Photo by Flickr user Justin Lynham (Creative commons).
NOVEMBER is usually the last month of the year when it comes to interesting music releases. Most bands and labels avoid December for new releases. This November has been pretty quiet too, in fact. There have been some wonderful singles, EPs and albums, but fewer highlights than usual. I did manage to find some gems, though.
Here are my favourite releases from NOVEMBER.
The list is in no particular order, but the ones I loved the most are marked with a red ||.
SINGLES I LOVED THIS MONTH
So many good singles and so difficult to choose only 5! But, yeah, here are my five favourite singles this month:
Line & Circle – “Vicious folly” There is a The Smiths/Northern Portrait/80s vibe here, but definitely a lot of originality and uniqueness in both sound and song. Everything works on this single, and it is insanely catchy. One of my favourites this year, maybe? (Spotify).
Seafang – “Happy when it snows” I rarely add Christmas songs to this list, but wow, this is so good that I couldn’t resist it, and it definitely deserves a place here, – any time of the year. Lovely, catchy indiepop with amazing vocals. It’s more than the title that reminds of The Jesus and Mary Chain here, but I would also like to add another sound-reference, The House of Love (especially the guitars remind me of the HoL sound on “Christine”). Seafang is a band you should keep your eyes and ears on. (Spotify)
Old Amica – “Juli, Göteborg” I am probably Old Amica’s biggest fan in Norway, but I hope there will be many of us, all over the world. This is such a wonderful band, and they deliver amazing songs every time they release something. The new single is one of those great songs, and maybe even one of their best. Their music and lyrics creates small movies in my head, and I love to let myself drift away in daydreams while listening. The new song is a lovely, melancholic, folky track with lots of warmth and beauty. (Spotify)
Dear Nora – “Where the morning glories grow” Many of you may know and love the indie-folk/anti-folk project Dear Nora already, and you may love them even more after this. The new single is a cover of a very old traditional song, and it’s a part of Marmoset records’ upcoming compilation of new covers of old public domain songs. Dear Nora’s version if full of nostalgia and I almost get a tear in my eye when I listen to it. It is so good! (Spotify)
Average Sex – “Ice cream” A fuzzy, upbeat indiepop track that makes me long for summer. The chorus is so so good! This track will keep me warm through the winter. (Spotify)
You will find even more of my other favourite singles in the Spotify list.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
Gingerlys – Gingerlys || THIS! This is so good! Brilliant dreampop/indiepop with gorgeous vocals and melodies, and the sound of the band is perfect. I love it! (Spotify)
Onsind – We wilt, we bloom || Punky, melodic powerpop from Durham band Onsind. There are some great songs here, and it’s one of those “I want to jump around and sing loudly”-albums. By the way, several of Onsind’s members are also in the band Martha, which I think many of my readers love. (Spotify)
Baths – Romaplasm || I am a huge fan of Baths, and have been since he released his first album, around 2010 I think. His warm electronic pop, his lovely vocals and at times weird lyrics are unique, and it seems like he has no boundaries to what he can do. This album is wonderful, and so are the others. (Spotify)
Spirit Fest – Spirit Fest || This collaboration between members of the German band The Notwist and the Japanese Tenniscoats is a dream team for me. I love the music of both bands. Together, they have created an album with otherworldly beautiful music. You just have to hear this! Out on Morr Music, a label I love as well. (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
EERA – Reflection of youth || A dark, dreamy, eerie, intense and beautiful pop album from a very interesting artist. The sound is pretty unique, but if it should be compared to anything, I guess artists like Cocteau Twins, Stina Nordenstam, PJ Harvey, Weyes Blood and Kate Bush combined with the power and the interesting composing techniques of Deerhoof? Maybe? (Spotify)
Marc Elston – I’ll build a better castle || Marc Elston is a melodymaker of the finest kind, and an active one nowadays, thankfully. 2 good albums in 2 years. He makes his thoughtful, melodic indiepop at his home in Nottingham, but this is definitely not a “bedroom-album”. Rich sound and very addictive melodies, once again. (Bandcamp)
The Yellow Melodies – Life || A classic, catchy indiepop album from one of Spain’s most interesting indiepop bands, The Yellow Melodies. This is the band’s eight album, with 9 really good songs. The phyical version can be bought from the very fine label The Beautiful Music, and it is also on the band’s Bandcamp and on Spotify. (Spotify)
The Zephyr Bones – Secret place || Lush indie with a touch of psychedelia. I think you will like this. (Spotify)
(more releases after the video)
