It’s been another whirlwind month for new music, with highly anticipated releases from MIA, Eminem and Lady Gaga to name but a few. Here’s the tracks and albums the NME staff have been obsessing over in November…
Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘Carry Me’
Something of a reinvention for Bombay Bicycle Club. While they were never going to return caked in face-paint playing Fucked Up covers, they have done something different. They took some time out (only a little bit, mind) between albums and travelled. The result is a track with the warmth of the Bombay we love, but with a thumping Balearic undercurrent that eventually explodes like an unguarded box of fireworks. A real teaser for 2014.
Greg Cochrane, NME.COM Editor
Connan Mockasin – ‘Caramel’
November feels like the month Connan Mockasin finally popped his shock of white hair above the parapet and enjoyed the attentions of the wider world. Clearly, he’s not at One Direction levels yet, but his new album ‘Caramel’ was critically acclaimed and it became increasingly clear why artists like The Horrors and Ariel Pink have been singing the New Zealander native’s praise for years. ‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’ is the album’s stand out track, a kaleidoscopic psych-pop masterpiece that reminds me of Harry Nilsson’s ‘Without You’ – in a good way. It also comes with this fantastically creepy video…
David Renshaw, news reporter
Bryce Hackford – ‘Another Fantasy’
Between composing ambient Eno-esque symphonies and crafting brain-scrubbing techno, Bryce Hackford is the one for any Jon Hopkins fans. The New Yorker’s almost nine minute long ‘Another Fantasy’ is a fantastic epic that’ll get the dopamine pumping, twisting, building and subverting your expectations. His album ‘Fair’ is out on PRAH Recordings on December 9 and it’s dead good.
Lucy Jones, NME.com Deputy Editor
Metronomy – ‘I’m Aquarius’
While ‘The English Riviera’ never fails to sound fresher and fresher with each listen, it actually came out way back in April 2011. So even if you didn’t realise you were anticipating a forthcoming (even fresher) fourth record from Metronomy, its first single ‘I’m Aquarius’ sets that straight. “You said our love was written in the stars/But I never paid attention to my charts,” laments Joe Mount as he questions the reasons behind a failed engagement. Crisp beats and luscious keyboard chords make way for his eventual revelation: “You’re a Taurus and I’m Aquarius”. A lesson for all of us unlucky in love – always check your Zodiac compatibility first.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Vincent Vocoder Voice – ‘Vincent Vocoder Voice’
Full of gloomy horror film sounds so chilling they’d haunt even Nick Cave’s twisted psyche, this Brighton newcomer’s debut album is like stepping into the most vivid of nightmares: one where guitars clank and scrape like rusty nails on a chalkboard, vocals caterwaul like screams in an abattoir and gritted lyrics tell tales of apparitions staring up at you from beneath iced-over lakes. Think St. Vincent and Part Chimp tied up in Gasper Noe’s basement. Search him out on Bandcamp – just don’t blame us if you have to sleep with the lights on tonight.
Al Horner, writer
Gorgeous Children – ‘Ice’
New York duo Gorgeous Children’s new mixtape is as dark as bleak mid winter evenings. Denver-based producer Gila Monsta provides the sparse snare rolls and humming bass, while bandmate Face Vega, from Seattle, delivers slow, sharp raps. Together the pair create feelings of menace and unease across the eight tracks on ‘ICE’ – a little like SpaceGhostPurrp if the Raider Klan rapper replaced his sex obsession with an interest in the occult. Freaky listening on a cold night in the city.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
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Death Grips – ‘Government Plates’
There’s something about the murky, monolithic fuel powering Death Grips’ otherworldly (or, perhaps more accurately, underworldly) transmissions that renders me dumbstruck: bereft of any fancy-dan adjectives or highfaluting metaphors to describe how pulverising and gut-squishing the din they conjure is. ‘You Might Think He Loves You’ from new album Government Plates’ (given away for free with no pre-warning), is no exception: a dark, deeply unsettling and jittery track that seems like it’s going to wobble under the weight of its own sonic heaviness as the Sacramento trio spitting rhymes with the same creepy conviction as a possessed Regan McNeil.
Ben Hewitt, writer
Angel Olsen – ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’
The lead single from the Missouri-born singer and guitarist’s second album ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ is a riot of warped psych-pop, blistering distortion and charred melodies screaming “I don’t know anything/but I love you”. The album, ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ (released in February) is an impeccable mix of launguid melodies, fuzzed out feark-folk and grunge and is hands down the best thing I’ve heard this month and probably next too.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor