10 Albums You Need to Hear in November


November is the cruelest month, breeding Nickelback albums out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire for something good to listen to, stirring dull releases with autumn snow. But never fear, because we’ve negotiated the waste land of the November release schedule, avoiding Bieber Christmas records and a slew of holiday season reissues to bring you 10 new albums that you really should be listening to over the next four weeks or so. You’re more than welcome.

Florence and the Machine — Ceremonials (November 1)

While we’re not huge fans of Florence Welch or her machine, we have a feeling that this will do very well indeed. As we commented when we had a listen to the pre-release stream last week, it feels very ’80s-influenced, and also like it’s Welch’s big stab at commercial success (the above track demonstrates both points nicely). The album’s out today, so we guess the proof will be in the pudding, and all that.

Sigur Rós — INNI (November 7)

Because we are fools, we never got to see Sigur Rós live. This was an epic oversight at the time and now seems even worse considering that the band are on indefinite hiatus and Jónsi’s shows here last year (which we also missed — urghhhh) apparently had grown men weeping into their PBRs. Anyway, the point of all this is that we can now at least console ourselves with INNI, which is a double live album and DVD set that features recordings from the band’s final show at Alexandra Palace in London. It’s not quite the same as having been there, but it’s something.

Atlas Sound — Parallax (November 7)

We’ve always preferred Bradford Cox’s work as Atlas Sound to his Deerhunter material — while the latter’s appeal is largely contingent on your appetite for extended one-paced, head-punching psych jams, Parallax is pleasantly understated and, dare we say it, tropical. It’d be a lovely summer record, if it wasn’t already, y’know, snowing.

Oneohtrix Point Never — Replica (November 7)

Yesssssss for the return of Daniel Lopatin, whose atmospheric analog synth voyages sound like they should be soundtracking footage of empty space stations, or vast deserted galaxies, or something. His most recent album, Returnal, was one of our favorites of last year, and from what we’ve heard of Replica thus far, it’s a worthy follow-up. Lopatin’s also made a pretty great video for the title track, which we’ve embedded above — somehow, the slowed-down footage of old cartoons captures the feeling of his music perfectly.

David Lynch — Crazy Clown Time (November 8)

We discussed this yesterday in our streaming album roundup, so we don’t want to go over old ground here — suffice it to say that a) this is weird, b) it’s very Lynchian and c) we really quite like it.

Future of the Left — Polymers are Forever EP (November 15)

For whatever reason, while November’s pretty sparse for albums, it’s well served for EPs — Brian Eno, Crystal Stilts, Kurt Vile, The Decemberists, and Death Cab for Cutie all have short-form releases due out this month. But if there’s one that we’re really excited about, it’s this one, the return of the latest incarnation of Future of the Left. The EP is the first taste of a new album called The Plot Against Common Sense, which is due out next year. As well as the title track of the EP, which we’ve embedded above, you can hear three new demos here. And if you’re not following FOTL mastermind Andy “Falco” Falkous on Twitter and/or the band’s venerable MySpace blog, you’re really missing out.

Pterodactyl — Spills Out (November 15)

Jagjaguwar’s artist page for Pterodactyl describes them as “noise-punk mischief-makers,” which is as apt a description as any we could come up with. From what we’ve heard, though, this album is less noise-punk and more pop-punk — not in the godawful, adolescent Blink-182 sense, but in the joyous two-minute hum-while-you’re-in-the-shower sense. Incidentally, there’s no video for the above song because the band were raising cash to make it via Kickstarter. They reached their funding goal, so we guess the video will be along soon — but in the meantime, you can hear the studio version here.

Master Musicians of Bukkake — Live Totems (November 15)

Members of Sunn 0))) and Earth, an adolescently giggle-inducing band name and riffs that sound like tectonic plates shifting — what more do you want? Happily, this album also means that you can experience one of their live shows without the risk of voiding your bowels on the dance floor. Result.

Thee Oh Sees — Carrion Crawler/The Dream (November 15)

Our favorite neo-garage rockers are a pretty massively prolific bunch — they’ve been averaging at least one album a year since the early 2000s, and this is their second release of 2011, following on from Castlemania (released in May). Quite why the album’s named after a Dungeons & Dragons monster we’re not sure, but if the title track’s anything to judge by, it’ll be pretty damn epic.

Kate Bush — 50 Words for Snow (November 21)

Kate Bush albums are like buses, it seems — you wait ages for one, and then two come along in quick succession. Admittedly, The Director’s Cut, which was released in March, comprised reinterpretations of material from two of her earlier records (namely The Sensual World and The Red Shoes), but 50 Words for Snow is all brand new. It promises seven new songs (which must be long, since the album stretches to 65 minutes), which according to her website will apparently be “set against a background of falling snow.” We’re not entirely sure what that means, but we’re certainly looking forward to finding out.

Bonus list: reissue madness! It’s getting toward the holiday season, which means one thing in the music industry: epic Christmas cash-ins deluxe reissues and best-ofs! There are loads out this month; here’s a selection of the most notable.

Manic Street Preachers — National Treasures (November 1) Every single ever released — 37, in all — by this Flavorpill writer’s all-time favorite band. Now you know.

U2 — Achtung Baby (November 1) For $470, you get a “limited edition magnetic puzzle tiled box,” six discs, four DVDs, five vinyl singles, 16 “art prints,” four buttons, a sticker sheet and a book. And a pair of The Fly-style sunglasses. Ye gods. It’s a great album, but we think we’ll stick to our battered old CD copy.

Pink Floyd — Wish You Were Here (November 7) Look, we love the Floyd as much as anyone, but how many times can you reissue the same fucking record to separate baby boomers from yet more cash? So far there’s been a quadrophonic reissue of Wish You Were Here, a CD remaster, a gold-plated “super bit mapped” CD remaster, an updated 1997 remaster (17 seconds longer than the original!) and a 25th anniversary reissue. MAKE IT STOP FOR GOD’S SAKE.

Trentemøller — Reworked/Remixed (November 8) Two-disc collection bringing together the Danish space disco producer’s remix work, plus a bunch of other people’s remixes of his own tracks.

Beach Boys — The Smile Sessions (November 8) Yes, the legendary lost sessions are at last (officially) seeing the light of day, 45 years after SMiLE was originally due for release. Poor Brian. We’re glad he’s better now.

This Mortal Coil — HDCD (November 14) Now here’s a reissue worth having: a box set of the 4AD house band’s three studio albums, plus the singles collection Dust & Guitars. There’s a pretty great trailer here, too.

REM — Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 – 2011 (November 15) Shed a tear, REM fans.

Can — Tago Mago (November 15) If you don’t already own this, say five Hail Marys and then go out and buy a copy immediately. Shame on you. (And then start saving your pennies, because there’s a vinyl box set of all Can’s albums due out in 2012.)

The Who — Quadrophenia (November 15) cf. Wish You Were Here above.

The Rolling Stones — Some Girls (November 22) It’s a decent enough record, but the start of the Stones’ long slide starts about here. Now you can watch their decline in a super deluxe version, complete with photos by Helmut Newton!

Smashing Pumpkins — Gish and Siamese Dream (November 29) OK, so now we officially feel old. But if your experience of Billy Corgan is limited to Zwan and beyond, go out and get these. They’re both great.