November is often a strange month for music. It’s not a popular release month, as records released in November are rarely established enough to feature in end of year lists (and in fact some end of year lists have already been published), and as such this list is quite short.
The Rough Trade album of the month was Elaenia by Floating Points. It’s a largely instrumental record which genre-hops a fair bit, but which in some ways reminds me of a vocal-free re-imaging of Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden crossed with something more electronic. It took a couple of listens before I got into it, but now I really like it and it might even make my end of year list.
As might the new Grimes album, which initially sounds like a pop record, but which has a darker underbelly, and contains a vast number of very interesting musical ideas. As does The Miraculous, a record I know nothing about, but which I’ve found myself listening to late at night, when I need something more soothing and less energetic.
Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear is probably one of my favourite records of the year. This month saw the limited release of an acoustic live album featuring seven songs from the album (and one from his previous record). It’s a lot more stripped down musically, but the songs shine through, and it’s interesting to hear them in this slightly different context. It might be hard to find a copy of this record, but I think Rough Trade are including a CD version as a bonus for anyone buying I Love You, Honeybear directly from them.
November also saw the release of Levitation’s “lost” album, Meanwhile Gardens which I bought the lead single for over 20 years ago. I’m not sure what the circumstances are for it being released now, but it’s well worth a listen. As is the new record by The Indelicates, which I’ve only heard twice so far and need to explore further if it’s going to end up meaning as much to me as their previous records.
I also stumbled upon the the debut record by EL VY, featuring Matt Berninger (from The National) on vocals. It sounds a little poppier and more experimental than The National, but would certainly appeal to anyone who can’t wait for their next album (next year, I’m told), and it’s obvious from the first few seconds of the first song who the singer is.
The full list for November is:
Floating Points – Elaenia
Levitation – Meanwhile Gardens
Grimes – Art Angels
EL VY – Return to the Moon
The Indelicates – Elevator Music
Father John Misty – Live at Rough Trade (not on Spotify playlist)
Anna von Hausswolff The Miraculous
Bachar Mar-Khalifé – Ya Balad