former Chairlift leader and collaborator for the likes of Charli XCX and Beyoncé is releasing music under her own name for the first time with an LP that pushes the boundaries of pop and electronic music in ambitious new directions. “What I aspire to at this point is building a new planet, rather than going to the same one,” she told Billboard recently. “I don’t think I’ve ever cared less about the idea of pop than I do now.” -- N.F.
Ty Dolla $ign
After defending his crown as the unofficial King of Collaborations -- most recently on the Megan Thee Stallion/Nicki Minaj hit “Hot Girl Summer” -- Ty Dolla $ign is returning with his own project, Tyrone. He’s already given fans a taste of the eclectic music, with “Purple Emoji” featuring J. Cole and the Juicy J-assisted “Hottest In The City.” The crooner even received a seal of approval from Kanye West, confirming the record will be worth the wait. "I played him the album, and he was like, 'Bro nah, you need to do what you do," he revealed to SPIN. "Add more bass, add more drums, add more, the real shit, that’s what no one else is doing. Be the best you, bring that shit all the way up to the forefront.'” -- B.G.