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Music preview: Upcoming albums bring something for all kinds of listeners to cozy up to

(Ashley Ko/Illustrations director)

By Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon, Graciana Paxton, Talia Sajor, Harbaksh Kaur, and Ethan Keshishian

Oct. 3, 2023 7:59 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 3 at 11:22 p.m. 

Like color-changing leaves, this season’s albums bear the touch of time.

As a cool breeze begins to accompany the Los Angeles sunshine, fall has made its presence known. Whether listeners want to embrace the chill or bask in the sunlight, upcoming releases from rap to alt-rock promise to let listeners revisit a comforting past while looking ahead to a new era.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks to fall into autumn.

[Related: TV preview: Upcoming shows promise an autumn filled with vampires, superheroes and more]

NCT 127 is written on the cover of the K-pop group&squot;s "Fact Check" album. Bearing the same name, the titular track&squot;s music video will release on Thursday alongside the album. (Courtesy of SM Entertainment)
NCT 127 is written on the cover of the K-pop group’s “Fact Check” album. Bearing the same name, the titular track’s music video will release Thursday alongside the album. (Courtesy of SM Entertainment)

“Fact Check” by NCT 127

NCT 127 is setting the record straight with its new album, “Fact Check.”

The K-pop group’s fifth full-length album releases Thursday with nine songs, including the synth beat-based title track, “Fact Check.” A teaser for the track shows the group in elegant outfits with pearls, diamonds and feathers against a futuristic background with a chrome chandelier. Chrome details are also prominent on special editions of the album cover’s lettering. NCT 127 has been mysterious about the content and style of the new album, but fans can expect NCT 127’s signature techno style and futuristic aesthetic to return.

Coinciding with the official album release, the teaser for the title track will be released Thursday. Video teasers were released in early September, showing the delicate, punchy and hip sides of NCT 127. The members donned street-style outfits, individually accompanied by a variety of music styles from rock, pop and hip-hop. More concept teasers were released Tuesday on NCT 127’s Instagram, showing a sporty look with colorful blue and orange tracksuits and streetwear. Based on the different aesthetics shown, it is clear that fans can expect a diverse album with a sonic sound for everyone.

NCT 127 is heading to the top, and its members have the facts to prove it.

– Harbaksh Kaur

Scrawled in white and red crayon, the "For All the Dogs" cover was drawn by Drake&squot;s son. The Canadian rapper&squot;s album could mark a return his past hip-hop and R&B style. (Courtesy of OVO Sound)
Scrawled in white and red crayon, the “For All the Dogs” cover was drawn by Drake’s son. The Canadian rapper’s album could mark a return his past hip-hop and R&B style. (Courtesy of OVO Sound)

“For All the Dogs” by Drake

Drake’s eighth studio album teases a return to the “old Drake.”

After being postponed from its original Sept. 22 release date, “For All the Dogs” is set to come out Thursday. To promote the rollout, Drake published a cryptic note in June, stating, “They say they miss the old Drake girl don’t tempt me.” He also released two singles, “Search & Rescue” and “Slime You Out (feat. SZA),” which bring sparse production and witty wordplay from the rapper. Although fans will have to wait and see if this album brings a return of the introspective hip-hop and R&B his early works are known for, all clues point to a more familiar-sounding Drake following the primarily house-focused sound of his last solo studio album, “Honestly, Nevermind.”

The release has also brought with it some unpredictable Drake-isms. In addition to the album, Drake published a companion poetry book described as a “stream of consciousness” that reads like a collection of pithy Drake lyrics. In August, he revealed the album’s cover art, which shows a cartoon dog drawn by his 5-year-old son. While Drake has hinted at additional features including Nicki Minaj and Bad Bunny, there may be more surprises awaiting fans.

With a promising feature roster and exciting hints, “For All the Dogs” is sure to make “Headlines.”

– Ethan Keshishian

The three boygenius bandmates stand together on the shore for the cover of "the rest." Composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, the alt-rock supergroup will release its second EP on Oct 13. (Courtesy of Interscope Records)
The three boygenius bandmates stand together on the shore for the cover of “the rest.” Composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, the alt-rock supergroup will release its second EP on Oct 13. (Courtesy of Interscope Records)

“the rest” by boygenius

For the first time since its formation in 2018, boygenius will add a new EP to its record shelf.

