The Best Of November 2018 PLAYLIST + ROUND-UP

Welcome to the November 2018 edition of our monthly new music playlist, which is available to listen to and watch via YouTube.

If you enjoy any of the songs featured here, we encourage you to support the artists by purchasing their music from your local record shop, or through online retailers.

Stream the playlist below and read a bit about each individual track further down the page. This edition features essential new music from Thom Yorke, The Prodigy, The Good The Bad and The Queen, The Soft Moon, Erol Alkan, Underworld, Suede, Estrons, The KVB, The Lucid Dream, Ocean Colour Scene, Django Django, TVAM, Lucia, She Drew The Gun, SOAK, Mattiel, Kelly Moran, The Vryll Society, TOY, Drenge, The Peeping Drexels, Public Service Broadcasting, Morrissey, Muse and Gum Takes Tooth.

Suede - Wastelands
Taken from the London band's superb new album The Blue Hour, Suede's grandest, most epic record yet.

'Wastelands' boasts a magnificent chorus, enticing chord changes, and a familiar swagger toughening up its emotion, all coming together to deliver another big "me and you in this together" Suede anthem.

The video is directed by Giles Campbell Longley and executive produced by Mike Christie, who also made the video for previous single Life Is Golden, as well as the new Sky Arts documentary, Suede: The Insatiable Ones (aired on November 24). playground offering a surprising yet somehow fitting escape.”

Mattiel - Count Your Blessings (Live on Later... 30/11/2018)
A slight departure from the usual daily new music selections, although it is technically new... I was stunned after hearing this when I tuned into Later with Jools Holland on Tuesday night. After checking out the recorded version of this track from 2017, I found it to be lacking the power and darkness of this awesome performance. Mattiel Brown is a musician as well as a designer and illustrator, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. The self-titled 'Mattiel' album was released earlier this year on Heavenly Recordings. Mattiel will be featuring on Later... again on the full length show, aired tonight on BBC Two.

The Vryll Society - Shadow Of A Wave
The colourful, driving opening track from The Vryll Society's acclaimed debut album 'Course Of The Satellite'. The Liverpool band released the LP via Deltasonic Records a few months ago in August.

A review of the LP on XS Noize awarded it 9/10, commenting: "There are fascinating, layers of melodies on here that flow effortlessly. The Vryll Society have their own take on krautrock and evocative, dreamlike vibes. Course of the Satellite contains authentic magical songs that are both poetic and mesmerising. An impressive first album that was worth the wait." Read that review HERE

Underworld - Another Silent Way
Relentless, thumping techno from the legendary Underworld. The hi energy, acid-infused track is a brand new release, part of their newly announced 'Drift' series. Rather than making another album or EP, the duo have launched "an epic year-long road trip in collaboration with friends old and new, from playwrights to DJs in jazz and techno to painters and poets..." One hopes that the products of this series will eventually find a release at some point in physical album form.

It's an ongoing experiment that will regularly publish new Underworld material – music, film, stories, etc – via The first release of Drift Episode 1 sees 'Another Silent Way' soundtracking a film made in collaboration with the UK drift racing community and Tomato, shot entirely at the Rockingham Speedway in Corby in summer 2018.
Further elements of Drift Episode1 will be released weekly every Thursday.

The Prodigy - We Live Forever
The Prodigy released their new album No Tourists this month, scoring another number 1 in the process. 

There are occasional hints of 1994's 'Music For The Jilted Generation' alongside the slamming electronics, which is certainly true of the astonishing 'We Live Forever', where the 'No Tourists' bus takes a joyride through old school rave territory. Delivering hyperactive beats, sped-up rap samples, rock drums and vocoder, it heightens the totally hectic state of alarm. 

It's far too early to put it up there with the first three albums, and time will tell whether it still stands up in years to come, but 'No Tourists' is a welcome blast of high octane fury that underlines the band's status as dance music royalty. More memorable than 'Outgunned', more substantial than 'Invaders', sharper and containing less filler than 'Enemy', it's a pleasure and a thrill to have The Prodigy firing on all cylinders again. Read the full review HERE.

The Good, The Bad And The Queen - Gun To The Head
Another superb new helping of Damon Albarn and his illustrious band The Good The Bad And The Queen. Bringing to mind 'Hunky Dory'-era Bowie composing circus soundtracks, the dark jaunty flavour of 'Gun To The Head' also bears echoes of the British music hall elements that occasionally filtered into Blur's 'Parklife' album. Its swooning, melancholic drift of an outro takes the song to another level.

