September is a busy month for new releases. Albums by legends like Prince and Paul McCartney will rub elbows with new music from stalwarts like Lenny Kravtiz, hipsters like Big Red Machine, country diva Carrie Underwood and much more.
Prince, Piano & a Microphone
Perhaps the most anticipated album of the month comes courtesy of Prince. The Prince Estate will release a new album of material from Prince’s vault. The late singer is famous for having an cache of thousands of unreleased material. Piano & a Microphone 1983 is a 35-minute album of Prince singing songs at the piano. The music was recorded right before Prince became a star. The 1983 recordings were made on cassette. It will be available on Sept. 21 on CD, LP, deluxe CD and LP, in addition to streaming formats.
Lenny Kravitz, Raise Vibration
Lenny Kravitz hit a wall after his last tour wrapped up three years ago. The singer and guitarist was at a dead end musically. Although friends suggested he work with the hottest producers in music, Kravitz decided to wait for inspiration to hit: and it did. The 11 songs on Raise Vibration came to him in dreams. He recorded the songs at his home in the Bahamas, playing all the instruments himself, as on prior releases. It’s sure to be an eclectic album. Kravitz has already started working on the follow-up, which will be steeped in funk.
Paul McCartney, Egypt Station
Paul McCartney is about to turn 76, so what better time to release new music for the first time since the two tracks he did with Kanye West in 2015. Egypt Station marks his first album since 2013. After several albums influenced by standards and classic rock, 2013’s New dabbled in modern music. Fans expect more of the same on this album, which arrives September 7.
Big Red Machine, Big Red Machine
No it’s not the 1970’s Cincinnati Reds come back to life as a classic rock group; Big Red Machine is the new project from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner. Friends like Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Phoebe Brdigers also shop up. Is that hipster enough for you? Although the 10-song LP is the first album for Big Red Machine, the project has been kicking around for 10 years, ever since Vernon sent Dessner a mixtape. In the intervening years, they occasionally played sets at music festivals. The self-titled album arrives August 31, but you’ll be busy at a barbecue until September 1.
Richard Reed Parry, Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1
Speaking of the Arcade Fire leader, Richard Reed Parry announced and ambitious two-album project, with the first, Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1, due on Sept. 21. The album is inspired by Parry’s recent trip to Japan. It is well-versed in Buddhist myths, British folk and poems about death.
Meghan Trainor, Treat Myself
Meghan Trainor’s Treat Myself arrives September 1. The pop princess said the album is about being happy, and her entire family plays on every song.
Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty
Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty is scheduled for release on Sept. 14. The country singer says the album is loosely based upon a theme, which seems to be lost love, and the lyrics have more depth than her most ardent pop-country fans are accustomed to. Country music is already nervous about the song “The Bullet,” which is about a mother losing her son to gun violence. Elsewhere, she duets with Ludacris.
Ryan Hemsworth, Elsewhere
No, Ryan Hemsworth is not the lost Hemsworth brother, he’s a Canadian producer and DJ about to release his fourth studio album, Elsewhere. Hemsworth offers unofficial remixes of artists like Frank Ocean via his bandcamp and soundcloud pages. Hemsworth – who has produced for Mitski, Tinashe and Tory Lanez – sinks into moody electronica on the album and its dream-laden first single, “Think About You.”
The Chills, Snow Bound
Iconic New Zealand band the Chills reunited for the first time in 20 years back in 2015. That went so well they are back with a new album, Snow Bound, on September 14. In 2017, Kickstarter funded a documentary about Martin Phillipps career with the Chills and his struggle with depression.
Christine & the Queens, Chris
Gender-bending French songstress Christine & the Queens is unveiling another new persona for her second album. Héloïse Letissier is the artist behind the project, and she describes the new album as “sweaty and tougher.” The first single, “Girlfriend,” is steeped in West Coast Funk. Her legendary live shows are sure to be a treat. Expect the album Chris on September 21.