Praise be – the festival season is almost over, which means we can all go back to enjoying music just as the gods intended: comfortably, and with a roof over our heads.
Glossing over dreary unit-shifting releases from James Blunt and Jake Bugg, the biggest news of the season is Lady Gaga’s Artpop (out 11 Nov), which, depending on your viewpoint, is either a clever inversion or a cynical steal of the famous Warholism. The album is strictly under wraps, but the recent London gig by the Monster-in-Chief suggested grinding electro and dubstep tracks with a subversive message and those crucial radio-friendly hooks.
Mazzy Star’s new LP Season of Your Day (out 24 Sept) is their first in 17 years and finds them on terrifically bruised form, while Anna Calvi’s boldly cinematic One Breath (out 7 Oct) will be music to the ears of PJ Harvey/Siouxsie Sioux fans.
Among the many promising debuts this autumn, Pure Heroine (out 28 Oct), the sweetly abrasive debut from 16-year-old Lorde, looks like a real contender.
This time of year is when the big guns roll into town and they don’t get much bigger than Jay-Z, who brings his Magna Carter tour to the UK (starting 3 Oct at Manchester Arena). While bookies’ favourite David Bowie remains tantalisingly elusive, other Mercury nominees are making the most of the publicity rush, among them Rudimental who begin their first headline tour on 8 October at Leeds Academy, and post-dubstep singer-songwriter James Blake whose tour starts on Wednesday at Glasgow ABC.
Runaways throwbacks Deap Vally will be showcasing their broiling scuzz-rock (starting 29 Oct at Sheffield Leadmill), while the similarly vowel-challenged Scottish trio Chvrches will be retooling Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan and OMD for the hipster generation (starting 10 Oct at Glasgow ABC).