Five albums to look forward to this semester

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Danny Brown will release Atrocity Exhibition on Sept. 30. The album’s first single, “When It Rain” highlights his lyrical talent.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Laura June Kirsch

Most students don’t look forward to their summer’s conclusion, dreading the school work and stress that will accompany the forthcoming semester. But for music fans, the new season is a reminder of all the year has left to offer. Here are five albums to look forward to this semester.

Splendor & Misery — clipping. 
Release Date: Sept. 9

Daveed Diggs might have become an overnight star with his role in the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” but he hasn’t forgotten his roots in the experimental hip-hop trio clipping. Joined by William Huston and Jonathan Snipes, Diggs will bring back his spastic delivery and chaotic style on Splendor & Misery. The group teased new material via their bandcamp page, but fans are going to have to wait for a full release to get their hands on new music from one of the best noise rap groups in history.

A.I.M. — M.I.A. 
Release Date: Sept. 9

The rollout of A.I.M. is plagued with yearlong label-artist debates and an unclear artistic direction — but that’s the type of situation M.I.A. thrives in. The longtime rapper and social activist’s upcoming album went through several major revisions, but A.I.M. still generates huge excitement. Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam’s sheer confidence in her ability to make bold statements with art and music creates a self-sustaining press cycle around everything she does. Not even the album’s lackluster first single, the Diplo-produced “Birds,” can derail her hype train — the song might lack the substance to make it worth revisiting, but still, fans can’t get enough.

I Had A Dream That You Were Mine — Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam 
Release Date: Sept. 23

After leaving the indie darlings of Vampire Weekend in favor of other ventures, Rostam Batmanglij released a pair of solo singles, but his first full-fledged release comes in late September with I Had A Dream That You Were Mine. Pairing with The Walkmen’s vocalist and guitarist Hamilton Leithauser, Rostam hopes to focus his songwriting chops and characteristically upbeat and entrancing production style on a new project. Their first single shows promise; “A 1000 Times” carries the same weight as most of Rotsam’s material but also incorporates pop sensibilities few can hone.

22, A Million — Bon Iver 
Release Date: Sept. 30

Bon Iver debuted their new album a week ago at frontman Justin Vernon’s own Eaux Claires Music Festival. The album received positive reactions from audience members, but the true test will come with its full release at the end of September. Since 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Vernon transitioned styles, opting for a combination of his addicting folk songwriting, electronic instruments and varied samples to create an eclectic but enticing sound. The album’s first single, “22,” brings this style straight to listener’s ears, lacking any buffer to ease the transition to Vernon’s new musings. But this has always been a key component of Bon Iver projects — the complexities in instrumentation and themes may sound abrasive, but they still manage to boil down to a cohesive thought.

Atrocity Exhibition — Danny Brown 
Release Date: Sept. 30

With his breakout in 2011 after the release of the critically acclaimed XXX, Danny Brown hit his artistic and commercial stride. However, Atrocity Exhibition appears to elevate his sound to a new level, taking inspiration from acts all across the board including the Joy Division song and J.G. Ballard novel of the same name. The album’s first single, “When It Rain,” delivers on all of the promise of Brown’s fourth release, highlighting his lyrical talent and the acute taste in production from long-time collaborator Paul White.