Fall Album Frenzy: New Local Albums You Need to Know

To call it "crowded" would be putting the onslaught of this fall's album release schedule way too mildly. Everyone and their ex-drummer is putting out a new record this season, and that includes some of the Bay Area's funniest, smartest, and most whacked-out musicians. To help you sort through the din, we've put together this list of 12 upcoming albums from local artists that ought to be on your radar. Get those headphones warmed up, 'cause it's gonna be a loud three months.

Roach Gigz, Bugged Out
Sept. 4 on 415 Rapper Inc
Should appeal to: Underground rap heads; stoners; those with a warped sense of humor
Why it's interesting: The self-proclaimed "young, pale, skinny as hell" rapper had been beavering away on the underground mixtape circuit for a few years before striking YouTube gold with his 1 million-plus viewed "Can I Rap" video. Now it's time for his debut album proper, which ups the production levels, hoping to prove that Roach's songs can stick in the mainstream consciousness. Be prepared for the usual off-kilter punchlines ("My son's black and white — should have named him Keyboard") and production that slaps from longtime collaborator C-Loz. Phillip Mlynar

Bob Mould, Silver Age
Sept. 4 on Merge
Should appeal to: Nostalgic 50-year-olds; worshippers at the altar of '90s alt-rock
Why it's interesting: 2011 was a weird year for S.F. resident and punk royalty Bob Mould. He opened for the Foo Fighters, then sat at Walt Disney Concert Hall while Britt Daniel, Craig Finn, and more played his music in homage. Both experiences pushed the legendary rocker back to the studio for this latest work, a throwback to the noisy days of Hüsker Dü and Sugar. Especially when paired with the 20th anniversary re-release of Sugar's Copper Blue (available since July), Silver Age is a blistering intro to one of the underground's best songwriters. Nathan Mattise

Hadero and Quinn make a natural pairing — even on a Patti Smith song.
Peter Varshavsky
Hadero and Quinn make a natural pairing — even on a Patti Smith song.
Tussle: “I’ll see your bloopy synth and raise you a disco bassline.”
Naoki Onodera
Tussle: “I’ll see your bloopy synth and raise you a disco bassline.”

Sean Hayes, Before We Turn to Dust
Sept. 11, self-released
Should appeal to: Hipster dads on a mellow kick; folk-heads; closet Norah Jones fans
Why it's interesting: Longtime local voice Sean Hayes has a new album that might just be what he needs to jump to the national spotlight. His first set of songs since becoming a father, Before We Turn to Dust finds Hayes musing on the transition with a generous wit and a smoky, shy voice. Brass licks, ribbons of piano, and solid drum grooves give these plaintive tunes a dose of jazzy energy, but mostly Hayes sticks to making smart chill-back music. No wonder he's toured with Ani DiFranco and Jolie Holland. Ian S. Port

Thee Oh Sees, Putrifiers II
Sept. 11 on In the Red
Should appeal to: Card-carrying acid chemists; sweaty garage-dwellers
Why it's interesting: Thee Oh Sees never seem to have a shortage of curveballs to throw at their worshipful audience. Having careened between yelping garage-pop frenzy and more abstract psych-folk meanderings on previous albums, the group hit a fresh stride with the kraut-punk assault of last year's stunning Carrion Crawler/The Dream. Putrifiers II tempers the mayhem with fractured, fuzzy pop hooks and instrumental forays as melodic and weird as anything the band has done so far. It might be Thee Oh Sees' best record since 2009's Help. Dave Pehling

Meklit Hadero and Quinn DeVeaux, Meklit & Quinn
Sept. 18 on Porto Franco
Should appeal to: Soul devotees; jazz lovers; people who play an instrument
Why it's interesting: Meklit Hadero, S.F.'s Ethiopian-born princess of a jazz singer, teamed up with local R&B crooner Quinn DeVeaux for an album of wide-ranging, easygoing covers — some classic, some fresh. Their natural chemistry brings a smoldering quiet to the Arcade Fire, some slow-boiling funk to Stevie Wonder, and an eerie overcast to MGMT. The originals aren't bad either: DeVeaux's New Orleans-y "Saving Up" makes for a late-album highlight, underscoring the versatility and joy these two bring to bedrock Americana. I.S.P.

Sic Alps, Sic Alps
Sept. 18 on Drag City
Should appeal to: Schizophrenics; fuzzmongers; schizophrenic fuzzmongers
Why it's interesting: Wait, didn't Sic Alps just release a double LP last year? Yes: After the pervasive freakery of Napa Asylum, these S.F. rockers sped back into the studio. Staying true to their lo-fi aesthetic, the new self-titled album will provide all the vocal echo and fuzz guitar fans expect. But Sic Alps also layered a few surprises into the sound: classical strings often lead into the amplified ones, and piano playfully intertwines with the riffs. You wouldn't quite call a track like "Glyphs" orchestral, but the band looks to be branching out a bit. N.M.

Kreayshawn, Somethin' Bout Kreay
Sept. 18 on Columbia
Should appeal to: Blunt-smoking, shit-talking, Arby's-haunting tweens
Why it's interesting: Oakland's Kreayshawn sparked an Internet firestorm last year after "Gucci Gucci" blew up and the tarty white rapper landed on a major label. Was her rise a fluke? That's what we'll find out on Kreayshawn's proper debut album, which features production from Diplo and Boys Noize, and guest verses from the likes of 2Chainz and Kid Cudi. The first two singles haven't exactly been promising — the 22-year-old leaves a lot to be desired as both a lyricist and a vocalist — but they've certainly been garish. Soon we'll find out whether that's enough to stay in the game. I.S.P.

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