pooky Season has (sadly) come and gone, but there are some upsides to November drop-kicking us into the home stretch of 2022: discounted Halloween candy, cities lit up in Christmas lights, and last-minute record drops from some of Australia’s best musicians.
Starting the month will be riveting returns from Carla dal Forno and Laura Jean, before next week brings the debut Delivery album, the first mixtape from Ninajirachi and the aptly titled record from Gordon Koang, ‘Community’. The second half of November, too, brings some enormous releases: the last NO ZU release to feature the late, great Daphne Camf, and the long-awaited return of Bluejuice – not to mention a punchy new record from These New South Whales and a heart-melting packet of pop from Eves Karydas.
Of course, these are just some of the records we’ll be thrashing in November – among the other names swinging us fresh tunes are Slowly Slowly, Winston Surfshirt, Crocodylus and Felix Riebl. Who are you keeping an ear out for?
[Editor’s note: this list initially included Arno Faraji’s ‘Return to Raji’ mixtape, which has since had its release pushed back.]
Carla dal Forno
Building on the dreamlike, mood-driven worlds built on 2019’s ‘Look Up Sharp’, the songs on Carla dal Forno’s latest unfurl without hurry around their driving, punctuated bass lines. Once again, dal Forno expertly utilises space as its own instrument, intricately weaving layers of guitar, ambience and her striking, silken vocals to pull apart pop cues and reassemble them into these hypnotic gems. Alex Gallagher
Carla dal Forno’s ‘Come Around’ is out November 4 via Kallista Records.
Laura Jean’s sixth album is rooted in contradiction – it was written to protest the term “amateur” being read as “a dirty word, shorthand for a failure”, but saw the Warrang-based songwriter “fuelled by a desire to create something inordinately luxurious and beautiful”.
The end product sits comfortably between lowkey and lavish, tying homely and heartfelt reveries to soaring vocal harmonies, shimmering synths and rhapsodic strings. Amateur, this career-peaking opus is not. Ellie Robinson
Laura Jean’s ‘Amateurs’ is out November 4 via Chapter Music.
‘Forever Giving Handshakes’
The Melbourne post-punk quintet’s debut album – following a pair of very promising seven-inch releases in 2021 – brims with a wiry, frenetic energy and keen indulgence of off-kilter sensibilities, giving a rougher, weirder edge to the catchy power-pop foundations underneath.
With shared vocals and a musical chemistry that feels tightly locked-in despite their relatively new formation, ‘Forever Giving Handshakes’ cements Delivery as one of the more interesting punk acts to bubble up in the past couple of years. AG
Delivery’s ‘Forever Giving Handshakes’ is out November 11 via Spoilsport Records / Anti Fade Records.
South Sudan’s King of Music follows up 2020’s ‘Unity’ with a record even more sonically vibrant and infectiously joyous, joined by a cast of collaborators whose shared resume includes ORB, Traffik Island, Leah Senior‘s band and more.
The production on ‘Community’ allows Koang’s compositions – a unique whirl of buoyant pop melodies, groove-guided kinetic energy and undeniably charismatic presence – to truly soar. AG
Gordon Koang’s ‘Community’ is out November 11 via Music In Exile.
For her first offering on NLV Records – the label headed up by Nina Las Vegas – the Central Coast beatmaker heads into some bold new territory. While her songs are still wonky, drenched in colour and tastefully abrasive, they’re more sharply focussed on ‘Second Nature’.
- READ MORE: Ninajirachi and Kota Banks on uniting for ‘True North’: “There was no creative or artistic compromise”
Ninajirachi channels KOAN Sound with glimmers of beaten-up ambience on ‘Start Small’ and the Kota Banks-assisted ‘Crush Me’, while the shimmery ‘Petroleum’ gives off a hint of Flume. As a whole, though, this tape is undeniably Nina Wilson’s, anchored by her idiosyncratic industrialism, blazing energy and toothache-inducing sweetness. ER
Ninajirachi’s ‘Second Nature’ is out November 11 via NLV Records.
The Melbourne body music collective return with their first EP of original music since 2016. Titled after their own self-styled genre, it’s a testament to what a wildly singular band they are: grooving, layered, full of left turns, and utterly, thrillingly physical.
Sadly, it’s also their first since the passing of vocalist Daphne Camf last year. Featuring her final recordings with the group, ‘Heat Beat’ also serves as a reminder – and celebration – of what a tremendous force she was. AG
NO ZU’s ‘Heat Beat’ is out November 18 via Chapter Music.
These New South Whales
It’s appropriate that These New South Whales‘ third studio album is so plainly titled. For a band whose creative exploits have sprawled in so many directions, ‘TNSW’ sees the band at their most zeroed in and cohesive: sonically adventurous while stripping back unnecessary distractions.
Cumulatively, these bristling, tightly-wound post-punk fizzers feel like the group’s crowning achievement – the marriage of raw expression and sharp focus the band have been striving for since day dot. AG
These New South Whales’ ‘TNSW’ is out November 18 via Damaged Records.
Eight years after prematurely bidding us adieu, Bluejuice are back… Well, kind of. The dork-pop debonairs have dusted off a sextet of demos from their “drain-encircling period” (the early 2014 sessions that birthed send-off single ‘I’ll Go Crazy’), dishing them up as a casual love letter to fans – and hopefully signalling some new-new music in the not-too-distant future. ER
Bluejuice’s ‘Jelly’ is out November 25 via Dew Process / Universal Music Australia.
The art of the love song is one as old as music itself, and no theme is more clichéd in modern pop. What makes ‘Wide Eyed’ stand out is how much of Karydas’ own colour is poured into its palette: distorted guitar tastefully muddies the harmonic shimmer of ‘Be With You’, while slinking strings make the otherwise ‘Last Night When We Were Young’ feel truly opulent.
Eves Karydas’ ‘Wide Eyed’ is out November 25 via Dew Process / Universal Music Australia.