It's a bummer that summer's over, but MTV News has the cure for those blues: our biggest fall releases list. Stick with us all week as we count down the 26 most massive releases on deck over the next three months from A-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 return of rockers Kings of Leon, as well as Lady Gaga's ARTPOP, Miley Cyrus' Bangerz, as well as the latest from One Direction and Panic! at The Disco.
And don't forget to check out Monday's fall preview, featuring Ariana Grande, Avicii and 2 Chainz; Tuesday's edition, with all the news on Beyoncé, Britney, Chris Brown, Drake and Eminem; and Wednesday's rundown of albums from Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Icona Pop.
Kings Of Leon: Mechanical Bull
Release date: September 24
The word: "I think a lot of people were expecting a minivan record, you know, our wives are all soccer moms, and we're just out with the kids," KOL drummer Nathan Followill told MTV News. "But that's the great thing about people's opinions and imaginations: Half of them are going to expect it'll one way, and the other half are going to think something else. And that's when it really does feel good, when you go to bed at night knowing you made the record you wanted to make, and people love it."
Hear this: "Supersoaker" speeds along on the strutting guitars and bashing drums that used to be the Kings calling card, yet contains the same big-hearted sentiments (and soaring choruses) that turned them into arena-rock icons. As far as comeback singles go, you can't do much better than this one.
Key players: From the sound of things, all four Followills, which is a marked departure from the conflict-heavy Come Around Sundown era. As Nathan explained to MTV News: "We all started having fun again ... [we] got back in there and everybody had a creative say-so, and just started from scratch."
Facts: Mechanical Bull was recorded in the Kings' brand-new studio, which used to be an old paint factory. Oh, and the album apparently takes its name from the 1980 John Travolta flick "Urban Cowboy," which featured this memorable scene.
Lady Gaga: ARTPOP
Release date: November 11
The word: "We didn't make 15 trees; we made a forest. She's writing every single song, so they're coming from her," collaborator DJ White Shadow told MTV News about ARTPOP's largess. "It was less than a week [after Born This Way] that she had hit me ... and she literally sent me [the note] 'The next album's called ARTPOP.' She had the name and the general concept for the record a week after Born This Way came out."
Hear this: Take your pick ... the saccharine rush of first single "Applause?" The industrial-strength wallop of "Swine?" The art-school excesses of "Aura?" Remember the rumor that Gaga was thinking of releasing ARTPOP in two volumes? Given the sonic variety of the songs she's premiered so far, that idea is starting to make a lot more sense.
Facts: The album is, literally, ARTPOP taking inspiration from performance artist Marina Abramović and pop provocateur Jeff Koons.
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz
Release date: October 8
The word: "You know, there's definitely been times where I've had to fight for what I want on this record," Cyrus told MTV News. "But I think everyone now is starting to see that I had a vision, and I'm really excited about it. It's just gonna be — it's gonna be crazy. It's gonna be single after single after single."
Hear this: Shortly before her much talked-about 2013 Video Music Awards performance of "We Can't Stop," Miley dropped "Wrecking Ball," an intense ballad about a relationship gone awry.
Key players: Miley recruited some heavy star power, including producers Pharrell, Sean Garrett and Mike Will Made It. She also collaborated with a host of hip-hop artists including Big Sean, Future, Ludacris and Nelly.
Fact: Miley's wild VMA set with Robin Thicke not only inspired some impressive memes, but it had 306,000 tweets per minute, which is more than Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance.
Rumors: With just a month until Bangerz drops, there are still many unanswered questions. Miley's producers, however, have given some clues. Last month, Mike Will Made It posted a photo of himself with Miley and Nicki Minaj in the studio and Garrett revealed that the former Disney star collaborated with none other than Britney Spears.
One Direction: Midnight Memories
Release Date: November 25
The word: "[It's a] very rock direction," Liam Payne told MTV News. "We actually spent a lot of time writing this album. We're very proud of it, so we can't wait for it to come out. It's very live sounding, very rock-y... but it's very different so we are hoping people will kind of adjust to the music with us."
Hear this: Back in July, 1D released the VMA Song of the Summer winner, "Best Song Ever," which is not only the lead single off the upcoming album, but was featured in their 3-D doc, "One Direction: This is Us." Keeping with the new rock/retro vibe, the song reminded many of the Who's "Baba O'Riley" from 1971.
Key players: 1D reteamed with producer Julian Bunetta and have reportedly worked with the same songwriters behind their 2011 debut, Up All Night and Take Me Home. This time, however, the boys are key players, too, with 1D telling "Nightline" that they've written 10 of the tracks.
Fact: 1D's third album will be released around the holidays, but will not feature longtime collaborator and friend Ed Sheeran. Ed has penned three songs for the boy band, including the hit single, "Little Things." Sheeran revealed to MTV News that he was approached to contribute, but turned down the offer since he's been busy concentrating on his own upcoming album.
Rumors: Back in April, Directioners were sent into a frenzy after reports surfaced that Harry Styles was recording songs for a solo album. Rumors were quickly put to rest when a rep confirmed that Harry was working on material for the third 1D album.
Panic! at the Disco: Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!
Release date: October 8
The word: "The songs I was writing came from me seeing Vegas in a new light; I started doing things I never thought I would do, like going out to clubs, and that really struck a chord with me," frontman Brendon Urie explained to MTV News. "People go there to lose themselves in the moment, and drop their guard, and it hit me in a way. Like, 'Wow, I want to do that. I want to make music like that, that moves people, that's a party, that makes you feel good.'"
Hear this: Despite what Urie says about feeling good, Too Rare's first single "Miss Jackson" was actually inspired a decidedly dark period in his life: "When I was younger, I would mess around; I'd sleep with one girl one night, sleep with her friend the next night, and not care about how they felt, or how I made them feel," he said. "And then it happened to me and I realized 'Wow, that's what that feels like? I feel really sh---y.'"
Key players: With founding member Spencer Smith battling addiction for much of the album's recording, Too Rare is essentially a Urie solo album, as he handled much of the songwriting and studio work ... of course, super-producer Butch Walker was there to lend a hand, too.
Facts: Urie took musical inspiration from a variety of artists while making Too Rare, including Depeche Mode, Toto and, uh, A$AP Rocky. Oh, and he's apparently been doing plenty of reading, too: the album's title is taken from Hunter S. Thompson's apocalyptic ode to excess, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Check back in tomorrow, when we'll look at new releases from Pusha T, The Wanted, Pearl Jam, Rick Ross, The Weeknd and Zendaya.