Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Anderson Paak (Photo: Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images), Solange (Photo: Erika Goldring/FilmMagic via Getty Images), and Jeff Tweedy (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Solange and Anderson Paak lead our 21 most-anticipated albums of November

Anderson Paak (Photo: Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images), Solange (Photo: Erika Goldring/FilmMagic via Getty Images), and Jeff Tweedy (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Often the last big records of the year arrive in November, making it a fair bet that Solange’s “imminent,” highly anticipated fourth album will drop in the next few weeks. There are also promising new efforts on the horizon from Anderson Paak, Dead Can Dance, Cupcakke, Josephine Foster, and Jeff Tweedy, plus exciting expanded reissues from The Beatles, Kate Bush, and Songs: Ohia. And of course we’re going to check out Jeff Goldblum’s jazz album. Here are the 20 releases we’re most looking forward to in November.


Solange, TBA

Solange has presided over two tectonic shifts in R&B, first via the smoky, neo-noir funk of 2012’s True, and then, in 2016, with the stately, neo-neo-soul statement of purpose A Seat At The Table. Still, she generally takes four years or more between projects, so the news of a new record, described as “imminent” in a New York Times profile, feels spurred by some urgency. Details are light beyond this extremely choice quote: “There is a lot of jazz at the core. But with electronic and hip-hop drum and bass because I want it to bang and make your trunk rattle.” It’ll appear magically and unexpectedly, and, if history holds true, it’ll be very good. [Clayton Purdom]

November 2

Dead Can Dance, Dionysus

Six years after reuniting for Anastasis, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard return with Dionysus, their ninth studio album as Dead Can Dance. Unfolding over seven movements (divided into two acts), the album explores the legend of the Greek god of wine and fertility via globally inspired folk instrumentation, field recordings, and chants. Dionysus is grand, not unlike its namesake, and it aims to break down the distinction we tend to make between studio music and the sounds our everyday environments and cultural rituals generate in the world around us. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Marianne Faithfull, Negative Capability

“Against the odds” could be the tagline to Marianne Faithfull’s entire storied career, and yet, here she is, continuing to produce compelling work in the 21st century (see especially 2014’s Give My Love To London). Faithfull recorded Negative Capability, her 21st studio album, despite battling near-debilitating arthritis, and it finds the famously frank folk-rocker taking stock of the loss around her at 71 (eulogizing longtime compatriot Anita Pallenberg) and reworking career highlights like “As Tears Go By” and “Witches’ Song” with new perspective. Negative Capability is also Faithfull’s most collaborative album yet, with Rob Ellis, Warren Ellis, Ed Harcourt, Nick Cave, and Mark Lanegan helping to bring the album’s “stark but lustrous autumn beauty” to life. [Kelsey J. Waite]

November 8

Smino, Noir

A new album from Smino felt inevitable this year. The St. Louis rapper has been everywhere, it seems, releasing excellent singles like “New Coupe, Who Dis?” with Mick Jenkins in May and the 4sport EP over the summer, trading verses with Chicago pals Saba and Noname on Room 25 highlight “Ace,” plus lighting up a handful of other features. With singles as smooth as “New Coupe” and “L.M.F.,” Noir is likely to land on even more year-end lists than his acclaimed 2017 debut, Blkswn. [Kelsey J. Waite]

November 9

The Beatles, The Beatles reissue

The so-called “White Album” has been beguiling and frustrating Beatles fans for half a century, but only the truly devoted (and those who shelled out for Anthology 3) have had access to the high-spirited recordings that eventually gave way to an adventurous double LP, timeless tracks like “Revolution 1,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Helter Skelter” (and less timeless goofs like “Wild Honey Pie”), and the near-destruction of the band. The complete “Esher demos” receive their first commercial release as part of this golden-anniversary set, which adds assorted alternate takes and outtakes to the original album’s 30-song heft, presented here in a new stereo mix from Giles “son of George” Martin. Various editions of the reissue offer various gewgaws—essays, booklets, recreated inserts, and number-stamped record sleeves—but those demos are the bonus features that truly matter, a lasting and restored document of how a tune like “Not Guilty” could come spilling forth during the group’s post-Maharishi ecstasy, then be subjected to as many as 102 takes in the studio—and still not make the final cut. [Erik Adams]

