In the second of a new series, we take a look at this month’s best new and upcoming album releases. It’s a month of big names and even bigger releases: indie darlings The Libertines kick off September in style, as funk master supreme Prince, Bat For Lashes’ new outfit Sexwitch and synth-pop trio Chvrches ramp up the party.
The Libertines – Anthems For Doomed Youth
It’s the moment every skinny-jeaned indie boy has been waiting for: previously warring long-time pals Pete Doherty and Carl Barât are reunited, and a new Libertines album has emerged. It’s the first since 2004’s self-titled record, which saw the band’s star rapidly ascend, before they collapsed in on themselves in a drug-fuelled haze. The chemistry between the two frontmen has always been The Libertines’ special hook – and kryptonite – so what hope for fans does Anthems for Doomed Youth hold? Literary references and a dandyish despair remain strong influences, and the band have lost none of their verve, in spite of their newfound clean living. Available now via iTunes, priced £11.99 (Deluxe Edition).
The Libertines: Gunga Din
Prince – Hitnrun
“Hitnrun took ninety days to prepare its release. If that’s what freedom feels like, Hitnrun is what it sounds like,” says Prince of his new studio album (his 33rd, to be precise). A “super funky” record which will be released exclusively through Tidal – Jay Z’s music streaming service – the album is named after his recent tour, where he and backing band 3rd Eye Girl would play pop-up gigs across the US. Available now via Tidal.
Prince: This Could Be Us
Micachu & The Shapes – Good Sad Happy Bad
Micachu and her Shapes are back with more leftfield weirdo pop on their third studio album, Good Sad Happy Bad, the follow-up to 2012’s Never. Since then, group mastermind and vocalist Mica Levi has been keeping busy, recording and releasing the angular, eerie score to Jonathan Glazer’s 2014 film Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson, and producing (and guesting on) the two EP releases from school friend and vocalist Tirzah. As with everything Levi touches, you can expect low-fi genius from this new release – check out the taster tracks on Youtube to whet your appetite. Available September 11 via Rough Trade, priced £10.99 (CD) £17.99 (vinyl).
Micachu & The Shapes: Sea Air
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
Del Rey’s career thus far hasn’t been without controversy, nor has the singer been without her detractors. So when she released new single High on the Beach, from forthcoming fourth studio album Honeymoon, it was met with a mixed response. It’s the usual breathy, movie star-inspired vocals from Del Rey, set against a backdrop of sun-soaked LA and peppered with some swear words and references to getting high – so nothing groundbreaking here. But at least she’s consistent, and the 15m views she’s received on Youtube tell you pretty much everything you need to know about how much of a hit this record will be. Available September 18 via iTunes, priced £8.50.
Lana Del Rey: High By The Beach
Sexwitch – Sexwitch
Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan is back – recording under new moniker Sexwitch, alongside occasional collaborator TOY and producer Dan Cleary – and the project’s debut album is a vivid and eclectic set of six covers of 1970s global psych and folk songs. Khan’s distinctive high-in-the-woodsy vocals are present and correct, and while this might not prove the most challenging – or popular – of her recordings, it’s definitely worth a listen. Available September 25 via iTunes, priced £4.99.
Chvrches – Every Eye Open
Everyone’s favourite synth-pop trio are back with their second album, Every Eye Open, the follow-up to 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe, which launched Chvrches firmly into mainstream consciousness. This time around, expectations are high, and from taster Make Them Gold, this record won’t disappoint. Check out the video for single Leave a Trace (below) – the visuals are slicker, the production tighter and the songwriting distinctly more pop. Available September 25 via iTunes, priced £11.99 (special edition).
Chvrches: Leave A Trace
The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
Supergroup The Dead Weather – which includes Jack White and Alison Mosshart – are returning with their third studio album, a ten-track LP, Dodge and Burn, which will contain four remixes of previous singles, including Buzzkill(er), and eight new songs. For newcomers, think The Kills, soaked in bourbon, playing blues in the Catskill mountains. Available September 25, via iTunes, priced £7.99.
The Dead Weather: I Feel Love