Prolific as ever following two Gorillaz albums in the space of a year, the legend that is Damon Albarn has been in the studio with his supergroup that also features Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Verve guitarist Simon Tong and afrobeat drummer Tony Allen11 years ago, their self-titled debut album dealt with London in the 21st century and the Iraq War. This time round, The Good, The Bad And The Queen release "a reluctant good-bye letter" as Britain prepares to leave the EU. It's described as "a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018" and "a beautiful and hopeful paean to the Britain of today, an inclusive Britain, currently in an Anglo-Saxostentialist crises at the end of a relationship, wondering what might be salvaged." What we get is a fine concept record from an illustrious group of musicians, and another one to add to Albarn's catalogue of marvellous albums. 

The LP was produced by Tony Visconti. These weird, volatile times are producing some amazing music, and this is very likely to become the record that defines the upheaval of Brexit. Along with the triumphant 'The Magic Whip', but operating around a completely different concept and musical dynamic, 'Merrie Land' offers the finest example of Damon Albarn's gift as a great songwriter, again reaffirming his status as one of the all time great British musicians. Who better to address social divisions and the looming uncertainties and impacts of Brexit? Read the full album review HERE.

Estrons - Cameras
Last month, the Welsh trio Estrons released the debut album of 2018. 'You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough' is a fierce, captivating, and empowering record from a band whose vitalising energy is thrillingly infectious. With an explosive collision of raw guitars and contagious melodies, the band have been on tour throughout the UK. After witnessing Estrons at The Louisiana in Bristol, I can also confirm that they are also a truly seismic live act, whipping up the sort of fevered, sweaty energy that only the greatest bands can produce. Read the full gig review HERE.

Jagged guitars play alongside the captivating melody which sweetly wraps itself around the charming verses of 'Cameras' before leaping into a stunning chorus, where Tali Källström's phenomenal voice soars with maximum emotion that resonates terrifically. Along with its sky high solo, this is truly awe-inspiring stuff, and a life-affirming expression of unconditional love. Read the full album review HERE.

Morrissey - Back On The Chain Gang
No matter what you think of Morrissey and his right wing views, there's little doubt that his voice is one of the most recognisable and iconic in music. That voice makes this cover of the 1982 single by The Pretenders sound very much like his own, almost like a Morrissey original. I may even prefer it to the original, since it actually sounds like some sort of long lost Smiths recording. It can be found on the upcoming deluxe edition of his 2017 album 'Low In High School'.

Drenge - Bonfire Of The City Boys
Mark E Smith may have departed from this earth earlier this year, yet the new offering from Drenge has the imprint of The Fall all over its dangerous sound. 'Bonfire Of The City Boys' comes from their upcoming album 'Strange Creatures',which is out in February 2019. 

The band said: "It comes after months of chiselling away, ripping themes and ideas apart, sewing them back together, stepping away and coming back with fresh ears. Sometimes, a song appears fully formed and ready to go, and sometimes, a song just needs time to ferment. Fine tuning small details, nipping between songs, picking out small things and accentuating them until they take over or become something else entirely."

“The result is the most considered record we have ever made. It’s a nocturnal record. A psychological horror movie on wax. Warped hallucinations from mundane observations as you move through it. Is that a school or a skyscraper on fire in the distance? Or maybe it’s just the ski village? You drive nearer, past roadside diners jammed with dancing teenagers, through Uncanny Valley, past the most unhygienic nightclub in the world. The stereo sounds like its going to fall apart at any moment. The car judders to a halt and all you can hear is the sound of the sea.”

Peeping Drexels - Ray Purchase
Grubby, aggressive, infectious punk rock from London band Peeping Drexels. Describing their music as "Sloppy beats and sleazy melodies from South-London scum", the band "make music about horrible people. From tales of drunk driving to songs exploring the ignorance of modern Britain, their music is the reflection of an angry working class, abandoned by their government in a post-brexit, post-progressive world." Recently playlisted by Steve Lamacq, the brilliant 'Ray Purchase' is out now.

Peeping Drexels are: Dylan Coates, Joe Love, Finton Hurst, Otis Hurst and Pablo Bagshaw.

Morrissey - Back On The Chain Gang
No matter what you think of Morrissey and his views, there's little doubt that his voice is one of the most recognisable and iconic in music. That voice makes this cover of the 1982 single by The Pretenders sound very much like his own, almost like a Morrissey original. I may even prefer it to the original, since it actually sounds like some sort of long lost Smiths recording. It can be found on the upcoming deluxe edition of his 2017 album 'Low In High School'.

Lucia - What Am I/Cheap Talk
Recently on tour with Estrons, the brilliant Lucia Fairfall and her band have recently released an excellent four track EP entitled 'Cheap Talk'. I was one of the lucky people at The Louisiana in when both bands rewarded the Bristol crowd with an awesome evening. I wrote a review of the gig, and was so impressed with Lucia that I had to investigate the EP. Very glad I did. And you'll be glad you did too if you appreciate exciting, vibrant alt-rock bands.

