Welcome to the first (of several) Epitonic fall release preview playlists! There are an overwhelming number of good albums being released over the next two months, and we're generously giving ourselves the opportunity to talk about a few of our upcoming favorites. Also -- because we don't want to leave you hanging -- we've also included a playlist of MP3s from these albums. Check back in the coming weeks for more discussion and downloads.

Today, September 13, is a veritable harvest of amazing albums -- here are five of our favorites:

Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost (September 13 via True Panther Sounds): In some ways, FSHG is more accessible than Girls' much lauded self-titled debut. For a man with such a tumultuous backstory (son of cult leaders, child runaway, etc.), frontman Christopher Owens has evened out a little bit. Like Girls, these songs alternate between long-form freakouts and tight pop songs, both of which the duo is equally good at crafting. There may not be any song as immediately arresting as "Lust for Life" on this one, but it's a solid album nonetheless. "Honey Bunny" could make both Big Star and (oddly enough) Queen green with envy, and "Vomit" is a sprawling (aptly) and gorgeous (not as aptly) mess. --Susannah Young

St. Vincent Strange Mercy (September 13 via 4AD): When it comes to writing about conventionally attractive female artists,  apply a weird reductive polarization to female indie artists, where you're either discussed like a bird be-tatted, leggings-clad chanteuse ("crystalline," "delicate," "sweet" etc.) or a snide, tough-talk Clark stomps all over that line with a fury, trouncing demure phrasing with quick whips of her guitar (see: "Dilettante"). The thickly-tracked backing vocals and ample fuzzy feedback is still around in full force, but on her third album Strange Mercy, Clark shows better command of her gifts -- seeming less like a dilettante in her own right and more like an artist expressing a fully fleshed-out vision. --Susannah Young

Wooden Shjips West (September 13 via Thrill Jockey): Let's get the spelling joke out the way first. That's not how you spell ships. I looked it up. All jokes aside, if you like lumbering surf pop and throwback psychedelia then this is album is right up your canal. There's enough sludged-up rhythms and distorted guitar in West's seven tracks to sink Old Ironsides. And while we're overdoing the naval metaphors let me just say that I think this album is really good. It captures what I think a paradoxical mashup of '70s San Francisco psych and '80s New York punk might sound like. --Brian McKinney

Ladytron Gravity the Seducer (September 13 via Nettwerk Records): If the title is any indication, Ladytron's new album has a lot of pull -- although gravity certainly isn't the only force at play. Gravity the Seducer is a full-fledged force field with lyrics and vocals reminiscent of the Sirens' seductive calls. This is especially true on "White Elephant", with lyrics that call "surrender with me, because we are walking in our sleep." Ladytron's new LP unquestionably departs from their previous industrial/ electropop M.O.; their reinvention places a greater focus on ethereal beauty and lullaby vocals. But one aspect remains unchanged: Ladytron continues to entrance listeners with sounds that carry beyond the proverbial edge of the planet. --Holley McConnell

Mick Barr Coiled Malescence (September 13 via Safety Meeting): The track "Vohvar" is merely a taste of the blistering 40-minute epic guitar symphony that is Mick Barr's Coiled Malescence. This isn't the record you put on during parties as background music -- far from it. Lightning quick and uber-dynamic, the record showcases the technical precision and stamina that has earned him respect throughout his years in the experimental metal scene. Though certainly not for the casual listener, it is impossible to deny Mick Barr's considerable talent. --Bob Hopkinson