This November sees the grand return of two Australian groups that have helped define their respective generations: Powderfinger dug into their archives for ‘Unreleased’, their first album in over a decade that drops November 27; and OneFour, who will drop their highly anticipated EP ‘Against All Odds’, which includes the already-classic ‘My City’, a collaboration with The Kid LAROI.
And that’s not even counting new records from Kylie, AC/DC and Something For Kate. NME has handpicked some standouts from the bumper crop of albums dropping this month – take a look.
Kylie Minogue has never really gotten off the wagon since making her glorious gold-pants comeback at the turn of the century. Not even cancer, a series of tabloid breakups and a literal global pandemic have been able to stop the Loco-Motion from chugging on.
Next stop: ‘Disco’, Minogue’s 15th (!) album, which is the living, breathing definition of what it says on the tin. The mirrorball has been lowered, the bass is pumping and those gold short-shorts still fit just right. There’s nothing else to do but get yourself in the groove and celebrate Our Kylie. David James Young
Kylie Minogue’s ‘Disco’ is out via Liberator Music/BMG on November 6.
‘God I’m Such A Mess’
After a slew of buzzy singles, the Melbourne duo’s electrifying debut album cements their status as one of the more exciting, idiosyncratic acts to emerge in recent years. Across a dozen tracks, Cry Club twist abrasive distortion into memorable bubblegum punk – from the brash, bratty ‘Robert Smith’ to the shimmering synth-pop of ‘Vertigo’.
The album’s most striking feature, however, is the way it masterfully navigates the line between vulnerability and theatrics. Vocalist Heather Riley articulates heartbreak and anxiety with open-book honesty, but their dramatic delivery signals to listeners that it’s okay to express your feelings however you feel comfortable – cry, scream, make noise. Alex Gallagher
Cry Club’s ‘God I’m Such A Mess’ is out via Best and Fairest Records on November 13.
‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’
On Hachiku’s debut album, Anika Ostendorf and collaborators build on the lo-fi foundations of their earlier material, making atmospheric yet achingly visceral off-kilter pop gems. While the familiar vintage keyboards and minimalist drum machines still punctuate throughout, there’s a gritty dynamism that anchors ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’, propulsive rhythms and distorted guitars underscoring its dreamy melodies and Ostendorf’s softly sung vocals.
That sonic turn pairs perfectly with the album’s themes of loss and grief, the exasperating experience of being a young woman in the world, and displacement (Ostendorf explores the limbo of waiting to be granted permanent residency on album highlight ‘Bridging Visa B’). AG
Hachiku’s ‘‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is out via Milk! Records/Marathon Artists on November 13.
Wolf & Cub
Cast your mind, if you will, back to the dance-punk days of the early-to-mid 2000s. Indie discos were kicking off, guitar riffs were as angular as the haircuts, and Wolf & Cub – aka “the band with two drummers” – reigned supreme.
Nearly 15 years on from their debut, frontman Joel Byrne has revived the project for their first album since 2013, ‘NIL’. Only one drummer this time, but when it’s Party Dozen’s Jonathan Boulet, you don’t really need any extras. A new era awaits, and it’s exciting to speculate how the band’s rumbling psych-rock will tessellate with the present day. DJY
Wolf & Cub’s ‘NIL’ is out via Part Time Records/Remote Control on November 20.
With Brian Johnson’s hearing shot, Cliff Williams apparently retiring and Phil Rudd under house arrest in New Zealand, AC/DC’s ‘Rock Or Bust’ world tour ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The headlines completely eclipsed the album itself – a shame, given it was easily their best since 1990’s ‘The Razors Edge’.
What fate, then, awaits ‘Power Up’? It’s anyone’s guess at this stage, but with the aforementioned three back in the picture and lead single ‘Shot In The Dark’ already getting heads banging, there’s hope yet for the evergreen veterans. Air-guitars at the ready, people. DJY
AC/DC’s ‘Power Up’ is out via Columbia/Sony Australia on November 13.
It feels like a contradiction in terms to discuss an official debut from someone who’s been a prominent figure within Australian pop culture for well over a decade. Then again, Tim Minchin has never been one to do things by the book.
- READ MORE: Tim Minchin on dropping the jokes, taking on conservative clickbait and renegotiating long-term love for his first studio album
His unique approach to comedy, theatre and writing has allowed his work to expand to a global audience, crossing medium from stage musical to television and back again. And now he’s finally made a studio album, mixing his blend of witticisms, acute observational lyricism and sucker-punches to the proverbial heartstrings. The dream of Australia’s foremost rock ’n’ roll nerd is finally coming true. DJY
Tim Minchin’s ‘Apart Together’ is out via BMG Australia on November 20.
‘Breakfast For Pathetics’
From a period of change that included moving across the country and saying goodbye to her former bandmates, Tired Lion’s Sophie Hopes emerges with an album full of catharsis, urgency and truly excellent guitar tone.
On ‘Breakfast For Pathetics’ Hopes confronts mental health struggles and the search for a new home, but it’s brimming with confidence and blistering in its execution. There’s melody in the melancholy here, with Hopes’ vocals raging triumphant above a wall of sound that tastefully draws on the fuzzed-out indie rock of Archers of Loaf and Pavement with clarity and big, anthemic choruses. AG
Tired Lion’s ‘Breakfast For Pathetics’ is out via Dew Process/Universal Music on November 20.
Something For Kate
‘The Modern Medieval’
After eight years in absentia, Something for Kate didn’t pick the best of times to make their triumphant return. In fact, lead single ‘Situation Room’ arrived just as Australia entered lockdown.
Still, to borrow a phrase from the band’s back catalogue, the promise of ‘The Modern Medieval’ has been a light at the end of this tunnel for many listeners. This was certainly bolstered by the fact that the four singles released in its lead-up have been some of the best of the trio’s career. Expect more emotive, widescreen indie-rock to follow – as it has for over 25 years. DJY
Something For Kate’s ‘The Modern Medieval’ is out via EMI Music Australia on November 20.
Just months after the release of his impressive debut mixtape ‘Just Kids’, the hyped Wollongong-based artist Stevan returns with an eclectic collection of intimate, woozy cuts that capture not only his obvious creative flair but his rapid development as an artist.
From the pulsating, bass-heavy R&B of ‘More Than Them’ to the vulnerably sparse balladry of ‘OVA’, the latest from Stevan sees the self-taught songwriter and multi-instrumentalist flex while stepping comfortably into his vision – heralding the prodigious bedroom producer’s imminent transition from local luminary to fully-fledged star. AG
Stevan’s ‘Ontogeny’ is out via Astral People Recordings on November 20.
‘Music Is The Medicine’
The astoundingly prolific, guitar-wielding singer, rapper and producer continues to pay no deference to genre on this impressive, sprawling project. While he’s far from the first in recent years to coalesce rock, punk and emo influences with trap beats and a hazy, crooning rap style, BLESSED’s latest proves he’s one of the more unique artists carving out a space in that particular lane.
Individuality is a consistent theme throughout this introspective 13-track collection, with meditations on identity and believing in your own path featuring heavily on cuts like ‘True To Me’ and ‘Follow Your Heart’. AG
BLESSED’s ‘Music Is The Medicine’ is out via GODSPEED/404HUMAN on November 20.