As a college student in the early-2000s I would kill time between classes by heading to the local record shop and scoping the overwhelming batch of new releases. I still remember that killer autumn of ‘03 when The Strokes, Elvis Costello, Belle & Sebastian and Outkast all hit. Many of these songs are still on heavy rotation for me – it’s hard to believe that was ten years ago! The fall of 2013 has the potential to be another memorable year for music across many genres. Everyone from Jay-Z to Jimmy Eat World, Hanson to Daft Punk released new material this year and that’s not it – there is a massive list of artists slated for end-of-the-year releases.
New music is set to drop from some of the industry’s biggest names this year: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, M.I.A., Drake, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Sting, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Cher, Celine Dion, Chris Brown, Pusha T, Future, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys. Joining this group of heavyweight releases are debut studio albums from some of 2013’s most talked about up-and-comers including Lorde, Haim and Icona Pop.
Who will be on your Best of 2013 list? Let’s examine several upcoming releases by breaking down what each album sounds like and what you can expect to hear on their respective Pandora stations.
On the country music side, Aussie singer, guitarist and American Idol judge Keith Urban kicks off this fall’s releases. He collaborated with country sensations Eric Church and Miranda Lambert in addition to notable cross-genre producers for his latest album Fuse, released September 10th. Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean and Eli Young Band are already spinning on many Keith Urban stations.
Dream-pop duo Mazzy Star will return with their first album in 17 years, since Among My Swan. The long-awaited fourth studio album Seasons Of Your Day was released on September 24 via the group’s own label Rhymes Of An Hour Records. The album was written and produced by the band in California and Norway between 1997 and 2012, and features appearances by Colm Ó Cíosóig of My Bloody Valentine and the late UK folk legend Bert Jansch. On the Mazzy Star Pandora station, you’re likely to hear songs from artists like Cat Power, Fiona Apple and The Cranberries as well as contemporaries like Beach House, Dum Dum Girls and Tamaryn.
Hip-hop fans can finally look forward to an album release from Toronto rap phenomenon Drake, the first since 2011’s Take Care. Out on September 24th, Nothing Was The Same features Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Detroit rapper Detail, and production by Hudson Mohawke (who recently collaborated with Kanye West on Yeezus). Depending on what you’ve thumbed up and down you could hear everything on your Drake Pandora station from upbeat Pop and R&B (Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown) to darker Hip-Hop (DJ Khaled, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa).
Up-and-coming 16-year-old pop sensation Lorde has already made history by topping Billboard’s Alternative Chart for more than a month, the single “Royals” off her forthcoming debut album Pure Heroine is set to be released on September 30th. “Royals” is heavy on electric rock and electronica with strong female vocals; create a Lorde Pandora station and you’ll hear other powerful vocals from Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine and Lily Allen.
Scheduled for release on October 18th, Katy Perry’s fourth album Prism has been one of the most anticipated releases of the year. With its synth-heavy, mid-tempo, power pop and electronic influences, you can expect to hear a wide variety of music on your Katy Perry Pandora station from artists like Avril Lavigne, Cher Lloyd and The Script.
Summer’s end fizzles out after the blaze ignited by some of the hottest albums of the year, and now we enter fall – the beginning of the holiday season. Some of music’s biggest heavy hitters, veterans and up-and-comers have been waiting all year for this season, and Pandora will be here to provide you with the latest end-of-the-year offerings.