“Hot Girl Summer” may officially be behind us, but that doesn’t mean pop music is going into hibernation. In fact, as the nights get cooler, the songs may actually be getting hotter. This season offers new releases from a slew of heavy hitters—the naughty girls, the weird girls, the sad girls, the angsty girls, plus some good old-fashioned Freddie to remind us what an honest-to-God legend sounds like. Here, the 11 albums we’re most excited about.
Charli XCX – Charli
Is Charli XCX the future of pop? If so, the future is here, it’s queer, and it’s a trip. For her genre-smashing third album, the British breakout has enlisted a fierce militia of au courant collaborators: Lizzo, Troye Sivan, Christine and the Queens, Big Freedia, Kim Petras, Haim, and basically everyone else who’s pushing music into the next frontier. September 13.
Tove Lo – Sunshine Kitty
Pop’s reigning potty mouth returns with her fourth full-length, the title of which is “a play on pussy power.” The feline in question (a cartoon character pictured on the album’s cover) represents the Swedish singer’s brazen but decidedly messy persona, so expect another set of boozy, wayward bops tailor-made for the club, including “Really Don’t Like U,” her catty duet with Kylie Minogue about feeling jealous on the dance floor. September 20.
Tegan and Sara – Hey, I’m Just Like You
It’s a T&S double feature this fall, as our favorite twin sisters release High School, their memoir about growing up and coming to terms with their sexuality in a humble Canadian suburb, and their ninth album, which draws from cassette recordings of material they wrote between the ages of 15 and 17. Though they’ve tweaked some lyrics and beefed up the production of the songs for Hey, I’m Just Like You, their punk-rock roots remain firmly intact. September 27.
Young M.A – Herstory in the Making
Young M.A has doled out a steady trickle of solid singles over the past few years, but the queer MC is finally unleashing her debut album, a collection of what she calls “cocky joints” and “”slick talk joints” as well as some of her most personal work to date. That’s no front: The record lands on the 10th anniversary of her brother’s death. September 27.
Mika – My Name Is Michael Holbrook
The title of the queer singer’s first full-length in four years is a nod to his origins. But if the record mines his difficult childhood in Lebanon, his father’s own upbringing in Savannah, and his relationship with this nurturing mother (who for years designed his wardrobe while he was on the road), it also comes stocked with an arsenal of sugary trop-pop tracks like lead single “Ice Cream” and the impossibly breezy, Wham!-indebted “Sanremo.” October 4.
Freddie Mercury – Never Boring
The first-ever comprehensive box set of the late Queen singer’s solo output contains 32 songs, a Blu-ray and DVD with 13 videos and interviews, and a 120-page book boasting never-before-seen photos of the icon. Come for the disco gems “Love Kills” and “Living on My Own”; stay for the cabaret deep cut “Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow” (which recently got the animated-video treatment). October 11.
FKA twigs – Magdalene
In the five long years since her game-changing debut, LP1, the experimental English chanteuse dated (and split from) Robert Pattinson, had surgery to remove tumors from her uterus, and learned to pole-dance. Girl clearly has some stories to tell. October 25.
King Princess – Cheap Queen
Twenty-year-old Mikaela Straus (the first signee to Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records) deconstructs queerness, femininity, and heartbreak on her spry, polished debut, which sparkles with gems like the title track—a tribute to friendship, the hustle, and making “something out of nothing.” October 25.
TR/ST – The Destroyer (Part 2)
Robert Alfons follows April’s The Destroyer (Part 1) with its sequel, which the Canadian darkwave singer-producer has described as more intimate and pop-inflected than its industrial-inspired predecessor. Propelled by glistening synths and hypnotic beats, it’s the moodiest, gothiest queer offering of the season—in other words, the perfect soundtrack for your Halloween hangover. November 1.
Mary Lambert – Grief CreatureMary Lambert
The queer songwriter and Macklemore collaborator is back with her sophomore effort, a mostly self-produced record chronicling a five-year rough patch that entailed a breakup, a house fire, and a major bipolar episode. Macklemore cameos on the lead single “House of Mirrors.” November 15.
Grimes – Miss_Anthrop0cene
Eccentric avant-pop star Claire Boucher describes her long-awaited fifth outing as “a concept album about the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change: a psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world.” Who knows if we’ll hear it before the oceans boil, but consider us sold. Release date TBD.
Main image: King Princess.