Sumie – Lost in light || Everything on Swedish-Japanese artist Sandra Sumie Nagano’s album is so right for me now, – it’s beautiful, calming and very interesting. One of my favourite albums right now. If you like the music of artists like Sharon Van Etten, Aldous Harding, Nadia Reid, Tiny Ruins etc, this is for you. Lovely! Fun fact: She is the sister of the singer in Little Dragon, who make quite different music. (Spotify)
Brad San Martin – Shoot tomorrow/Learn tonight || Like on his debut solo album and his releases with the band One Happy Island, this album is full of interesting indiepop/chamber-pop/soft-pop gems. I loved his debut, but this may be his best so far. I am a fan. (Spotify)
Kindling – Hush || Powerful, loud and noisy shoegaze with beautiful, dreamy vocals. If you can imagine a version of Lush or Slowdive with quite a bit of fuzzy power added, you may get close to Kindling’s sound. A very fine album. (Spotify)
4th Curtis – I won the pageant || Energetic, catchy, heartfelt guitarpop with a vocalist who gives everything in her performance, and it is a delight to listen to. (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
Svankropp – Gabriel || I have written about the Swedish-Norwegian quartet Svankropp a couple of times earlier in this series. Their new album feels lighter and more uplifting in sound than their debut, – more accessible, maybe -, but still very dramatic, dark-ish and unique. Dreamy and unique shoegaze/psychpop/artpop flavoured indie. (Spotify)
Desario – III || Lovely, warm, melancholic indie pop/rock with a sound that may remind of The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen and other melodic alternative bands from the 80s and 90s. Lovely vocals and melodies! (Spotify)
Sharon Van Etten – (It was) Because I was in love || The first SVE album “Because I was in love” is reissued in a deluxe version, with two extra tracks. It is still my favourite album of hers. Give it a new chance! (Spotify)
Girlatones – Fitting in well || I fell in love with this band after hearing their brilliant single “You’re My Friend”, which sent my thoughts to the classic popsongs of the 60s. There are more of that on their debut album. The Melbourne band’s music is a little bit jangly, a little bit garage, a little bit surf and 60s and a lot of GOOD! (Spotify)
Ok. One more. And don’t be too excited, please.
Morrissey – Low in high school || Why is this here? It is definitely not worth a place in the Best of-list, and I only add it as a warning. I know some of you may be tempted to listen to this one, and to save you from the pain, I have listened for you. The only reason why you should listen to this, is if you are attending anger management therapy and need to check on your progress. Morrissey is still a horrible person, and the album is not good. Well, some of the songs could have been good with another singer and other lyrics. (No, I won’t give you a Spotify-link for this one. Please don’t listen.)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
UV-TV – Go away || 4 short and fast fuzzy indiepop songs, – the longest is 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Their music reminds me of the early, rougher releases from The Primitives, the most “punky” songs from The Shop Assistants or Talulah Gosh. They have in fact a cover of one of my favourite Primitives songs on the EP, “Really Stupid”. I really like the vocals! (Spotify)
Love Dance – Cul-de-sac || The Norwegian duo Love Dance is back with a new EP, and it is GOOD. It sends my thoughts to the music of Swedish bands The Radio Dept, Sambassadeur and Acid House Kings, with a touch of New Order and the Sumner/Marr duo Electronic. The band has been around for a long time, and their sound has changed from jangly guitar based indiepop to a more synth based sound, and although I LOVED their early works, I am now in love with their new sound. Still POP! (Spotify)
Teleman – Fünf EP || I have enjoyed Teleman’s music since their amazing first single, and on this new one their “square-ish” to-the-point almost motorik trademark-rhythms are even more in focus than before. Definitely worth a listen. (Spotify)
Piers Faccini – La plus belle des berceuses || Calm beauty. The EP opens with “Lullaby” and ends with “Sleep now child”, and I could lay down and rest comfortably to this, and I am sure my dreams will be sweet. A really beautiful folky EP. (Spotify)
Orouni (feat. Emma Broughton) – Somewhere in dreamland || The band’s early releases were good, mostly acoustic-based indiepop/twee-ish pop-music, but the new version of the band is way more interesting, I would say. Catchy, orchestrated popsongs with lovely vocals from Emma Broughton. Very good, indeed. (Spotify)
Dama Scout – Dama Scout EP || One of the most interesting indie bands this year, in my opinion. They don’t follow “the rules”, but still make the catchiest popsongs. Their 3 lovely singles are included on this EP, with only one new song added, – a really good one. I would love if it included even more new songs, but The EP is a good introduction to a great band. (Spotify)
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify: