15 lady-powered albums guaranteed to crush it this season
The music industry calls this time of year “Quarter Four,” but for me, it’s simply the best new music season of the year. Fall signals a flood of releases before the all-important holiday season. However, in my opinion, this is also the perfect time to settle in with new music. With biting wind chills just around the corner for many people across the country, nothing feels better than a night in to fall in love with some much-needed aural candy. This year looks to be especially rife with releases from some of our most beloved female solo acts and bands. In celebration of these highly-coveted new releases, we’ve compiled a list of our most anticipated new albums.
1. Tough Love by Jessie Ware (October 13)
Jessie Ware already charmed half the world with her soulful throwback ballads, and now she’s ready to conquer the rest of the planet with a new LP that features collaborations with Miguel, Ed Sheeran and Dev Hynes.
2. Cosmic Logic by Peaking Lights (October 7)
After their 2012 release chock full of weird, groovy, somber tunes, we’re excited to hear what comes next for this San Francisco-based wife-and-husband duo. Psych-pop has never sounded so good.
3. Heartleap by Vashti Bunyan (October 7)
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since the release of Vashti Bunyan’s last album, Lookaftering, but artful music is worth the wait.
4. Taiga by Zola Jesus (October 7)
On the flip-side, is anyone as prolific as Zola Jesus? I don’t think so. Five years after her debut, The Spoils, Zola is back with her FIFTH album of what is sure to include those signature witchy, synthy, dramatic gems that sound pulled directly from Zola’s heart.
5. Aquarius by Tinashe (October 7)
What is it about October 7th? The day seems to be the perfect moment for the female performers of the world to break out. We’ve been following Tinashe’s blooming career as a whispery R&B songstress, since the release of last year’s Black Water mixtape and now seems like her time to finally break off the remaining shackles of her child-star past.
6. Sweet Talker by Jessie J (October 14)
Although she found success with previous releases, Jessie J had a major U.S. breakthrough with Bang Bang, her timely triple duet with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. And no offense to Ariana (already a powerhouse in her own right), but Jessie truly blew her friends out of the water with her jaw-dropping vocal prowess. What sort of tricks are up her sleeve for her new album?
7. No One is Lost by Stars (October 14)
We’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for Stars. Their hyper-dramatic love songs pretty much defined our adolescence (and Set Yourself on Fire is undoubtably a classic). Although their material since that seminal album has been hit or miss, we still like to return to their music with each new release.
8. Aretha Franklin Sings the Diva Classics by Aretha Franklin (October 21)
Based on the release of her cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, we’re sure this cover album will offer as many surprises as it does stunning vocal Olympics.
9. Sound of a Woman by Kiesza (October 21)
The ’90s are truly back and we have Kiesza to thank for that. Her sunny, show-stopping vocal house jams rocked dance floors and house parties throughout the summer. After proving herself again with the release of her latest single, Giant in My Heart, we’re sure Kiesza’s debut LP will keep us dancing well into the new year.
10. Start Together by Sleater-Kinney (box set reissue) (October 21)
Who didn’t go through a Sleater-Kinney phase? Mine came a little late, at the age of 21, but once I saw the light, I never looked back. Start Together is a remastered compilation of the band’s entire discography, so this’ll be more of a splurge than everything else on the list. But if you’re a diehard fan (or know a diehard fan), this will be the perfect holiday gift.
11. 1989 by Taylor Swift (October 27)
Although many are still debating Taylor’s new all-pop sound, it doesn’t seem to be affecting her popularity. Shake it Off instantly entered the charts at #1 and her PR push has revealed to audiences a more mature and adventurous Taylor, willing to take chances on the direction of her career.
12. Words to the Blind by Savages and Bo Ningen (November 18)
In what is sure to be the weirdest/most brilliant release of the year, the two groups will release one 37-minute long track they’ve described as a “simultaneous love poem.” Whatever that means, we are so ready for it—especially if it includes Savages’ brutal post-punk style.
13. The Pinkprint by Nicki Minaj (November 24)
Nicki has made quite the splash this year, with a starkly minimalist look and her single Anaconda, unquestionably made her the biggest female rapper on the scene. We’re excited to see just how she’ll blow our minds on this latest record.
14. The London Sessions by Mary J. Blige (November 24)
Just because you’ve been in the game for years doesn’t mean you don’t have new tricks up your sleeve. Just check out Mary J. Blige. After jumping on remixes for house wunderkinds Disclosure and the soulful Sam Smith, Mary is ready to release The London Sessions. A notable departure for the R&B diva, the album will feature collaborations with Disclosure and Smith, as well as Naughty Boy and Emelie Sande.
15. Sucker by Charli XCX (December 16)
Charli XCX is one of the true breakout talents of 2014. After a guest appearance on the unofficial song of summer, Fancy, and a choice spot in teen romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars, this sassy Brit is ready to FINALLY drop her much anticipated debut LP. We can’t wait to see how the super-talented singer-songwriter once again wows us with her adept skills at crafting flawless pop songs.