The month's best releases...

Well, we made it folks.

December is the final month in this, the bleakest year many of us have experienced.

Get through this, and we can finally seal away 2020, in the same place that holds New Coke, 'Be Here Now', and that weird car they let Homer Simpson design.

First, though, we've got to round up the best music November had to offer...

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Flohio - No Panic, No Pain

Littered with jaunty moments of darkness, this mixtape is a haunting, but equally necessary reminder of the lived experiences that have shaped her into the artist and person she is today. Any negativity or sense of defeatism is overridden with a beautifully manic sense of energy, a lust for life from the rapper, an artist whose music couldn’t be more important at such a difficult time.

Rap has been screaming for an artist like this for years – soon, the silence surrounding Flohio’s name will be converted into the deafening roar of acclaim.

Review HERE.

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Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts

Cyrus conveys a jaunting and heartening honesty throughout her lyrics as she reflects on love, guilt, addiction and the business of breaking hearts.

In a year shrouded by isolation and starved of social interaction, where individuals have been forced to discover the unexpected joy of solitude, “Plastic hearts” might just be the soundtrack to through this journey as you embark on your very own Rocky-esque beast mode montage of shameless self-empowerment.

Review HERE.

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Megan Thee Stallion - Good News

Raw and ruthless, ‘Good News’ is the sound of Megan Thee Stallion pushing against the boundaries imposed on her until they break. Embracing some of the viral tropes that surround her, she’s able to own them, and transcend them, before moving on; she’s working at her own pace, owning her own destiny.

The latest headlines are in: ‘Good News’ is a triumph, and a late contender for Album Of The Year.

Review HERE.

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Beyries - Encounter

‘Encounter’ is full of delicate moments, softly strummed guitars sit atop warm bass drones and piano notes that fall through the songs like drops of water on a lake.

For an artist that made her name playing live in Canada, it’s a shame that we’ll have to wait to experience this live, but the strength of this album means there will be an audience ready when venues open up again.

Review HERE.

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Pa Salieu - Send Them To Coventry

‘Send them To Coventry’ opens with an over-proof dose of raucous energy, rooted in Caribbean dancehall. ‘Block Boy’ is blessed with an infectious hook while Pa’s verses move from the defiant (“Bust gun, dodge slugs, got touched, skipped death”) to the reflective (“I'm compensating mommy's pain before my soul flies, Many brothers lost life, tryna get by”).

These disarming, sudden moments of reflection are one of the tape’s recurring themes.

Review HERE.

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The Cribs - Night Network

The sound of a band resurgent, ‘Night Network’ will have you falling in love with The Cribs all over again. Tapping into their core sounds and core values, it finds the band emerging from their legal troubles triumphant, relishing the vitality of being able to make music together, in the same room, at the same time. An invigorating experience as punk as it is poetic, it’s a fantastic ride from start to finish.

Review HERE.

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AC/DC - Power Up

That being said, there is quite simply no other group on the planet who can match AC/DC at their best. ‘Power Up’ revels in a universe populated by devils and demons, with evil tugging at your sleeve, inviting you into a nearby roadhouse bar for one last game of winner-keeps-all poker and some whiskey on the rocks.

A force of nature, ‘Power Up’ finds AC/DC growing old disgracefully – we’re sure that, wherever he is, Malcolm Young is proud of what he helped create.

Review HERE.

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Giggs - Now Or Never

It’s the purity of his quest that makes ‘Now Or Never’ so absorbing. While not perfect – it’s 16 tracks could do with a little trimming, and the artwork is certainly eccentric – the project seems to tap into exactly what makes Giggs such a long-standing influence on British music.

An artist with real magnetism, he’s able to draw certain sounds and collaborators into his orbit, while remaining at a tangent from passing styles and fading trends. Continually seeking aesthetic rejuvenation, Giggs emerges renewed on ‘Now Or Never’, a unique offering from a singular talent. 

Review HERE.

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Kylie Minogue - DISCO

It’s not subtle – at some points the references may as well be put up in fluorescent lights – but that’s OK, since the aim is to be direct, to move people, and to entertain. As an ode to the pleasures of the dancefloor, Kylie has delivered her most unashamedly fun record in almost a decade.

Review HERE.

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Ólafur Arnalds - some kind of peace

'some kind of peace' is an album of sparkling sincerity. It offers solace to the isolated, welcoming arms to the world-weary, and, above all, creates hope for the future. It’s a romantic album in a way that Arnalds most recent work would have almost turned its nose up at.

'Re:member' his record from 2018, was equally-sublime, yet felt more distant, more happily alone, more ambivalent to such sentimentalities as the human spirit. Two years later, and his compositions embrace and encourage you to feel and get lost in their musical direction. It’s a truly delightful experience that delights in its unexpected and uncompromising approach to positivity.

The art work and overall feel of the compositions may speak to a chilly, typically Nordic solitude, while the music of this record is anything but.

Review HERE.

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