November is generally something of a slow month for album releases — record companies start to wind down in preparation for the holiday season. This year things are different, though — for the first two weeks of the month, especially, there’s a veritable deluge of worthwhile releases due out, which is good news for music lovers. As ever, we’re here to help you navigate the release schedule labyrinth with our regular monthly roundup of the albums we reckon you absolutely have to hear this month — from sci-fi ambient music and a weird concept record about the end of the world to one very exciting reissue. Let us know what’s on your shopping list this month!
Prince Rama — Top Ten Hits of the End Of The World (November 6)
Some blurbs just write themselves, so we’ll just let it be known that this new album from ever-entertaining Ramayana-lovin’ Brooklyn psychedelic sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson is a concept piece based around the idea of a fictional compilation album of bands who occupied the top 10 of the music chart in the week the world ended. Prince Rama have invented names and backstories for each of these bands, “channeling” them for the purposes of this record. So, um, yeah. Interesting listening!
Emeralds — Just to Feel Anything (November 6)
Fans of atmospheric electronic music (like, y’know, us) will be happy to know that this is an early album of the month contender — it’s a suitably sci-fi sounding collection that occupies a space somewhere between Oneohtrix Point Never and Solaris. And one of the tracks is named after adrenochrome, the fictional überdrug from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Excellent.
Clinic — Free Reign (November 13)
Also on the album of the month contention front, we’ve always liked Clinic, but shit, when did they get this good? Free Reign sounds more like Liars than anything in Clinic’s own discography, which is a pretty whacking great compliment as far as we’re concerned. It features production from Oneohtrix Point Never, which perhaps explains its synth-heavy arrangements, but it also features some of the best songs Clinic have written in years.
Brian Eno — LUX (November 13)
Regular readers may have noted that we’re unashamed Eno obsessives here, so yes, of course we’re quietly beside ourselves about this. The wildly underrated Small Craft on a Milk Sea was proof that the great man still has it in him to make some pretty fantastic music, and this album occupies similar territory to the quietest tracks off that record — people write about “soundscapes” far too much, but this really is like wandering through some quietly beautiful landscape of gentle, ambient sound. There’s nothing on YouTube, but if you’re so inclined, you can stream the whole thing right here. (Update 11/3: sadly, that stream’s down now. Curses.)
The Babies — Our House on the Hill (November 13)
Williamsburg conceptual supergroup The Babies should be kinda insufferable, but despite our best intentions, we can’t help liking them — perhaps because they include two members of Woods, who are among our favorite Brooklyn-based bands, and who lend The Babies’ retro garage stuff some measure of lightness and soul. This is the band’s second album, and from what we’ve heard thus far (including first single “Get Lost,” above), it should be worth hearing.
Crystal Castles — III (November 13)
Crystal Castles have always been an acquired taste, but at their best they’re a kinda raucous post-millennial chiptune-influenced Atari Teenage Riot, which isn’t a bad thing at all. At their worst, of course, they’re a complete shambles, so it’ll be interesting to see which version of the band turns up for this third studio album. By the sounds of first single “Plague” (above), they’ve certainly mellowed somewhat since we last heard from them. We’re not sure if this is a good thing.
El Perro del Mar — Pale Fire (November 13)
Sarah Assbring, aka El Perro del Mar, is a good friend of Jens Lekman and a fine songwriter in her own right, both of which make her A-OK as far as we’re concerned. Pale Fire is her fifth studio album, and it’s a fine example of the melodic melancholy that Sweden seems to do so very well.
Oneida — A List of the Burning Mountains (November 13)
Two tracks, one hour, and a lot of guitar freakery. We heart Oneida, and we can’t wait for this — you can preview it right here.
Massive Attack — Blue Lines (November 20)
You may have heard of this record. A remastered version is due out later this month, and honestly, if this isn’t in your record collection already, we urge you to rectify such oversights immediately. (You can also splash out on the swanky deluxe edition if you’re so inclined.) There’s more information on the release here.
The Weeknd — Trilogy (November 27)
On a similar note, you probably have the components of Abel Tesfaye’s creepy trilogy of coke-fuelled nihilism already, but if not, they’re going to be available in one single convenient package as of November 27. And there’s three new tracks, too. Result!
Also out this month:
Lindstrøm — Smalhans (November 6) Yay for spacey disco! This is much better than Six Cups of Rebel, happily. (That’s the whole record above, too.)
Teen Daze — The Inner Mansions (November 6) Ahem.
Aerosmith — Music from Another Dimension (November 6) The American Idol dimension?
50 Cent — Street King Immortal (November 13) In which Fiddy confronts the existential dilemma brought on by being a street king who has precisely nothing to do with the streets any more. Perhaps.
Green Day — ¡Dos! (November 13) The follow-up to September release ¡Uno! To be followed in December by an album called… oh go on, you’ll never guess.
Big Boi — Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (November 13) Yes, yes, but can we have another Outkast album? Please?
Soundgarden — King Animal (November 13) Frankly, it’s never gonna be as good as Scream , is it? What? Oh.
Vinyl Williams — Lemnsicate (November 13) This should be thoroughly worth hearing, actually. We look forward to a Hype Williams/Vinyl Williams collaboration one day, too.
Interpol — Turn On the Bright Lights (November 20) Deluxe edition of Interpol’s first (and best) album. What will Julian Plenti think?
Porcupine Tree — Octane Twisted (November 20) Prog metal: technical wizardry or self-indulgent piffle? Your answer to the that question will most likely determine your stance on this particular release.
Bad Brains — Into the Future (November 20) Look, we’ll be honest, we had no idea Bad Brains existed in 2012, but we loved Banned in DC in our younger days, and we’ll be interested to hear this.
Alicia Keys — Girl On Fire (November 27) True fact: Alicia Keys has a son called Egypt.