Today, the album much of the world has been breathlessly anticipating has arrived.

What? Who?

No, I’m talking about Leighton Meester‘s Heartstrings.

Sorry: Taylor Swift shade aside (whose own great record, 1989, made its way onto the Internet today — more on that for another time), former Gossip Girl starlet-turned-electro-pop princess-turned-dream-pop darling Leighton’s debut album is here, one week in advance.

The album’s lead single and namesake “Heartstrings” remains one of the better, more understated offerings of 2014 and the rest of the record follows suit.

The tenderly crafted collection, which was produced alongside Jeff Trot and a live in-studio band, is filled with dreamy surf guitar strums, shimmering melodies and breathy coos from the humbly talented Miss Meester, resulting in a cross between ’60’s French pop and a Mandy Moore-ish Wild Hope sensibility. (Really, it’s the kind of pop-meets-folk record Hilary Duff probably should have made.) It’s a nice ‘n warm, last-dying-embers-of-summer sort of relaxing sound, like the (devastatingly small) catalog of Frank + Derol, perfect for a golden sunset drive.

But beyond the music, Heartstrings also makes for a surprisingly strong artistic statement from someone whose musical output would otherwise likely be written off as a novelty. So, don’t — it’s worth much more than that.

You can now listen to the album in full, courtesy of Elle:

‘Heartstrings’ will be released on October 28. (iTunes)