2019’s already been a pretty big year for music—we’ve seen new releases by everybody from Lizzo to Billie Eilish to Arianna Grande to Jenny Lewis to Solange to Beyoncé’s live Homecoming. Notice a certain pattern? Well, yeah—they’re all women. For sure the XY side of the chromosome divide has put out some good albums too—think Tyler the Creator, Cage the Elephant, and The National, among others—but it’s been women who’ve rocked the year thus far, and it’s (mostly) women who will see us through to 2020 (starting with Taylor Swift’s Lover, which you may have heard a thing or two about). And while a few of them—Selena Gomez, HAIM, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna most prominent among them—have been relentlessly tight-lipped about what we might hear next from them and when we’ll hear it (though we’re particularly intrigued by the various reports that Rihanna’s new record is either going to be straight-up reggae or dancehall-inspired), we’ve heard at least some of five new albums coming out soon from five women who need you listening to them.
Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell
The title track is “kind of about this guy who is such a genius artist, but he thinks he’s the shit and he knows it, and he, like, won’t shut up talking about it,” says Del Rey. And she liked the song so much, she named the whole album after it—okay, got it. Everyone’s favorite dream-pop Hope Sandoval returns on August 30 with 14 songs—along with the titular track, titles include “Venice bitch,” “Fuck It I Love You,” and “Happiness is a Butterfly.” Looking for a taste? The album trailer includes teasers of a handful of songs.
Jenny Hval, The Practice Of Love
What to expect with the seventh album from the acclaimed Norwegian avant-pop artist versatile enough to have also published a novel, Paradise Rot—a kind of fantastical, almost surreal fiction about the queer sensual awakening of a young college student—and whose last work, Blood Bitch, was memorably and succinctly described by German Rolling Stone as “Die Norwegerin mit einem Goth-Pop-Album über Menstruation”?
Let Hval tell you: “For me, love, and the practice of love, has been deeply tied to the feeling of otherness,” she says. “Love as a theme in art has been the domain of the canonized, big artists, and I have always seen myself as a minor character, a voice that speaks of other things. But in the last few years, I have wanted to take a closer look at the practice of otherness, this fragile performance, and how it can express love, intimacy, empathy, and desire. I have wanted to ask bigger, wider, kind of idiotic questions like: What is our job as a member of the human race? Do we have to accept this job, and if we don’t, does the pressure to be normal ever stop?” That’s a lot to think about. What’s it going to be like to listen to? It’s more accessible, almost trance-like in its soothing simplicity, for starters. Listen to the first single here; wait for September 13 for the rest.
Kim Gordon, No Home Record
Whether you know Gordon from her decades of work in Sonic Youth or through her more recent collaborations with Bill Nace as Body/Head (or her even more recent solo art exhibitions in Dublin and at Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum), you likely know that the one thing she reliably does is follow her muse wherever the hell it leads her. The result is, of course: a wildly eclectic and continually surprising body of work. No Home Record—nine songs out on October 11—is no different. Every track is wildly different from the next; every track is nonetheless distinctly Gordian, from the snarling, spiky “AirBnB” to the trap-y, dubstep-y “Cookie Butter” and the incantatory, darkly sensual final track, “Get Yr Life Back Yoga.” (Have a peek at a single, “Sketch Artist,” here.) It’s all produced by Justin Raisen, who’s worked with everyone from Angel Olsen and John Cale to Charli XCX.
Angel Olsen, All Mirrors
Speaking of: Like Gordon, Angel Olsen chases her own unicorn. Debuting as something of an alt-folkie (is this even still a viable term?) with 2012’s Half Way Home and reclassified as a grunge-folkie two years later with Burn Your Fire For No Witness, she blew the doors off the labels with 2016’s Raisen-produced My Woman, which channeled everything from synth-pop to glam rock to Fleetwood Mac and Spanish guitar music—in part, she explained, to “fuck with people.” Mission accomplished. All Mirrors—out October 4—features a battery of producers and arrangers and an armada of instrumentation, along with a 14-piece orchestra. “In every way—from the making of it, to the words, to how I feel moving forward, this record is about owning up to your darkest side, finding the capacity for new love, and trusting change even when you feel like a stranger,” Olsen says. Watch the video for the title track here.
Charli XCX, Charli
What’s Charlotte Emma Aitchison—better known as Charli XCX been doing lately (in between writing and performing world-topping pop songs)? Co-writing songs with the likes of Selena Gomez, Blondie, and Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello, for one; directing a film about gender equality in the music industry, The F Word and Me, for another; assembling a four-piece “girl gang” pop group, for yet another; and—oh yeah—putting together her third studio album, Charli, out September 13. She hasn’t been shy about teasing out singles either, from “1999” (with Troy Sivan) to “Blame It On Your Love” (with Lizzo) to “Gone” (with Christine and the Queens) to “Cross You Out” (featuring Sky Ferreira).
Originally Appeared on Vogue