Albums to look out for this September

By in Features





Summer may be over but these heaters will keep you warm. 

Our top picks for September, including Laurel Halo, Romy, Loraine James and Yussef Dayes.

Read more: Upcoming vinyl releases 2023

Albums selected by VF’s Kelly Doherty and Becky Rogers.


everything is alive

(Dead Oceans)

Due: September 1

Shoegaze heavyweights Slowdive return with their fifth album, everything is alive, this month. Having re-emerged in 2017 with their first album in 22 years, the five-piece’s comeback achieved what most bands dream of; cementing them back on top of the shoegaze pecking order. Now six years on, everything is alive opts for progression over reinvention. Even with the initial demos from co-vocalist and guitarist Neil Halstead being more “minimal electronic”, the stunning Slowdive sound will always come through.–BR

Olivia Rodrigo



Due: September 8

Olivia Rodrigo has been full of surprises the past month with her recent UK visit, from becoming a Chelsea fan after attending her first football match to hosting her “bad idea right?” single launch at notorious Camden indie-hangout The Hawley Arms. But, the hype for her upcoming sophomore album GUTS is fully understandable, even with the two-year wait. Where “bad idea right?” leans into pop-rock grandeur, lead single “Vampire” drops its piano ballad beginnings for a power-filled backline and lyrical charm. Rodrigo and producer Dan Nigro are a formidable pair as GUTS shapes up to be an album highlight of the year.–BR


Mid Air


Due: September 8

The long-awaited debut solo album from Romy finally drops. Early singles “Enjoy Your Life” and “Loveher” see The xx frontwoman pull from the same emotional palette as her day job–hitting a sweet spot between euphoria and melancholia. Mid Air is heartening dance music; early ’00s trance synths and 4/4 patterns keep the energy up while Romy reflects on love and its associated anxieties. 2023 has been a massive year for tears in the club (see: Fred Again, Overmono) but Romy might just edge out the competition.–KD

Yussef Dayes

Black Classical Music

(Brownswood Recordings)

Due: September 8

British drummer, nu-jazz standout and VF artist, Yussef Dayes unleashes his debut solo album via Brownswood Records. Black Classical Music is a 19-track interrogative look at Dayes’ influences, background and jazz itself. As is to be expected, the list of features is extensive as Chronixx, Jamilah Barry, Tom Misch and Shabaka Hutchings, among others, make an appearance.–KD


The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We

(Dead Oceans)

Due: September 15

It may be a love album, but Mistki’s seventh studio album The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We cites influences from Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western scores to the intimacy of Arthur Russell, teasing it as her “most American album” yet. Joined by a 17-person choir, lead single “Bug Like An Angel” comes alive with their echoes offering a supportive shoulder to her delicate inner: “As I got older, I learned I’m a drinker / Sometimes a drink feels like family”.–BR

Flat Worms

Witness Marks

(Drag City)

Due: September 22

Flat Worms are once again working with Ty Segall on their fourth album Witness Marks, released through Segall’s Drag City imprint God?. Fuzzy and loud as always, Witness Marks continues the LA trio’s garage-punk tirade as they battle industrial noise riffs against post-punk bedlam. Pinned as corkscrewing “through shades of exhilarating, dizzying and ambiguous spaces in between times of crisis and complacency”, Flat Worms stay sane in a world of chaos with their trusty heavy-handed noise-rock.–BR




Due: September 22

Queen of pop Kylie serves up her sixteenth album Tension off the back of hit single “Padam Padam”. Unlike her last two releases, Disco and Golden, Tension was written without a theme in mind, resulting in a “blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic high”. Kylie isn’t afraid of reinvention, from the nu-disco funk cuts of Disco to her short-lived trip-hop indie era of Impossible Princess, and with Tension, she is set to reclaim the dancefloor with club-ready electro-pop.–BR

Laurel Halo



Due: September 22

Laurel Halo’s first solo album in five years, Atlas is the result of Halo’s research into electroacoustic sound design and piano practice. Featuring collaborations with saxophonist Bendik Giske, violinist James Underwood, cellist Lucy Railton and vocalist Coby Sey, Atlas patches together “ambient jazz collages” for a dreamy, formless offering that values exploration and observation above all else.-KD

Loraine James

Gentle Confrontation


Due: September 22

Loraine James releases her third album for Hyperdub, Gentle Confrontation. James has established herself as one of the most reliable electronic artists of the post-lockdown era, delivering two experimental powerhouses in For You And I and Reflection. This latest release sees James look to the emo and post-rock influences of her teen years to create “the record a teenage Loraine would like to have made”. James’ work has always held an undercurrent of emo introspection between its distortions and beats and Gentle Confrontation is a long-awaited melding of two worlds.–KD

Various Artists

Time Capsule: Tokyo Riddim 1976-1985

(Time Capsule)

Due: September 22

London-based vinyl reissue label Time Capsule releases another beguiling compilation this month. Following on from last year’s excellent Anime & Manga Synth Pop Soundtracks 1984​-​1990, the latest compilation zones in on the moment Japanese reggae burst into public consciousness. Capturing the interplay between city pop and reggae, Tokyo Riddim 1976-1985 is set to be another well-researched collection of songs previously unavailable outside Japan.–KD