The alt-rock trio’s 5-year-old, self-titled debut – often referred to as “the EP” by fans – is now due for a new nickname, with the band’s discography set to expand with the release of its second EP on Oct. 13. Titled “the rest,” the fourtrack collection comes just over six months after the group dropped “the record,” boygenius’ first full-length album. Awash with a rich blue and purple-toned color scheme, the EP cover – which features members Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker standing side by side – marks an aesthetic contrast from the teals and oranges that paint “the record.”

The indie supergroup announced “the rest” on Sept. 25 at Boston’s MGM Music Hall at Fenway alongside a live debut of its first track, “Black Hole.” Beginning with affecting, raw vocals from Baker, stylistically reminiscent of her solo work, the latter half of the EP opener ramps up the pace with an instrumental break before closing with delicate harmonizing from Dacus and Bridgers. Soon after, the group released a tracklist for “the rest” with asterisks in place of letters for the remaining three tracks, prompting investigative work from listeners in hopes of predicting the remaining titles. Fans weren’t kept waiting long, however, with boygenius announcing a new title during each subsequent show of its East Coast tour; the Baker-led “Powers” was the last to be revealed Sept. 30 in Philadelphia.

And with its upcoming Halloween-themed tour closer at the Hollywood Bowl creeping up fast alongside “the rest,” it seems boygenius fans are in for more treats than tricks this October.

– Graciana Paxton

[Related: Album review: Indie supergroup boygenius’ debut album highlights members’ strengths, friendship]

Taylor Swift smiles on the cover of "1989 (Taylor&squot;s Version)." The "Eras Tour" sensation will release her fourth re-recording with five new "From the Vault" tracks on Oct. 27. (Courtesy of Republic Records)
Taylor Swift smiles on the cover of “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” The “Eras Tour” sensation will release her fourth re-recording with five new “From the Vault” tracks Oct. 27. (Courtesy of Republic Records)

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is rewriting the past and present.

On Aug. 9, the final North American night of her record-breaking tour, “The Eras Tour,” pop sensation revealed “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” as her fourth re-recording. The album will be released Oct. 27, making it the second “Taylor’s Version” to come out this year, following “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” in July. With blue skies and seagulls, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is set to have five new vault tracks, which Swift said made it her favorite re-recording to date.

To uncover the titles of these tracks, the “Style” singer challenged the internet to solve puzzles created in collaboration with Google. After crashing the site, users solved 33 million word puzzles less than a day later, unlocking the names of four vault tracks: “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” The final track “’Slut!’” were teased separately on social media.

With “New Romantics” and new beginnings, Taylor Swift is one step closer to reclaiming the fruits of her artistry.

– Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon

Gripping a subway pole, an ethereally-dressed Nicki Minaj rides through the pink clouds towards a distant city on the cover of "Pink Friday 2." The upcoming release appears to be a sequel to Minaj&squot;s debut album of a similar name. (Courtesy of Young Money Entertainment)
Gripping a subway pole, an ethereally-dressed Nicki Minaj rides through the pink clouds toward a distant city on the cover of “Pink Friday 2.” The upcoming release appears to be a sequel to Minaj’s debut album of a similar name. (Courtesy of Young Money Entertainment)

“Pink Friday 2” by Nicki Minaj

The rapping Barbie is returning to her pink-hued roots.

After five years since the release of “Queen,” Nicki Minaj is slated to release her new album “Pink Friday 2.” Seemingly the sequel to her debut album “Pink Friday,” the LP will feature previously released singles such as “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” and “Super Freaky Girl.” While “Pink Friday 2” was originally planned to premiere Oct. 20, the Grammy-nominated rapper announced on her social media platforms that the date was delayed to Nov. 17. She further teased an accompanying tour, stating “I will give tour deets closer to that time, but obviously the tour will start around the first quarter of 2024.”

She later revealed the album’s cover Sept. 4, which includes a futuristic, pink-colored image of Minaj dressed in an all-white ensemble – a rather mature callback to the original art of “Pink Friday.” Minaj’s fans, labeled “Barbz,” have not been left in the dark about any new work, including collaborations alongside breakout rapper Ice Spice. They were even gifted a new single Sept. 1 titled “Last Time I Saw You,” another track expected to appear on “Pink Friday 2” that was also recently performed live at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.

Come Nov. 17, it’ll soon be time for the “Queen of Rap” to return to her Barbie World.

– Talia Sajor

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Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Graciana Paxton | Music | fine arts editor
Paxton is the 2022-2023 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2021-2022. She is also a third-year psychobiology student from Morgan Hill, California.
Paxton is the 2022-2023 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2021-2022. She is also a third-year psychobiology student from Morgan Hill, California.
Talia Sajor | Arts editor
Sajor is the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a third-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
Sajor is the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a third-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
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