"With a sound occasionally recalling the likes of Pixies and Belly, there are hints of Lush, as well as spells of melody that reach for Phil Spector-like heights. The title track from their new EP 'Cheap Talk' is an awesome brew of new wave flavours, with a big chorus and a bright zing, while the blissful, bittersweet indie pop gem 'Summertime' has a sugary charm... Best of all is the instantly rousing 'What Am I', a grungy glam rock steamroller that catches the ear with its intensity and angst." Read the full gig review HERE.

Find Lucia on Twitter @LuciaMusicX 

Public Service Broadcasting - White Star Liner
The excellent title track from Public Service Broadcasting's new EP 'White Star Liner', inspired by the Titanic disaster. The band's J. Willgoose Esq. explained: “I thought it was an interesting challenge to tell the story of the ship's construction as part of Belfast's proud industrial history, the spirit of optimism of the pre-war age that she represented, and then an abstract and, I hope, respectful depiction of both the sinking of the ship (represented by the repeated Morse code distress call, C - Q - D) and the discovery of the wreck in 1985.”

The EP was released digitally and on CD last month in October and will be available on vinyl from 7th December.

Toy - Sequence One
Tantalising new music from psychedelic rockers Toy. The band have moved to a new record label and will be releasing their fourth album 'Happy In The Hollow' on 25 January 2019.

Ocean Colour Scene - Be With You
After five years with no new material, British mod heroes Ocean Colour Scene have returned with a self-titled EP containing four brand new songs. Produced by Steve Cradock at his Kundalini Studios in South Devon, the self-titled EP is a welcome return. While the Blair-baiting opener and lead track 'Another Bard May Chant' is the sound of a band turning the ignition on again and warming up the engine, the wonderful 'Be With You' is where they get off the ground and take flight. A stunning, flamenco-tinged love song that presents Fowler's gift for charming, humble melodies and heartfelt delivery, it's the EP's most alluring offering.

I don't care what their critics say, Ocean Colour Scene have always been good at what they do. The new EP (reviewed in full HERE) is very much a little gift for those who want to hear new OCS material, and serves its purpose satisfyingly enough while the faithful await another album. Good to have them back.

Muse - Propaganda
After a few under-par and somewhat transitional albums, Muse's new LP 'Simulation Theory' is a lot better than many thought it would be. As well as the 1980's sci-fi vibe to some of it, there are also some interesting style mixtures. The weird and enjoyable 'Propaganda' is like a Prince track with a pummelling heavy metal chorus, and a few dodgy lyrics can be forgiven. Give it a try...

The Lucid Dream - No Sunlight Dub
Released last month in October, The Lucid Dream's fourth album 'Actualisation' is an incredible piece of work. Closing track 'No Sunlight Dub' goes very much where its title suggests, a heavy reggae rhythm guiding a glowing melody throughout psychedelic avenues along with a fine melodica. Attacking with an hugely unexpected change of pace, it enters a biting, driving rhythm before drum n bass beats are paired with rowdy big beat as it truly goes off on one. After it crashes and settles back into its laid back dub zone, it leads The Lucid Dream's finest record yet to a magnificent close.

The amount of different styles here is astonishing, and the way Mark Emmerson's band mix them all together is uniquely fascinating. Rebuilding their sound around the essence of their previous output, their resilience, defiance, reinvention and momentum have produced one of 2018's greatest records. 

Read the full album review HERE.

Django Django - Flash Forward
Incorporating shades of house, jungle and UK garage into their intruiging melting pot of sound, this features on Scottish genre-splicing combo Django Django's new EP. The band followed their third album 'Marble Skies' with the brilliant 'Winter's Beach', released last month in October and featuring six brand new songs.

Thom Yorke - Unmade
Built around a graceful, inviting paino melody, this stunning track from Thom Yorke is one of the highlights of his recent 'Suspiria' soundtrack album, and possibly his most magical solo work yet. The LP is available now on XL Recordings.

The original 1977 horror "Suspiria" was directed by Dario Argento, with a score composed by the Italian rock band Goblin. The 2018 remake also takes place in the 1970s. 

Yorke talked about composing the film's music: “It was an odd process from the beginning. When Luca [Guadagnino] first came to see me, with the producers and [editor] Walter [Fasano], I just thought they were mad, because I’ve never done a soundtrack before. And ‘Suspiria’ is one of those legendary soundtracks. It took a few months to even contemplate the idea. It was one of those moments in your life where you kind want to run away, but you know you'll regret it if you do."

