Summer may be over, but MTV News has the cure for any blues you may have: our list of the biggest fall releases. Stick with us all week as we count down the 26 most massive albums on deck over the next three months from A to Z. From Ariana Grande and Beyoncé to Lady Gaga, One Direction, Rick Ross and Zendaya, we’ve got everything you need to know on the music you’ll need to own.
Today’s list kicks off with the new release from Future, as well as the highly anticipated second part of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience project, the debut full lengths from Icona Pop and HAIM and Katy Perry’s Prism.
Release date: November 26
“Honest is the new me. It represents the truth I try to bring to my music,” Future told Rap-Up TV in August. “I plan to break the mold with this album so that it will be nothing like you’ve heard from me or any other artist out. You can either tell the truth or face the Future.”
Key players: There is no confirmed track list yet, but Future has had recent studio sessions with Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, and he’s also lent his voice to tracks for Lil Wayne, Birdman, Ace Hood and Tyga, so it’s a safe bet that a few of his friends will return the favor.
Facts: Pluto didn’t sell a lot when it was released in 2012, but the chart-topping platinum and gold singles it produced certified Future as a force in hip-hop. We expect that Honest will take him to another level.
Haim: Days Are Gone
Release date: September 30
The word: “We’re not an overnight sensation,” multi-instrumentalist Alana Haim told MTV News , dismissing the media’s take on this sister act’s seemingly rapid rise. “I’ve been working since I was five … We’ve been playing together forever. It’s great to get recognition finally. We’ve been working really hard for it.”
Hear this: “The Wire,” the first proper single off Days, doesn’t make any attempt to hide its retro influences — Fleetwood Mac’s studio flourishes, the Pretenders’ strutting guitars, T. Rex’s bounding drums, etc. — but there’s a decidedly modern twist to it, too, courtesy of Haim’s obsession with ’90s R&B . It’s not supposed to work, but for whatever reason, it does… and rather remarkably so. One listen and you’ll understand that the hype is justified. Hey, Jay Z can’t be wrong.
Key players: Days Are Gone features production from Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City) and Ludwig Goransson (Childish Gambino’s Camp), and the Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone makes a crybaby cameo in the video for “The Wire.”
Facts: Haim have opened for everyone from Mumford & Sons to Rihanna, whom they showered in pink champagne.
“We kept it classy,” bassist Este Haim joked.
Icona Pop: This is … Icona Pop
Release date: September 24
The word: “It feels like we got a lot of good music coming up,” singer Aino Jawo told MTV News about how the pair’s debut would follow up on the smash hit “I Love It.” “Of course it’s pressure, but I’m more inspired I think, and now we can show people what we have to offer,” added bandmate Caroline Hjelt.
Hear this: They weren’t kidding. The Jay Z and Beyonce-sampling second offering from the album, “Girlfriend,” proved that they have plenty more pop tricks up their sleeves.
Key players: In addition to Charlie XCX on “I Love It,” the album will also feature New York rappers Zebra Katz on “My Party.”
Facts: After selling more than two million singles with “Love It,” This Is will also introduce fans to the previously unheard tracks “In the Stars,” “On a Roll,” “Just Another Night,” “Hold On,” “Light Me Up” and “Then We Kiss.”
Release Date: September 30
The Word: “Here’s the thing that you have to understand about all of it, is it was all written at the same time,” Timberlake told MTV News’ Sway Calloway about the two albums he recorded last year. “How it’s being released … we kinda thought this was a cool way to do it. I went through a bunch of different ideas on how to release it. One being four EP’s of five songs.”
Hear This: So far, the only hint of the sequel we’ve gotten is the disco-fied first single, “Take Back the Night.”
Key Players: JT stuck with his core team for both albums, meaning longtime producer Timbaland is on board, in addition to co-producer Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon. The singer recently revealed that Jigga is on the tune “Murder” and that Drake will have a feature on the track “Cabaret.”
Fact: “Murder” was actually recorded before the song that helped kick off Timberlake’s comeback, “Suit & Tie.” JT compared the sequel to 2006′s FutureSex/LoveSounds,” saying it’s “darker” and more “dangerous.”
Katy Perry: Prism
Release Date: October 22
The Word: “The reason why I called this record Prism is because I actually finally let the light in, and then I was able to create all these songs that were inspired by letting the light in and doing some self-reflection and just kind of working on myself,” Perry told MTV News . “I felt very prismatic because of that I feel like now I get to show these songs off and share these songs with the listeners and it’s almost like I get to beam the colors that I’ve experienced out from me.”
Hear This: Katy gave fans a sneak peek at two of the tracks, “Walking on Air,” and “Dark Horse,” but she set the tone with a knockout performance of her first single “Roar,” to close the .
Key Players: Perry teamed up with many of the producers and songwriters from Teenage Dream, including Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Greg Wells and Bonnie McKee, while also bringing some new faces into the mix, including Emeli Sande, Sia and rapper Juicy J, who will be featured on “Dark Horse.”
— Katy Perry (@katyperry) August 26, 2013
Fact: Katy recorded half the album in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California and in Stockholm, Sweden, before announcing the release date on the side of a giant gold truck.
Rumors: Last year Katy revealed that the album would be “much darker” than her previous efforts, but it seems over that time she has had a change of heart, telling MTV News that, “I think I was saying that when I saw going through a different phase, but I really let that light in.”
Check back in tomorrow, when we’ll look at new releases from Lady Gaga, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Kings of Leon and Panic! at the Disco.