Loudon Wainwright III doesn’t have the blues, but Buck 65 absolutely does. A goddess is set to arrive (in the form of Jillian Banks) and Flying Lotus is in an excellent position already. The fall of 2014 will see a harvest of music bounty, with releases too many to count. Here are 10 we look forward to most.
Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet), by Loudon Wainwright III (Sept. 2). Following up on his excellent Older Than My Old Man Now from 2012, the wry troubadour continues his exploration of senior citizenship and, apparently, the inevitability of melancholia.
Pink City, by Jennifer Castle (Sept. 2). If it seems like three years since the indie alt-folk siren released her marvellous first record, Castlemusic, it’s only because she released it in 2011. Not as shadowy as that debut disc, Pink City is well worth the wait.
Commonwealth, by Sloan (Sept. 9). For their 11th album, the members of the hook-happy Canadian rock troupe try something new: give each of the band’s four singer-songwriters a side of their own on a double album from an attractively durable concern.
Goddess, by Banks (Sept. 9). Jillian Banks. Remember her name, because the mysterious singer from California’s San Fernando Valley is set to release her debut album of moody R&B that suggests the influence of Toronto’s Weeknd and his kind. It’s doubtful Banks will show up under any banner reading “Feminist,” as Beyoncé did. With an album titled Goddess, the politics are implied.
Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar, by Robert Plant (Sept. 9). He describes the sound of his new record as “powerful, gritty, African, trance meets Zep.” It’s been a long time since the gracefully aging Plant has been hopping on the misty mountains, but there’s no reason to believe he doesn’t have the legs for it.
This is All Yours, by Alt-J (Sept. 22). The English alt-rock quartet is now a threesome, what with the departure of multi-instrumentalist Gwil Sainsbury. Will the 2012 Mercury Prize-winners – for their sublimely groovy An Awesome Wave debut – miss their fourth wheel? Not if the band’s “smart enough to be cool, but accessible enough that people like it” aesthetic remains in place.
Popular Problems, by Leonard Cohen (Sept. 23). The 88-year-old Tony Bennett may or may not be aware that he has made a jazz-standards record with Lady Gaga – Cheek to Cheek, out Sept. 23 – but the relative pup Leonard Cohen is positive his milestone 80th year marks the release of Popular Problems, the ladies man and basso bard’s follow-up to 2012’s more-than-respectable Old Ideas. Tip o’ the fedora back at you, Lenny.
Neverlove, by Buck 65 (Sept. 30). “Making this record is how I got through a terrible time in my life. I hope I never write another one like it.” Buck 65, the inspired hip-hop Haligonian who earns a regular paycheque as Richard Terfry of CBC’s Radio 2 Drive, has made a divorce album. With songs titled Gates of Hell, That’s The Way Love Dies, Heart of Stone and Roses in the Rain, it sounds like the album was made before the ink on the papers was dry.
You’re Dead, by Flying Lotus (Oct. 7). Bang, bang, indeed. The new, fifth album from the L.A. producer and mind-blower was originally envisioned as a jazz album, but the final package ended up as a mix of prog-rock, whatnot and hip hop, with lyrical reflections on mortality. Collaborators include Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg. FlyLo flies high, don’t you know.
Nell Robinson & Rose of No-Man’s Land, by Nell Robinson (Nov. 4). War, what is it good for? In answer to Edwin Starr, war can be good for arms makers – and music. On an album produced by Joe Henry, Americana songstress Robinson takes inspiration from archived letters, documents, mementos and generational lore, all centred on armed service involving her Alabama ancestors.