The 20 Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2023

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most anticipated albums fall 2023

Aside from the beginning of the year, when the possibilities are wide open, there’s no more exciting time for music than the fall. Once festival season winds down, the new releases start flooding in, though this year, the busy fall release season started kinda early (it’s just like students having to go back to school before August is over—but, uh, more fun?).

With fall unofficially underway and officially just over the horizon, we’ve assembled our picks for the most anticipated albums of fall 2023, from indie heroes and cult metal favorites to jazz legends in the making and a hip-hop duo on an incredible streak.

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All albums included are chosen by our editors.

Animal Collective – Isn’t It Now?

(September 29; Domino)

The announcement of Animal Collective’s thirteenth album (more or less—depending on how you classify things like Campfire Songs and Tangerine Reef) was preceded by the 20-plus-minute sprawl of atmospheric psych epic “Defeat.” That gorgeous and hypnotic stretch of music seemed to indicate an even more ambitious odyssey from the always evolving group, which is saying a lot. Given that just last year they released the excellent Time Skiffs, Animal Collective seem to be in the midst of a prolific streak, and gems like their latest single “Soul Capturer,” a jangly pop number that retains the group’s trippy impulses and classic pop harmonies alike, suggest that can only be a good thing.

Buy: Turntable Lab

Armand Hammer – We Buy Diabetic Test Strips

(September 29; Fat Possum)

Armand Hammer emcees billy woods and Elucid have been wildly prolific in the past two years, woods himself having released three albums since 2022, including this year’s Maps, in addition to Elucid’s I Told Bessie from last year. All of which culminates in their new full-length collaboration, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips. First announced via postcards mailed out to fans, the album features production from the likes of DJ Haram and JPEGMAFIA, who provide beats for “Trauma Mic” and “I Woke Up and Asked Siri How I Was Gonna Die,” respectively, as well as appearances from Moor Mother, Pink Siifu, Curly Castro and Pierce Jordan of Soul Glo. And those early singles have been nothing but fire, for what it’s worth. Not that we’d expect any different.

Buy: Turntable Lab

Baroness – STONE

(September 15; Abraxan Hymns)

Baroness make their return four years after the release of 2019’s Gold & Grey with STONE, their first album to break out of the chromatic motif that’s defined their album cycles since their 2007 debut, Red Album. It’s also their first entirely self-produced album, and early singles including “Last Word” and “Beneath the Rose” find them renewing their faith in rocking out while continuing to delve into stylistic experimentation with psychedelia, post-rock and even heavier elements.

Buy: Merchbar

DJ Shadow – Action Adventure

(October 27; Mass Appeal)

DJ Shadow’s never made a habit of repeating himself, even if the idea of hearing another album in the vein of Endtroducing… is one that few of us would turn down. But after some recent collaborations with the likes of De La Soul and Run the Jewels, Josh Davis has announced a new album of “mostly instrumental” material, which explores his own life and relationship with music. The idea of exploring that relationship, along with a set of music that promises few high-profile guest stars, suggests something more deeply personal and once again unique.

Buy: Amazon

Drop Nineteens – Hard Light

(November 3; Wharf Cat)

There are a few artists who appear on this list that we’ve waited a long time to hear from, but none longer than Boston shoegazers Drop Nineteens. After releasing two albums with different lineups in the early ’90s, the band called it quits and seemingly never had any plans to reunite. In 2021, however, the members of the group began playing music again just for the enjoyment of it, and in the process ended up creating an entirely new album—their first in 30 years. “Scapa Flow,” the first single from the album, is evidence of how fruitful that reunion is, a wonderfully dreamy set of hazy guitars and warm vocal hooks.

Buy: Merchbar

Forest Swords – Bolted

(October 20; Ninja Tune)

Matthew Barnes, better known as Forest Swords, released two back to back outstanding electronic records with 2013’s Engravings and 2017’s Compassion. Since then, he’s been doing work in film and video game scoring, but this year will mark the release of his first new album in six years, and its early singles feel like an extension of the eerie, psychedelic path he’s been mapping out over the past decade. “Butterfly Effect,” “Tar” and “The Low” showcase Barnes’ unique penchant for haunting atmospheres and subtly surreal hooks, signaling a return well worth waiting for.

