What I’m listening to: Fall 2012 Required Listening

Summer might not officially end until September 21, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like fall—from the shorter days and longer nights to the throngs of college students carrying backpacks and smoking cigs outside Starbucks (or maybe that’s just my neighborhood.) Luckily for all, September is also prime record release season…here are 8 records we’re excited about this fall. 

David Byrne and St. Vincent, Love This Giant. When two people as individually brilliant and creative as David Byrne and Annie Clark collaborate, you know the results are going to be incredible—and this record (described by Byrne as “a more intertwined collaboration than most I've done”) promises to be a high-energy romp through horn-laced experimentations. Check out the vid for first single “Who” right now—then stream the whole thing for free via NPR

Love This Giant drops September 11; catch David Byrne and St. Vincent live September 27 at the Tower Theatre


The xx, Coexist. Three years after the critically acclaimed xx dropped, The xx are back with follow-up record Coexist, which adds slippery layers and a tinge of heartbreak to the band’s trademark minimalist sound. Check out the vids for singles “Angels” and “Chained” now—and stream it for free over at NPR.

Coexist drops September 11; catch the band live October 29 at the Electric Factory (and note: every ticket purchased comes with a free DL of the record! Totally awesome.)

Thee Oh Sees, Putrifiers II. San Fran rock band Thee Oh Sees have been kicking around for nearly a decade now, churning out fuzzy, psych-pop gems—but this record (technically their 14th) might be the one to finally launch them into the mainstream, with bluesy stompers like (the already released) “Flood’s New Light” and “Lupine Dominus.” For when you feel like ragin', and The xx are just too damn demure.  

Putrifiers II drops September 11; catch the band live September 23 at All Tomorrow’s Parties in Asbury Park. 

Seapony, Falling. In the past 2 years, Seattle band Seapony has transitioned—from another unsigned pop act playing bars and houses to the next big thing in dream pop (Beach House look out!) Their sophomore record Falling arrives just in time for autumn, and promises lush, gorgeous pop melodies that swaddle you like a sweater. DL first single “What You Wanted” now, then stream the entire record via SoundCloud

Falling is out September 11.

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Melody’s Echo ChamberFrench artist Melody Prochet was classically-trained, and puts her knowledge of grand sweeping sounds to good use as Melody’s Echo Chamber—crafting twinkling, ethereal melodies that unfold before you, like diving into a pool of wonder (as the video for stunning single “I Follow You” suggests.) Her debut record was recorded with the help of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, who Prochet credits with helping her find “[her] dream sound.” She tells Brooklyn Vegan: “I’ve tried for years to get it but finally found the right hands to sculpt it.”

Melody’s Echo Chamber is out September 25; catch her live October 4 at Union Transfer with The Raveonettes. 


Dum Dum Girls, End of Daze. Gone are the days of Dum Dum Girls writing scrappy anthems about German prisons—on new single “Lord Knows” front woman Dee Dee Gundred emerges as a confident and brooding force—a direction the band as a whole embraces on new EP End of Daze. Recorded with Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes and famed producer Richard Gottehrer, Dee Dee describes the record as “a post-traumatic trip that many take, many who've dealt with greater personal Hells than I, but I hope that my version of survival, all washed up in reverb and guitars, leaves a good taste upon the tongue.” We don’t expect anything less. 

End of Daze is out September 25.


Sun Airway, Soft Fall.  There’s nothing like the gorgeous, scintillating melodies of local darlings Sun Airway to make you feel warm and fuzzy as fall approaches, and this record (the follow-up to 2010’s sparkling Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier) promises to do just that. Described by label Dead Oceans as a record that takes you “out of the bedroom and into cathedrals,” Fall adds lush strings to the mix, for a result that is truly magic. Check out first single “Close” right now

Soft Fall drops October 2.


Freelance Whales, Diluvia. The hardest working band in Queens returns with a new record that—according to the press release—deals with lofty topics such as “the possible survival—or peril” of space exploration. When I interviewed the band back in 2010, they noted an obsession with textures and contrasts—which come to the forefront here as they add electronic flourishes to their trademark subway station sound. Download first single “Locked Out” via their website and stream “Spitting Image” now.

Diluvia is out October 9; catch the band live November 2 at Union Transfer.