Though it's hard to get too excited these days, a casual glance at the upcoming music release calendar signals months of good tunes.
This weird year has already given us loads of worthy albums, including the Run the Jewels' "RTJ4," Fiona Apple's "Fetch the Bolt Cutters," Jeff Rosenstock's "No Dream" and singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers' "Punisher."
The fall promises even more great releases, including the return of heavy rockers Deftones, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and a new collection from pop singer Mariah Carey. What follows is a list of highlights through mid-November.
Mastodon — "Medium Rarities." The heavy metal band celebrates its 20th anniversary with a collection of B-sides and rarities that are as fun as the stuff found on their full-lengths.
Alicia Keys — "ALICIA." R&B/soul queen Keys returns with a 15-track collection, complete with production from Swizz Beatz, The-Dream and Tierra Whack.
Big Sean — "Detroit 2." The Detroit emcee fills up 22 tracks with rhymes on this sequel to his 2012 love letter to his hometown.
Bill Callahan — "Gold Record." Before going on tour to support his 2019 album, the contemplative singer-songwriter headed back to the studio to record this sparse full-length.
Fleet Foxes — "Shore." The folk-rockers surprise-released this new album on Tuesday, and now, all the scarf-wearing hipsters have something to jam on through the winter.
Deftones — "Ohms." The latest from the hard rock quintet features a back-to-basics approach, reuniting the band with producer Terry Date.
Bob Mould — "Blue Hearts." Vulnerable punk rocker Mould releases a brash wake-up call with his fifth solo album in eight years.
Lydia Loveless — "Daughter." The alt-country singer-songwriter is back with her own record label and her best album yet.
Sylvan Esso — "Free Love." After garnering a Grammy nod for their sophomore album, the duo has a new set of electronic pop.
Tim Heidecker — "Fear of Death." The cult comedian gets serious on a set of tunes that features Weyes Blood's Natalie Mering.
Sufjan Stevens — "The Ascension." An indie rock prodigy, Stevens is set to release his eighth studio album, which includes a nearly-13-minute long finale titled "America."
Mariah Carey — "The Rarities." The pop diva will release a compilation of fan favorites, rare songs and unreleased gems.
Matt Berninger — "Serpentine Prison." The National frontman goes solo. Early singles sound a lot like … The National. *Shrugs.*
Corey Taylor — "CMFT." Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Taylor will release a collection of modern rock, including the single "Black Eyes Blue."
YG — "My life 4HUNNID." After releasing a ton of singles this year, Compton rapper YG announced in September the release of his fifth studio album.
Jónsi — "Shiver." Known for his work with Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós, Jónsi collaborated with experimental producer A.G. Cook on this new album, the singer's first in a decade.
METZ — "Atlas Vending." Canadian punk trio METZ unleashes its fourth, and best, full-length album, which includes singles "Hail Taxi" and the epic finale "A Boat to Drown In."
Future Islands — "As Long as You Are." The sixth album from the Baltimore-based trio is known for its emotional synth-pop and David Letterman-approved dance moves.
Yo La Tengo — "Sleepless Night." Hoboken's finest is set to release this new EP with five covers and a new track, "Bleeding."
Travis — "10 Songs." Britpop is back on this band's latest, which features Grandaddy's Jason Lytle and The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs.
Kevin Morby — "Sundowner." Kansas City singer-songwriter Morby will release his sixth full-length album in seven years.
Open Mike Eagle — "Anime, Trauma and Divorce." The Los Angeles-based hip-hopper and comedian returns with a new set of what he calls "art rap."
Gorillaz — "Song Machine, Season One." Artist Jamie Hewlett and musician Damon Albarn compile this year's singles, which feature Robert Smith of the Cure, Peter Hook and rapper ScHoolboy Q.
Bruce Springsteen — "Letter to You." The Boss reunites with the E Street Band for their 20th album.
Beastie Boys — "Beastie Boys Music." The legendary rap trio releases a new greatest hits collection.
Laura Viers — "My Echo." The singer-songwriter's 11th studio album features My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Matt Ward, among others.
Jeff Tweedy — "Love is the King." Wilco's lead singer/guitarist wrote this set of country-tinged tunes at the top of the lockdown.
Fuzz — "III." Black Sabbath-indebted heavy rock is always welcome when it comes from this trio.
Sam Smith — "Love Goes." The pop singer's oft-delayed third album finally sees the light of day before Halloween.
Elvis Costello — "Hey Clockface." English pop star and former punk, Costello runs wild with a new, jazzy set.
Nothing — "The Big Dismal." Fans of shoegaze will want to hear the band's fourth offering, which was recorded in the midst of the quarantine.
Kylie Minogue — "Disco." The singer behind hits like "Can't Get You Out of My Head" gets back to pop-style basics on this upcoming album.
Chris Stapleton — "Starting Over." For his fourth studio album, the country singer all the cool kids like collaborated with his wife, Morgane, and guitarist Mike Campbell, of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.