The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in November

Featuring The War on Drugs, Dirty Projectors, Laura Fell and more

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The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in November

Though the album release schedule will soon start to thin out as the year comes to a close, you shouldn’t sleep on the new albums out in November. This month brings a new live album from The War on Drugs, an ambitious 20-song anthology from Dirty Projectors, an impressive debut album from Laura Fell and so much more. Here are the 10 albums our staff is most excited about in November.

November 6

Adulkt Life: Book of Curses


What’s Your Rupture?

London band Adulkt Life exude an untamed urgency that’s hard to capture. This newly formed, multigenerational band (featuring Chris Rowley of riot grrrl band Huggy Bear and John Arthur of Male Bonding) are prepping the release of their debut album Book of Curses, which overflows with noise-punk of the eccentric, bombastic variety. It’s ruthlessly wired and endlessly fun, with hints of jazz and hardcore lurking beneath the surface. Their atmospheric, offbeat moments blend seamlessly with fits of barreling punk, and Rowley’s shouty, gut-punching vocals affirm that a band fronted by someone in their mid-50s can be just as wildly exciting to listen to as an outfit several decades their junior. —Lizzie Manno

More notable Nov. 6 releases: Wilco: Summerteeth (Deluxe Edition), Pylon: Pylon Box, Tiña: Positive Mental Health Music, Ólafur Arnalds: some kind of peace, Ennio Morricone: Morricone Segreto, Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Return to Greendale, Dummy: EP2, Various Artists: No Bad Words For The Coast Today: The Execution Of All Things Covers Comp, Tunng: Tunng Presents…DEAD CLUB

November 13

Told Slant: Point the Flashlight and Walk


Double Double Whammy

The third full-length from Told Slant has all the intimacy of a bedroom album—it was, indeed, written and recorded in one—but it also boasts all the grand ambition of a career highlight. In their return from a four-year layoff, Brooklyn songwriter Felix Walworth eschews the stripped-down, guitar-centered sound of previous Told Slant releases in favor of more diverse instrumentation and sweeping emotion, with added emphasis on meticulous production, unexpected arrangements and soul-baring songwriting. As evidenced by the four singles already released, including “Family Still,” “No Backpack,” “Run Around the School” and “Whirlpool,” Point the Flashlight and Walk finds Walworth examining the ties that bind us, weighing what we put on the line when we dedicate ourselves to one another and deciding, “When there’s no one you’re afraid to lose, you lose.” —Scott Russell

More notable Nov. 13 releases: Goodie Mob: Survival Kit, AC/DC: PWR/UP, Lambchop: TRIP, Marika Hackman: Covers, The Cribs: Night Network, The Bats: Foothills, Emily A. Sprague: Hill, Flower, Fog, Ana Roxanne: Because of a Flower

November 20

Badge Époque Ensemble: Self Help


Telephone Explosion Records

Badge Époque Ensemble formed around keyboardist Maximilian Turnbull (Slim Twig), and features several Toronto-based musicians known for their work with U.S. Girls and Andy Shauf. The seven-piece band released their self-titled debut album last year, followed by a three-track 12-inch titled Nature, Man & Woman in December. Both releases contained a mostly instrumental amalgamation of funk, psych and jazz, with its ebbs and flows either languorous or full of transcendent vigor. Now they’re set to release their second full-length Self Help, which includes one of their best tracks to date, “Sing a Silent Gospel,” featuring vocals from Dorothea Paas and Meg Remy of U.S. Girls. The album is positively hypnotic, even in the latter half with its more spacious moments. Their grooves are ornate, unfurling with an engrossing psych-funk spirit that’s never esoteric. —Lizzie Manno

PVA: Toner


Big Dada

London disco-punk trio PVA share more with buzzy English acts like black midi and Black Country, New Road than just a point of origin. Much like their similarly oft-tipped peers, Ella Harris, Josh Baxter and Louis Satchell have generated hype by making mercurial music that confounds simple categorization, blending elements of post-punk, electro-pop and balearic house to invigorating effect—particularly in a live setting. As recent signees to Ninja Tune’s Big Dada imprint, PVA will release their debut EP Toner; the release features their first single, 2019’s “Divine Intervention,” as well as production from Dan Carey of cult U.K. label Speedy Wunderground, and remixes by Mura Masa, Lynks and Girl Band / Daniel Fox. PVA formed at a house party, and though the sample size remains tantalizingly tiny in terms of their output, the band’s sound stays true to the intoxicating energy of their genesis. —Scott Russell

