As of October 1st, we will be three-quarters of the way through 2010. And while the year has already brought more incredible albums than we can count, there are still plenty more promising releases yet to come before December, when critics will begin tabulating their best-of lists and the entire cycle will halt in preparation for 2011. In the next few months, expect some buzzy debuts (Nicki Minaj, Gold Panda, Braids), triumphant comebacks (Sufjan Stevens, Kanye West, Brian Eno, Corin Tucker), and new material from consistent favorites (Marnie Stern, Antony and the Johnsons, Rihanna). We preview all those and more — with streams, downloads, and videos — after the jump.
Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years (Kill Rock Stars)
Why: This is the debut solo album from the frontwoman of Sleater-Kinney, and though she’s spent the past few years as a full-time mom, her signature wail is still firmly intact. No one should ever need more reason than that.
Marnie Stern – s/t (Kill Rock Stars)
Why: One of the wildest guitar players in the business, and a true original, Marnie Stern fills out her sound a little more with each new release. But if this third full-length is more expansive on a sonic level, it also delves deeper into its creator’s personal life. The first track, “For Ash,” is a memorial to Stern’s former boyfriend, who killed himself last year. And yet, this serious album is not without its witty moments: Consider “Female Guitar Players Are the New Black,” the ultimate in-your-face to all those critics who keep writing that same “Whoa, it’s a lady who can shred!” article.
Antony and the Johnsons – Swanlights (Secretly Canadian)
Why: Antony Hegarty has always been pretty high-concept, but he ups the ante with Swanlights, which can be bought on its own or packaged with a beautiful, hardcover art book by the same name. Through collage, drawings, snippets of text, and his band’s operatic pop, Hegary examines nature and his place in it. There’s also a Björk duet!
Watch: “Thank You For Your Love”
Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love (Matador)
Why: This is another no-brainer. We’ve waited four years for a new album from these Scottish indie-pop standbys. And the opening track, featuring surprising, lovely, and surprisingly lovely vocals from actress Carey Mulligan, certainly bodes well.
Stream or download: “Write About Love”
Blue Water White Death – s/t (Graveface)
Why: The collaboration between Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater promises to be dark stuff — especially considering that, as Stewart told us in a recent interview, the duo created the album during a lonely week between Christmas and New Year’s, with the help of talented producer John Congleton.
Download: “Song for the Greater Jihad”