Awesome Autumn Albums Coming Your Way Soon…

Posted: 14/08/2012 in Uncategorized

As published on Two Tube on July 31st 2012

Festival season will barely be over before it’s time for the flurry of autumn albums sent to excite and delight us. There’s no shortage of big releases coming our way – artists both Irish and international, from debut albums to difficult second albums to long-overdue comeback albums. This is by no means an exhaustive list of essentials – but five which I’m particularly looking forward to getting stuck into…


It’s hard to believe that it’s been three whole years since The xx unleashed that stunning debut album xx. A barrage of critical acclaim, legions of fans, cracking that tough nut that is America, countless soundtrack appearances – oh, and the small matter of winning the 2010 Mercury Music Prize for ‘Album of the Year’. Even Rihanna got involved in the hysteria, sampling ‘Intro’ on her latest album. But the time has come to mark xx as a classic and eagerly anticipate the follow-up. Last month, advance lead single ‘Angels’ was sent to whet our appetites – and it certainly doesn’t disappoint, a slow-burning slice of minimal electronic, Romy Madley Croft’s dreamy hushed tones taking on some Beach House-esque guitars, all under the revered production style of Jamie xx. Coexist is set for release on September 10th – but if you can’t wait until then, The xx will be showcasing ‘Angels’ and more new tracks at this year’s Electric Picnic the weekend beforehand…


They had established a successful blueprint with their debut album – the raw power of their charming melodies and flawless intricate harmonising against a single acoustic guitar became a trademark sound which brought Heathers much success on 2008 debut album Here, Not There. So you just really have to respect the Dublin duo for not playing-it-safe and taking the bold step of changing up their style for the follow-up, Kingdom – which can be yours to own from September 7th. Keen to diversify their sound, Heathers de-camped to London to create Kingdom, expanding on their use of instruments whilst maintaining all of the distinctive hooky vocal stylings and quirky acoustic guitar-based melodic charm. Lead single ‘Forget Me Knots’ sent the internet buzzing back in March, and it’s fulfilled its destiny by finding a home on the national airwaves… bring on the full installment, we just can’t wait.


No Doubt have been on the go since 1986, initially finding it hard to go beyond their humble Anaheim beginnings until almost ten years later when all-conquering third studio album Tragic Kingdom made them a household name all over the globe – achieving diamond status in the process. The critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing darker rock sounds of Return of Saturn followed in 2000 with the dancehall-influenced Rock Steady arriving with a bang a year later, offering up a string of successful singles. The band decided to take a well earned break in 2004 – some focussing on family, others on solo music projects, or in the case of frontwoman Gwen Stefani multitasking and doing all of the above and more. Various children, fashion lines, and better-best-forgotten solo albums later No Doubt are back with a new record. Push and Shove is set for release on September 21st, to be preceded by the release of the lead single ‘Settle Down’, which hit the internet a fortnight ago. To be frank, the song makes for a disappointing first listen, but hit ‘repeat’ a few times and it’ll win you over as a chirpy, bouncy, summery pop delight – with the stylish video to match courtesy of long-time collaborating director Sophie Muller. Enjoy! (Oh, and as soon as we figure out Gwen Stefani’s miraculous anti-aging techniques we’ll let you know!)


Florence gave us Ceremonials, Marina presented Electra Heart, and on October 8th it shall be the turn of the final third of the Holy Trinity of breakthrough British female pop superstars of 2010 to release that ‘difficult second album’ out into the masses. Ellie Goulding was the next-big-thing above all other next-big-things, but her debut album Lights garnered very mixed reviews – nevertheless it was a runaway commerical succerss. Abandoning her folk roots in favour of more electronic elements may have alienated her from her original fanbase, but it won her a whole new legion of fans in the process. She toured Lights far and wide, but returned home to record the follow-up in a glorified barn in her hometown of Lyonshall. Last month, Goulding somewhat broke Soundcloud when she released a free download of new track Hanging On (featuring Tinie Tempah), with the volume of hits crashing the site. ‘Hanging On’ is certainly darker than anything we’ve heard from Goulding before – marrying her soaring falsetto with heavy bass, it’s certainly an intruiging sample of what’s to come… and it’ll be interesting to see if the influence of other-half Skrillex creeps into the mix!


One of the most enigmatic performers of our time, Natasha Khan – a.k.a Bat For Lashes – is an artist in every sense of the word. She doesn’t make music for critics, she doesn’t make music for the fans – instead, Khan creates sonic masterpieces to portray the depth and range of her influences to whoever is willing to embrace it – and she can count the musical royalty of Thom Yorke, Bjork, Beck and Debbie Harry amongst those who do. A multi-instrumentalist, her voice is pure and her philosophy unique – a captivating musician and composer of the highest order. She first dazzled back in 2006 with Fur and Gold, and universally stunned with the magnificent 2009 follow-up Two Suns – both receiving Mercury Prize nominations in their respective years of release. Khan has taken an extended break in recording The Haunted Man, citing excessive touring as the reason she felt the need to take her time with it. Last week the beautifully crafted piano-led ‘Laura’ heralded the announcement of the album’s release date of October 12th, alongside the announcement of the record’s track-listing and the unveiling of the all-baring album artwork – we’re counting down the days, but in the meantime ‘Laura’ will do just fine for company.


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