Laura Fell: Safe From Me


Balloon Machine Records

London singer/songwriter Laura Fell is readying her debut LP Safe From Me, which centers on her arresting vocal presence, drawing you closer into her vulnerable lyricism. With touches of classic pop and refined, artsy folk, Fell dazzles with effortlessly compelling songwriting and the occasional backing of strings and brass. Her songs are empathetic and despite the grand accompaniments, they sound like they’re being performed in your living room, as your daily worries begin to evaporate. Above all else, her vocal timbres take this album to the next level, granting it both whispery elegance and majestic power. —Lizzie Manno

Kacey Johansing: No Better Time


Night Bloom Records / Melodic Records

Back in 2017, we discovered the beauty of Kacey Johansing’s music and highlighted “Hold Steady,” one of the best tracks of that year (seriously, go listen). Back then, Johansing explored the emotions that transpired from departing the green hills of the Marin County Coast for her new home in Los Angeles. Now in 2020, we find Johansing in L.A., and about to release another fine collection of bucolic folk songs bearing a hint of Laurel Canyon nostalgia. Also a member of Hand Habits, Johansing is a wonderful songwriter and her voice is nothing short of a salve in dire times. Listen to the title track below. —Adrian Spinelli

Partner: Never Give Up


You’ve Changed

The sophomore effort from Canadian post-classic-rock pair Partner is characterized by the kind of resilience that’s proven essential in 2020, not to mention more than a little much-needed fun. Never Give Up, the follow-up to the duo’s Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2017 debut In Search of Lost Time, doubles down on their flair for waggish rock ‘n’ roll theatrics, bringing Lucy Niles and Josée Caron’s charming interplay to the forefront, and writing party-starting joy large with each raucous guitar solo. Partner are an easy band to root for, and a testament to just how alive and well rock continues to be. —Scott Russell

Dirty Projectors: 5EPs


Domino

Dirty Projectors managed quite the feat this year: releasing five EPs, culminating in a 20-song collection simply titled 5EPs. While each of their first four EPs featured lead vocals from a different band member, the final EP Ring Road contains vocals from all four singers, with the same gorgeous, layered harmonies that are so prominent at their live shows. Each of the remaining EPs bring something unique to the table: Windows Open is pretty and minimal, Flight Tower is bubbly and light, Super João is gentle and pacifying, and Earth Crisis is flowy and whimsical. As a collection, it’s surprisingly cohesive, tapping into string-laden pop, bright R&B and even sleepy folk. —Lizzie Manno

The War on Drugs: LIVE DRUGS


Super High Quality

LIVE DRUGS is not your typical live album. Rather than recording a board feed from a specific night at a specific venue in a specific city, this is a collection of live recordings from multiple live shows that the band feel best represents what they’ve done on stage. “Even though this recording is from a year of tours, this is really how these six guys evolved as a band from 2014 to 2019,” frontman Adam Granduciel says. In essence, even though these are all different recordings stitched and mastered into LIVE DRUGS, the album is sequenced like how a live set would feel. And damn it if anything remotely resembling a real live concert ain’t exactly what we’re all craving right now. So if we can’t be at a live show just yet, we’ll gladly take the mind trip that Granduciel and company are so graciously handing us. —Adrian Spinelli

Hypoluxo: Hypoluxo


Flexible Distribution

The third album from Brooklyn-based post-punk quartet Hypoluxo very nearly didn’t exist. The band’s former label Broken Circles “pretty much disappeared,” as frontman Samuel Cogen has explained, and Hypoluxo appeared on the verge of giving up the ghost. It was Allen Tate of San Fermin who stepped in and urged the band onward, eventually producing their follow-up to 2018’s Running on a Fence. Hypoluxo finds the four-piece scrapping their way back from the brink, polishing up their post-punk’s sharp, stylized geometry with just enough dream-pop sheen to leave no doubt about its emotional undercurrents. This is a band resisting the soul-suck of industry exploitation and reclaiming their artistic agency—who says no? —Scott Russell

More notable Nov. 20 releases: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Idiot Prayer, Liturgy: Origin of the Alimonies, Mamalarky: Mamalarky, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: K.G., Tank and the Bangas: Friend Goals, October and the Eyes: Dogs and Gods, Shygirl: Alias

November 27

Notable Nov. 27 releases: Miley Cyrus: Plastic Hearts, The Smashing Pumpkins: CYR, Tim Burgess: Ascent of the Ascended, Public Enemy: Power to the People and the Beats: Public Enemy’s Greatest Hits

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