Arts & Events » Music

Autumn Albums

Six Richmond (and Richmond-adjacent) artists releasing new music this fall.


It’s tempting to get retrospective as summer ends — thinking back on beaches visited, tomatoes sliced at just the right time, and the aroma of cookout food sizzling from a nearby grill. But when it comes to Richmond music, there’s always something to look forward to, and that’s certainly the case this fall, given the slate of upcoming albums ranging from jazz and folk to festival-ready rock.


Landon Elliott

“Live at Poe’s Pub” release date Sept. 1

In February, Landon Elliott held a weekly Wednesday residency at Poe’s Pub, a venue the singer-songwriter holds near and dear as a result of formative open-mic performances early in his time living and performing in Richmond. For those who missed out, there’s good news: His new “Live at Poe’s Pub” EP compiles recordings from those performances, including a show-stopping take on the Kinks’ classic ode to humankind’s oneness, “Strangers,” which Elliott dedicates to “those who have stood beside me through my life’s ebb and flow.”


Illiterate Light

“Aloe” EP release date Sept. 15

Illiterate Light already has one standout 2023 release to its name, an acclaimed LP titled “Sunburned” from January. In September, the duo will release “Aloe,” a companion EP of material captured during the same sessions — tracks on which guitarist and vocalist Jeff Gorman and drummer Jake Cochran followed their artistic intuition even further afield. The first glimpse of that adventurous directionality, “Don’t Settle Down,” finds them in a fiery, galvanizing mode, directly addressing the protests over Confederate monuments in Richmond and inviting listeners to recapture that insurgent energy.


Tess Fisher

“Live at the Ward” release date in October

Vocal Rest Records has shared some of the most thrilling Richmond-based folk and country in recent years, and it will keep that streak going with the label debut of singer-songwriter Tess Fisher. The five duo performances that make up “Live at the Ward” hit like a locked-in set from an artist capable of captivating any audience with emotionally resonant vocal vignettes. Lead single “Blue State Line” brings the set to a close with a stark, two-guitar noir foundation over which Fisher’s singing soars.


Butcher Brown

“Solar Music” release date Oct. 6

Butcher Brown’s run on Concord Jazz continues this fall with its third album for the storied jazz label. The group has long been positioned at the center of Richmond’s web of collaborative relationships, and now its gravitational pull is spreading with “Solar Music” contributions from rapper Pink Siifu, saxophonist Braxton Cook, and the jazz world’s foremost practitioner of hybrid bass-guitar wizardry, Charlie Hunter, among other luminaries. Not ready to let go of summer? Throw on “This Side of Sunshine” and a sweet breeze will blow through to combat colder temperatures.


Curt Sydnor

“Air Ride Equipped” release date in late November

Fresh off the April public debut of his new symphony, “The Fall of Richmond,” Curt Sydnor is planning a late-fall drop for his new LP, “Air Ride Equipped.” These eight stylistically searching pieces pick up where 2022’s “Heaven Is Begun” left off, with world-building harmonic complexity, a fascinating mix of tradition and innovation, and sublime duet singing by Sydnor and vocalist Laura Ann Singh (Miramar). “Air Ride Equipped” arrives like a dispatch from an explorer discovering new moods and genre combinations while pursuing the mysteries of love, death, and hope at their grandest scale.


Charles Owens Trio

“Here It Is” release date Dec. 8

In one sense, the Charles Owens Trio’s new LP was made at light speed, as the title suggests — a dozen tracks captured during first and second takes on a single day at Mountainside Studio in Charlottesville. But Owens’ process is studied and circumspect, and the album’s material was workshopped live for the better part of a year, with drummer DJ Harrison and bassist Andrew Randazzo helping to find an ideal approach for each song. Owens’ knack for melody shines throughout, particularly on his cover of Thundercat’s “Heartbreaks + Setbacks.”