Normally at this time of year, many Irish music fans would be airing their tents and packing their wellies for the biggest music festival of the year.
There's no Electric Picnic in September, but at least we have these five albums to look forward to...
LANA DEL REY – 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club' (September 4th)
Just a year after releasing an album that topped many year-end polls in 2019, Lana Del Rey returns with another collection. The follow-up to 'Norman Fucking Rockwell' is her eighth album and very little is actually known about it – apart from the fact that it's been produced by Jack Antonoff and there's a song called 'Tulsa Jesus Freak' on it. Luckily, we don't have too long to wait to find out.
DOVES – 'The Universal Want' (September 11th)
The Manchester trio return with their fifth album and their first since 2009, after returning from an indefinite hiatus. Doves have always been the kind of band you feel should have conquered the world; instead, there's a whiff of 'cult heroes' off them - hugely respected in indie circles and capable of selling out big venues, yet far from household names. They've all had solo projects over the past decade, so why come back together – and what's left to achieve with Doves? You can probably tell that we're very excited about this album.
ROISIN MURPHY – 'Roisin Machine' (September 25th)
Queen Roisin releases her new album, the follow-up to 2016's 'Take Her Up to Monto', next month – and the singles released from it so far, including 'Murphy's Law' and 'Incapable', have been excellent. The Wicklow native has mentioned how this record been designed to listen to from start to finish, which is a rarity in music these days. You can expect more disco synthpop brilliance.
SUFJAN STEVENS – 'The Ascension' (September 25th)
Saint Sufjan, as some of his fans like to call him, has already released an album in 2020 with his stepfather Lowell Brams – but the less said about that hot mess, the better. Hopefully 'The Ascension', the follow-up proper to 2015's excellent 'Carrie & Lowell', is more listenable – even if it is 80 minutes long. That includes the 12-minute odyssey that was recent single 'America', by the way. If nothing else, Stevens is generally a thoughtful musician and this ought to be worth a spin.
PILLOW QUEENS – 'In Waiting' (September 25th)
September 25th is clearly a busy day for releases tussling for your attention, but make sure you don't let this one sneak by you. The long-awaited debut by this brilliant Irish indie-rock band finally sees the light of day – and if previous singles 'Handsome Wife' and 'Holy Show' are anything to go by, we're in for an eclectic mix. Plus, it's definitely the only album released in 2020 with a track called 'Donaghmede' on it.