The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in October

With an election mere weeks away and a pandemic still raging, October will undoubtedly bring moments scarier than your favorite horror movie, but it is in fact a new month—which is reason enough to celebrate! Around here we choose to commemorate the passing of months with roundups of the musical variety, and today we’re looking ahead to see what releases we’ll get to hear in October. From a new Jónsi solo album and a Kevin Morby record to country songs from CAM and a Future Islands release, it looks to be a stacked month. See all our most anticipated albums below.

October 2

Hot Chip: Late Night Tales

Night Time Stories

There are few bands in this world whose DJ sets merit as much excitement as their usual output quite like Hot Chip. Alexis Taylor, Joe Goddard and co. are flat out one of the best synthpop bands in the world, and—across seven releases—they’ve never made a bad album. The way they manage to keep their finger on the pulse of shifting musical styles and the anthropomorphic nature of dance music is unique to say the least, and hearing them spin the tunes that inspire them is a window into the soul of their incredible discography. Enter Hot Chip’s installment in the famed Late Night Tales series, which asks artists to create the ultimate late-night mix of songs. Keeping with the tradition of the series (which has featured notable mixes in the past from acts like Bonobo, The Flaming Lips, Badbadnotgood, et al.), Hot Chip have compiled a perfect mix for a hazy evening, which is when you’ll ideally be listening to it. And best of all, there are four new Hot Chip songs in the mix, too. Peep “Candy Says” below, but do yourself a favor and delve into not only Hot Chip’s Late Night Tales, but also any of the other mixes in the series from artists that might mean something to you, too. —Adrian Spinelli

Jónsi: Shiver


Jónsi, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Icelandic post-rock giants Sigur Rós, is releasing his first solo album in a decade. Sigur Rós have been quiet since 2013’s Kveikur, so it’s a more than welcome return for Jónsi’s pacifying voice—though you haven’t heard his songs quite like this before. Jónsi teamed up with producer A.G. Cook for an album of striking synthetic pop sounds, and it also includes features from Robyn and Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser. The contrast of Cook’s icy soundscapes and Jónsi’s warm falsetto makes for essential listening. “He was brutal, which was really healthy for me,” Jónsi says of the PC Music founder. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I get tired of everything really easily. I always want things to be fun and exciting and fresh, and doing another album…I just wanted to have a different approach.” —Lizzie Manno

More notable Oct. 2 releases: Bartees Strange: Live Forever, Field Medic: Floral Prince, Dawes: Good Luck With Whatever, Shamir: Shamir, Drive-By Truckers: The New OK, Death Valley Girls: Under the Spell of Joy

October 9

Alexia Avina: Unearth

Topshelf Records & Lost Map Records

Alexia Avina has a restorative voice, and her previous album All That I Can’t See was an ambient folk fan’s dream. She’s now readying her third album Unearth, which is more fleshed out than its acoustic predecessor, but still satisfyingly layered and wispy. It’s also a breakup album—one that grapples not just with the initial resentment and anger, but the lingering existential questions that will remain for a lifetime (“Came in like a raging comet / And I was on the other side of it / Where are all the other roses / And who decides when we’re unfrozen?”). Unearth isn’t background music—it’s a gorgeous, inner retreat. —Lizzie Manno

Future Islands: As Long As You Are


As Long As You Are will be Future Islands’ sixth full-length LP and will arrive on Oct. 9 via 4AD. The band will also perform a live-streamed concert on the day of release. This news arrived in tandem with a new single, “Thrill,” and its music video starring and created by frontman Samuel T. Herring, which you can check out below. The new single follows previously released single “For Sure,” which will also appear on the album. “Thrill” is slower and sparkling, a true synth ballad delivered by an emotional Herring. Future Islands’ most recent album was 2017’s The Far Field. —Ellen Johnson

More notable Oct. 9 releases: Slow Pulp: Moveys, METZ: Atlas Vending, Great Peacock: Forever Worse Better, Darlingside: Fish Pond Fish, Andy Bell: The View From Halfway Down

October 16

Helena Deland: Someone New


We had the pleasure of seeing Montréal’s Helena Deland open for Connan Mockasin at the 2019 Montréal Jazz Festival, where Deland’s deft lyricism and sonic edge left a lasting mark. For her debut album, she’s signed to Chris Cantallini’s (of timeless indie blog Gorilla vs. Bear) Luminelle Records, and her dreamy sound slots nicely next to label mates like Anemone, Hana Vu and Jackie Mendoza. On songs like “Someone New” and the spectacular “Truth Nugget,” Deland expands on themes of interpersonal dynamics and identity in powerful ways. She is undoubtedly one of the best new talents to emerge from the robust Montréal indie scene. —Adrian Spinelli