"I watched the original film several times, and I loved it because it was of that time, an incredibly intense soundtrack. Obviously, Goblin and Dario [Argento] worked incredibly closely when they did it together. But it was of its time and there was no way I could reference it in any way. There was no point, other than what I found interesting was they used repetition of motifs, again and again and again. Part of your mind is saying, ‘Please, I don’t want to hear this anymore.' That was really great. That's sort of hooked me into the whole process."

Yorke added, "There’s a way of repeating in music that can hypnotize. I kept thinking to myself that it’s a form of making spells. So when I was working in my studio, I was making spells. I know it sounds really stupid, but that’s how I was thinking about it. It was a sort of freedom I’ve not had before. I’m not working in the format of song arrangement. I’m just exploring ... It was a really cool way to totally immerse myself in an area that I normally wouldn't go, with full permission."

Kelly Moran - In Parallel
A stunning, transcendentally beautiful piece of music that awakens the senses. It comes from composer and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Moran's third album 'Ultraviolet', which is out now on Warp Records. Moran has referred to herself as "a very outspoken feminist" and believes "the act of a woman making music is a kind of political act in itself since we live in a world where women are expected to be quiet and are often silenced for speaking out."

The KVB - On My Skin
nother wondrous track taken from The KVB's latest album 'Only Now Forever'. The breathtaking 'On My Skin' provides their most romantic moment yet, a tender, introspective synthpop classic which demonstrates the London-based duo's gift for melodies and atmosphere. Described as one of the best albums of 2018, many of its tracks are being played around Europe at the moment as Nicholas Wood and Kat Day continue their current tour. A review of an amazing gig they played in Bristol earlier this month can be found HERE, along with exclusive live videos.

Gum Takes Tooth - The Arrow
Jolting rhythms, off-kilter analogue synth patterns and strange, enjoyably discombobulating vocals feature on this strange and excellent new track from Gum Takes Tooth. The London duo recently signed to Rocket Recordings for the release of their third album 'Arrow', which is out in January 2019.

“I was experiencing a very difficult few years, as was most of the rest of the world - filled with contradictory contrasts of uncertainty, moments of cavernous bleakness shot through with searing revelations, ecstatic truths and joyous hope” reflects Jussi Brighmore of the band. “Basically, becoming a dad in these times, thinking of the present and the future that it’s aiming to construct, has brought all these up, intensely magnified and amplified.” 

The Soft Moon - Burn (Ansome Remix)
An incredible track from the 'Criminal Remixed' album, featuring reworkings of songs by The Soft Moon. On London producer Ansome's remix of 'Burn', the heavy assault of slamming beats batter through violent blasts of bass, punctuated by spells of frenzied howls that emerge from the ether. The album is available as two separate 12" records and digitally. 

Erol Alkan - Silver Echoes
Sublime, beautifully entrancing new music from Erol Alkan, flowing with warm, fuzzy synths, along with hints of house and ambient techno and gradually building into a transcendent piece of work. The stunning 'Silver Echoes' is one of two new tracks featured on a recent 12" single, released via the Phantasy Sound label. Along with A side 'Spectrum', it makes up the London producer's first EP in five years. 

SOAK - Everybody Loves You
Swooning vocal melodies, heavenly chords and blooming melancholic atmospheres drift over trip hop beats on this stunning track from SOAK. The Irish songwriter (real name Bridie Monds-Watson) released her debut album 'Before We Forgot How To Dream' via Rough Trade a few years ago in 2015. Hopefully, a second full-length is on the horizon.

According to Watson, the wondrous 'Everybody Loves You' is "a song about extreme denial. More specifically about my stubborn ability to convince myself I don’t want something that I do and blind my rational thought process. I suppose in this case, as a way of self-protection and avoiding vulnerability. The lift at the end of the song (“Everybody wants you, And I do too”) represents the almost comedic/foolish acceptance of my own feelings. A 360 turn of events in which I then so desperately want all that I had rejected and pushed away. A consistent theme of my younger self..."

She Drew The Gun - Something For The Pain

The amazing, addictive new single from She Drew The Gun. It comes from 'Revolution Of Mind', an album released last month in October 2018. It 's a record about “Empowerment; resisting; arming yourself with knowledge; questioning the status quo, questioning your own state of mind and how its affected by the systems we live in,” explains Louisa Roach, She Drew The Gun’s vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.

“I believe in questioning the rules and asking who they’re there to serve in the first place, says Roach. I think some of that is down to being queer, and not conforming to rules around gender.”

Track Of The Day: TVAM - Narcissus
Fearsome blasts of bass, mechanical rhythms and darkly dazing flavours come together on this ominous new track from TVAM. This industrialised, shadowy piece is taken from the debut album 'Psychic Data', released last month in October.


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