Buy: Amazon

Peter Gabriel – i/o


So far, Peter Gabriel hasn’t yet revealed the release date of i/o, his first studio album of original material in 20 years. Yet that being said, he has released a good share of it, with nine singles released thus far, most of them in both Bright-Side and Dark-Side mixes—which is arguably actually more than nine songs if you count the different versions. (As far as which versions appear on the album remains to be seen, though the mixes of “Panopticom,” for instance, aren’t radically different.) Having an early preview of much of it, however, i/o is already shaping up to be a stunning return from a legend still finding more avenues to explore.

Gridlink – Coronet Juniper

(September 15; Willowtip)

Grindcore heroes Gridlink came to a halt after the release of 2014’s Longhena, when guitarist Takafumi Matsubara suffered a serious illness that kept him from playing guitar. But after a long road of recovery, he and his bandmates with the long-awaited follow-up to a grindcore essential. They’ve so far shared a couple of songs from the album, “Coronet Juniper” and “Silk Ash Cascade,” which showcase the group’s incredibly tight, relentlessly fast and progressively melodic take on grindcore has not only remained intact but keeps on moving forward. Brace yourself.

Buy: Merchbar

Irreversible Entanglements – Protect Your Light

Irreversible Entanglements this year experience a significant milestone as a jazz group: their first album to be released via Impulse! Records, the label that once was home to John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Pharoah Sanders and so many other legends. With Protect Your Light, however, the group still continues the spiritually impactful and protest-minded hybrid of jazz and poetry, bombast and immediacy, emotion and chops that came to define their work on International Anthem. And spoiler alert: We’ve already given it our endorsement.

Buy: Merchbar

Mary Lattimore – Hotel Arkada

(October 6; Ghostly)

Everything that harpist/composer Mary Lattimore releases feels like something worth savoring. There’s a graceful stillness to her work, her greatest songs carrying the quality of a moment in time rendered in slow motion. After the gorgeous Silver Ladders from 2020, which featured collaborations with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead, she returns with a set that features a longer list of collaborators, including Halstead’s bandmate Rachel Goswell, The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst, and guitarist Roy Montgomery. First single “And Then He Wrapped His Wings Around Me” features Meg Baird and Walt McClements, but more than anything, it’s Lattimore’s gorgeously otherworldly playing that defines its mesmerizing atmosphere.

Buy: Merchbar

L’Rain – I Killed Your Dog

(October 13; Mexican Summer)

L’Rain’s Fatigue was one of the best albums of 2021 in large part because it felt like an album full of surprises. Taja Cheek crafted a rich listening experience through sonic collages full of depth and rich layers to get lost in—they might have been pop songs, but not necessarily by any definition of pop that you’d recognize. With early singles “New Year’s UnResolution” and “Pet Rock,” she continues to mine that playfully sprawling and psychedelic space while pushing hooks to the front, building a shape-shifting fun house that you’re not sure you want to find your way out of. And that portends only good things for her third album.

Buy: Merchbar

Lost Girls – Selvutsletter

Lost Girls, the duo of singer/songwriter Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden, made their debut in 2021 with a set of electronic pop anthems that frequently stretched to epic lengths—which a lot of the best electronic music often does. (When something sounds that good, why would you want it to end anytime soon?) And though Hval released her own album Classic Objects last year, she and Volden return with a new set of synth-laden dancefloor productions. Yet the first two singles, “Ruins” and “With the Other Hand,” both seem to suggest a darker, post-punk driven direction—which would likewise be welcome news.

Buy: Merchbar

Mitski – This Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We

(September 15; Dead Oceans)

After releasing her outstanding 2018 album Be the Cowboy, which was our Album of the Year, Mitski announced she was stepping back from being in the public eye, but that proved only temporary with the release of last year’s Laurel Hell and sold out tour dates. Now with her upcoming album This Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, she aims for something even more ambitious and elaborate, taking inspiration from the likes of Ennio Morricone and Scott Walker—two names that definitely have our attention. Early singles such as the gorgeous “Bug Like an Angel” and the grand, gothic “Star” bear that out, revealing a whole new side of the singer/songwriter’s music.