Kevin Morby: Sundowner

Dead Oceans

After five solo albums, Kansas City singer/songwriter Kevin Morby hasn’t missed a beat, and his sixth entry Sundowner continues that hot streak. Sundowner is perhaps less ambitious than his 2019 double album and spiritual escapade Oh My God, but any time Morby invites you on a lowly, dusty folk rock journey, you better get moving because it’s always worth it. If you’ve had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Morby’s vocal, melodic and guitar quirks, you’ll find many of those here, along with his breathtaking intimacy and thoughtful pastoral tales. —Lizzie Manno

Matt Berninger: Serpentine Prison

Book’s Records

Matt Berninger of The National will share his debut solo record Serpentine Prison later this month via Book’s Records. The single “One More Second,” released last month, follows the release of the album’s title track and “Distant Axis.” “I wrote ‘One More Second’ with Matt Sheehy with the intention for it to be a kind of answer to Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You,’ or sort of the other side of that conversation,” Berninger says. “I just wanted to write one of those classic, simple, desperate love songs that sound great in your car.” —Paris Rosenthal

More notable Oct. 16 releases: Katie Melua: Album No. 8, beabadoobee: Fake It Flowers, Deep Sea Diver: Impossible Weight, Jeremy Ivey: Waiting Out The Storm, Tomberlin: Projections, Holy Motors: Horse, Hayden Thorpe: Aerial Songs

October 23

Ela Minus: Acts of Rebellion


When Ela Minus first surfaced a few years ago with a series of gorgeous EPs that culminated with 2017’s Adapt., there was something unusually striking about her synthesized productions alongside her vapory vocals. Perhaps it’s because Ela Minus’s Gabriela Jimeno forgoes the use of computerized sounds in favor of those emanating from synths that she builds and designs herself. The Colombian-born, Brooklyn-based producer and singer is now signed to Domino for her debut LP, Acts of Rebellion, and is maintaining the analog approach to her compositions. On tracks like “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.” and “el cielo no es de nadie,” (translation: “heaven belongs to nobody”) Jimeno ruminates on purposeful solitude with an unwavering club sensibility. There’s also a collaboration with Helado Negro on the album. Ela Minus is a necessary Latinx voice in indie electronica. —Adrian Spinelli

This Is The Kit: Off Off On

Rough Trade

Kate Stables announced earlier this summer that her next album under the This Is The Kit alias is called Off Off On, and it’s set to arrive Oct. 23 on Rough Trade. The news arrived with the lead single “This Is What You Did,” which features Stables’ signature upbeat banjo, top-knotch vocals and restless, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Stables describes it as “A bit of a panic attack song,” adding, “The negative voices of other people that are your own voice. Or are they? Hard to say when you’re in this kind of a place. How to get out of this place? Needing to get outside more.” —Ellen Johnson

More notable Oct. 23 releases: Laura Veirs: My Echo, The Mountain Goats: Getting Into Knives, Jeff Tweedy: Love Is The King, Adrianne Lenker: songs and instrumentals, Bruce Springsteen: Letter To You, PUP: This Place Sucks Ass EP, Clipping: Visions of Bodies Being Burned, Brutus: Live in Ghent

October 30

Cam: The Otherside

Triple Tigers/RCA Records

It’s been a while since we’ve heard a full release from country favorite Cam—four years, to be exact. That was when she treated us to her glimmering debut, Untamed, followed by her fiery, acclaimed single “Diane” in 2017. This month she’s finally back with her sophomore LP, The Otherside, which will feature the apocalyptic romance “Till There’s Nothing Left,” plus the recently released “Classic” and the sentimental “Redwood Tree.” Cam has a distinctly bright—but honest—outlook on life, and her enlivened brand of country music is a refreshing spot in the genre’s landscape today. The Otherside will also feature “Diane,” as well as songs co-written by Harry Styles and Sam Smith. —Ellen Johnson

More notable Oct. 30 releases: Sam Smith: Love Goes, Nothing: The Great Dismal, Smokescreens: A Strange Dream, Dope Body: Crack a Light