Hi there! While I was hiding out and taking a blogging break, I of course kept listening to all the new tunage coming our way. I have to say I’ve been right pleased with the crop of releases for 2018 (further proving my theory that the best music comes out in years ending with 2 and 8, heh). Here’s some great stuff that came out this past month.
Dead Can Dance, Dionysus, released 2 November. An unexpected yet fascinating release from a great band. It’s essentially two side-long tracks threading multiple melodies together, but it’s a fascinating listen. I’d say it’s similar to their 90s output in sound and rhythm.
The Neighbourhood, Hard to imagine the neighbourhood ever changing, released 2 November. Okay, so essentially this is their self-titled album plus tracks from the Hard, To Imagine and Ever Changing EPs (whose names finally make sense now) and resequenced into a full album, but it’s still great. I love how they’ve evolved from the radio-friendly “Sweater Weather” to murky and experimental alt-rock. A solid collection.
Steven WIlson, Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, released 2 November. A great live album from one of my favorite multi-instrumentalists. It features a good cross-section of his solo output with a few Porcupine Tree surprises in there.
K-DA (feat. Madison Beer, (G)I-DLE & Jaira Burns) “Pop/Stars” single, released 3 November. I’m totally not a gamer (this is from League of Legends) and this would not have been picked up on my radar otherwise, except that an artist I follow on Twitter commented on how freaking amazing the rendering was on this animated video. And it’s a killer track that gets stuck in my head now.
Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, Bought to Rot, released 9 November. An energetic and raucous album, she really sounds like she had a hell of a fun time recording this one. Even the ridiculously spiteful “I Hate Chicago” sounds like there’s an element of playfulness.
Imagine Dragons, Origins, released 9 November. I’ll totally cop to being a big ID fan despite their corporate rock sound — they’re just so much fun to listen to, and their ability to switch styles during the course of a single album is impressive.
The Beatles, The Beatles (The White Album) Super Deluxe Edition, released 9 November. Well of COURSE this would be on my list here! Giles Martin did a fantastic job of remixing an album that’s caused all kinds of arguments between fans, musicians and producers over the years. It sounds clear and vibrant, but more importantly it brings out the band’s innate energies and gives each track a new life. Highly recommended, even if you’re a passing Beatle fan.
P.O.D., Circles, released 16 November. I’ve always liked this band ever since the Southtown album back in the day. Great alt-metal tunes to crank up loud in the headphones. A fantastic new release from them.
Failure, In the Future Your Body Will Be the Furthest Thing from Your Mind, released 16 November. An experiment for the band, they recorded this album four songs at a time over the course of 2018 and released them as EPs via PledgeMusic before dropping the entire album upon completion. While this could have easily caused the album to become disjointed, it flows beautifully and retains its energy and power throughout.
Hooverphonic, Looking for Stars, released 16 November. One of my favorite bands sneaks out an album while I’m not looking! They may have yet another new singer but they’ve retained their lovely atmospheric style I love so much. It sounds very similar to The Magnificent Tree, come to think of it.
The Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol 1/LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun., released 16 November. With a ridiculous title like that, I really was expecting some kind of overblown navel-gazing monolith, but it’s actually a super-tight, super-fantastic, positive-sounding record that reminds me of Billy Corgan’s side project Zwan. I’m quite surprised and pleased by how fun it sounds.
Laibach, The Sound of Music, released 23 November. Our favorite Slovenian band takes its turn at covering songs from the Rodgers/Hammerstein musical and does it in their usual disturbing yet fascinating style. Only they could make the purposely childish “Do-Re-Mi” sound sinister, proggy and awesome. Bonus points for managing to intertwine the music with their attempt to play a live show in North Korea some time ago.
Art Brut, Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!, released 23 November. These lovable goofballs return after a long absence with more punk silliness and infectious party rock. A very welcome return. Hooray!
The 1975, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, released 30 November. This band has evolved in so many fantastic and unexpected ways that I’m always fascinated with what their next song will sound like. This time out they’re twitchy and poppy, alternating between technopop giddiness and Radiohead-like weirdness. I’m still not quite sure what to make of this album, but it’s definitely amazing.
Coming Soon: December releases and a Year-End Roundup!