Buy: Amazon

Oneohtrix Point Never – Again

Daniel Lopatin’s roots are in hypnotic electronic ambient music, but he’s branched out pretty far outside that sphere, having worked with the likes of The Weeknd (including being his musical director at the Super Bowl—not too shabby!). As he returns with a new set of music following 2020’s Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, Lopatin explores the interior world in peculiar ways. Again is described as a “a speculative autobiography,” and first single “A Barely Lit Path” juxtaposes gorgeous chamber strings against synth arpeggios and synthetic choral arrangements. At once intense and beautiful, it suggests only stranger and more beautiful things ahead.

Buy: Turntable Lab

Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter – Saved!

(October 20; Perpetual Flame Ministries)

Earlier this year, Kristin Hayter announced that she was officially retiring Lingua Ignota, which was something of an open-ended declaration. But while the name and perhaps the overwhelming heaviness of the music might be something she’s leaving behind, she’s continuing to make new music, just of a particularly different variety. Newly dubbed Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter, she’s adopted a sort of lo-fi pentecostal gospel persona rife with the darkness that’s been ever present in her music from the beginning, but with more of that old time religion. Saved! is her first album under the new name, and whether it leans more toward speaking in tongues or snake-handling remains to be seen—perhaps a bit of both!—but it most assuredly won’t be boring.

Buy: Bandcamp

The Serfs – Half Eaten By Dogs

(October 27; Trouble in Mind)

Part of a Cincinnati post-punk scene that also includes bands such as Corker, Crime of Passing and The Drin, The Serfs have made the move to Trouble In Mind—one of our favorite labels—to release their third album. The group’s music weaves in and out of synth-laden minimal wave, proto-industrial and dreamy, guitar-driven post-punk, though they kicked off their announcement of Half Eaten by Dogs with a genuine club banger, “Club Deuce,” which nods to early Cabaret Voltaire and late ’80s New Order.

Buy: Merchbar

Sparklehorse – Bird Machine

(September 8; Anti-)

Sparklehorse ended in 2010, coinciding with the tragic and untimely death of its primary songwriter and performer, Mark Linkous. And thus the likelihood of ever hearing any more previously unreleased music from the late artist seemed remote at best. But more than a decade later, his brother Matt and sister-in-law Lisa have helped put together one final set of Sparklehorse music, Bird Machine. Recorded with Steve Albini in sessions intended for a planned fifth Sparklehorse album, the songs include the fuzzy “Listening to the Higsons” and the stark and tender “Scull of Lucia.” Though it might be bittersweet, the arrival of Bird Machine nonetheless feels like a gift.

Buy: Amazon

Marnie Stern – The Comeback Kid

(November 3; Joyful Noise)

From 2007 to 2013, guitarist Marnie Stern released four back-to-back excellent albums of tuneful melodies and righteous shred. She’s been on a decade-long hiatus, which makes her return this year with her fifth album not only ceremonious but wholly unexpected. The first single from The Comeback Kid, “Plain Speak,” seems to pick up where she left off, bridging the gap between blazing instrumental dazzle and the immediacy of rock ‘n’ roll.

Buy: Merchbar

Sufjan Stevens – Javelin

In the past decade, Sufjan Stevens has released more classical or experimental music than actual pop records (see: Convocations, Reflections), but Javelin marks a return to crafting the gorgeously vulnerable pop melodies he’s known for. Where 2020’s The Ascension found him embracing electronics in a manner similar to 2010’s The Age of Adz, the first single from Javelin, “So You Are Tired,” is exactly the sort of intricate acoustic balladry that made albums like Michigan and Illinois both acclaimed and affecting. A pretty, heartbreaking new set of songs from Stevens is exactly what we need, just in time for fall.

Buy: Turntable Lab

Jamila Woods – Water Made Us

Jamila Woods has created some of the most richly rewarding records in the past decade with 2016’s Heavn and 2019’s Legacy! Legacy!. But where that latter album focused on the lives and visions of black and brown artists from years past, Woods describes her latest album as a more personal document. It’s an album of love, hurt, hope and heartbreak, using water as a central metaphor to connect all of its threads. Based on early singles like “Tiny Garden,” what hasn’t changed is her ability to craft warmly mesmerizing songs rife with poetic lyrics and stunning melodies.

Buy: Turntable Lab

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