10 albums to listen to in fall 2018

A secretly recorded live album, an indie rock supergroup and Lil Wayne’s long-awaited release are among our most anticipated this season


Iridescence (Question Everything/RCA), September 21

The follow-up to last year’s Saturation trilogy, the self-proclaimed boy band Brockhampton are back with their major label debut. Iridescence is the 10-plus-member hip-hop crew’s first album since kicking out Ameer Vann following sexual misconduct allegations, and it shows them stretching beyond the clever wordplay and sheer energy of their earlier work. Although the record doesn’t include recently released tracks 1999 Wildlife and 1998 Truman, it does have the tender and soulful song, Tonya, which they premiered earlier this summer, and is partially inspired by the figure skating movie, I, Tonya. 

Mount Eerie 

(after) (P.W. Elverum & Sun), September 21

After the death of his wife, Geneviève Castrée, singer/songwriter Phil Elverum released two devastatingly beautiful albums mediating on grief and perseverance, 2017’s A Crow Looked At Me and this year’s Now Only. His next album, (after), is a live recording from a 2017 show in the Netherlands, featuring songs from both albums, that captures the sheer bravery of Elverum’s music in the midst of his grieving process. Although no one was supposed to record these tours, Elverum said it’s fortunate “someone didn’t get that message and this beautiful recording has surfaced.” 

Lil Wayne 

Tha Carter V (Universal), September 21

It’s been a messy journey, but Lil Wayne is finally free to release the long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s Tha Carter IV. The latest album in Weezy’s oeuvre, and apparently his final before retiring, was supposed to come out in 2014. But Tha Carter V became entangled in two long-standing lawsuits against his label Cash Money, its founder Birdman and Universal. Plus, somehow along the way ex-pharma CEO Martin Shkreli got his grubby hands on it. Now that Wayne’s settled the lawsuits, the September release date feels as concrete as ever.

Cat Power 

Wanderer (Domino), October 5

After her experiments with synthesizers and auto-tune on 2012’s Sun, Wanderer marks a gorgeous return to the introspective folk that Chan Marshall built her career on nearly two decades ago. The album features a haunting, bare-bones version of Rihanna’s ballad Stay, as well as a stirring duet, Woman, with Lana Del Rey. 

Cat Power plays the Danforth Music Hall on October 9. See listing


Autobiography (Planet Mu), September 28

Last year, the genre-bending Gary, Indiana, producer Jerrilynn Patton (aka Jlin) released Black Origami, an enthralling collection of Chicago footwork beats turned inside out. Autobiography is the soundtrack for a collaborative performance with the British choreographer, Wayne McGregor, which they performed a version of together at Unsound in Toronto this past October. 

Kurt Vile 

Bottle It In (Matador), October 12 

Since releasing his last solo record, b’lieve i’m goin down… in 2015, psych-folk troubadour Kurt Vile has kept busy. He collaborated with fellow indie rocker Courtney Barnett on the album Lotta Sea Lice and sang on The Sadies’ song It’s Easy (Like Walking). For his latest solo album Vile’s tapped Kim Gordon, who plays acoustic guitar on Mutinies, as well as Cass McCombs. If the lead single Bassackwards is any indication, you can expect a breezy, fuzzy sprawl.

Kurt Vile & the Violators play the Danforth Music Hall on February 16, 2019. See listing

Empress Of 

Us (Terrible), October 19

L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer Lorley Rodriguez makes sunny dance pop with emotional undertones. On lead single When I’m With Him, Rodriguez’s pillowy voice floats over synth and reverbed drums, as she sings “I feel possessed/I can’t help but repress/all the signs/telling me that I’m not fine.” If that single is any clue, Empress Of’s sophomore album, Us, will be ripe with sophisticated earworms. 

Julia Holter

Aviary (Domino), October 26

The follow-up to her 2015 album, Have You In My Wilderness, L.A.-based composer and vocalist Julia Holter’s latest is her most expansive record yet. Born out of synth-heavy improvisation sessions, Aviary is a sprawling collection of instrumental arrangements paired with Holter’s layered, theatrical vocals musing on the cacophony of modern life. 

Julia Holter plays the Great Hall on February 26. See listing

Thom Yorke 

Suspiria OST (XL), October 26

Director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) desperately wanted the Radiohead frontman to write the music for his remake of the 1977 horror film, Suspiria, but Thom Yorke initially refused, worried his score would pale in comparison to Goblin’s beloved original. But Guadagnino persisted, and Yorke agreed. And we’re glad he did. Although the film’s trailer features jarring, nightmare-inducing instrumentals, the song Suspirium, in which he sings over a melancholic piano and an eerily calm flute, is a Yorke solo standout.


boygenius (Matador), November 9

The word “supergroup” gets thrown around a lot, but it feels absolutely necessary to describe boygenius, the new band comprising indie rock singer/songwriters Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. While the EP showcases the distinctive features of their solo work – Baker’s vocals yearning and soaring, Dacus’s anchored yet forlorn, Bridgers’s featherlight – when the three musicians harmonize they create a style that’s wholly their own. 

boygenius play the Danforth Music Hall on November 10. See listing

samanthae@nowtoronto.com | @SamEdwardsTO

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