Charles Bradley, Black Velvet

Black Velvet celebrates soul crooner Charles Bradley, whose remarkable late-in-life success story came to an end with his death from stomach cancer on September 23, 2017. Compiled from never-before-heard recordings from the sessions for each of Bradley’s three studio albums, this posthumous collection from Daptone Records includes unreleased originals as well as covers of Nirvana’s “Stay Away,” Neal Young’s “Heart Of Gold,” and Rodriguez’s “Slip Away.” It also includes a new, equally raw version of perhaps his most famous tune, the plaintive ballad “Victim Of Love.” [Katie Rife]

Cupcakke, Eden

Chicago’s own sex-positive candy girl, Cupcakke, serves up another thick slice of raunchy dance-rap on her new album, Eden. It’s only been 11 months since the release of her last record, Ephorize, but it’s also been a big year for Cupcakke: Not only has her share of the spotlight grown with every glowing review, but according to her no-holds-barred social media presence, she’s been busy off the mic as well. Based on the new tracks she’s released since Ephorize came out in January, insatiable fans can expect more of the same—meaning socially conscious, furiously filthy, laugh-out-loud hilarious rhymes—on Eden. [Katie Rife]

Jeff Goldblum, The Capital Studios Sessions

Jeff Goldblum, the veteran actor best known for the Jurassic Park franchise and general zaddiness, may perform with a few famous friends on The Capitol Studios Sessions, but that doesn’t make his debut jazz album any less earnest of an endeavor. Goldblum’s played the piano for decades, a talent he’s shown off in TV roles and at a weekly show in Los Angeles’ Rockwell Table & Stage, where he’s backed by his band, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. So The Capitol Studios Sessions is no mere vanity project—it’s full of old jazz standards and winning duets, and yes, the kind of delightful, off-the-wall banter you’d expect from newly minted professional curious person Jeff Goldblum. [Danette Chavez]

Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, Bought To Rot

Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace makes her long-awaited full-length solo debut on Bought To Rot, which label Bloodshot Records describes as an ode to “Laura Jane Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end.” It’s also arguably the most diverse set of songs that Grace has written yet; inspired in part by Tom Petty, Grace says she was “motivated to pay homage” to the iconic Americana singer-songwriter after his death last fall. Petty’s influence is clear on the first single from the album, “Apocalypse Now (& Later),” an acoustic sing-along number anchored by a rousing chorus. [Katie Rife]

Little Dragon, Lover Chanting

After releasing its fifth full-length, Season High, with Loma Vista last year, Gothenberg synthpop quartet Little Dragon makes the jump to Ninja Tune with the release of new EP Lover Chanting. According to singer Yukimi Nagano, the four new songs are about “The force of love. Not only between two people but the force of love in this universe as the ultimate ecstasy.” And what better place to experience the collective power of that ecstasy than on the dance floor? Particularly in the disco bliss of the EP’s title track, where the production and Nagano’s phrasings are as irresistible and immaculate as ever. [Kelsey J. Waite]

J Mascis, Elastic Days

J Mascis’ upcoming Sub Pop release, Elastic Days, finds the Dinosaur Jr. guitar legend simultaneously mellow and just as fierce as ever. Songs like “Everything She Said,” “See You At The Movies,” and “Web So Dense” all start out slower and more contemplative than we’re used to hearing from him (that last one even kicks off with strings), as he searches for a lost love, or even himself. In “Movies,” the lyric “Finding me is hard / And finding you was easy / I’ll just try to stall / I don’t peak too early / I don’t peak at all” could be Mascis’ summation of his own career so far: a long, slow burn over decades, always culminating in a stratospheric, uniquely J guitar solo. [Gwen Ihnat]

Wume, Towards The Shadow

Baltimore duo Wume makes heady, cosmic jams built on delightfully disorienting polyrhythms and synth textures—music to expand the mind. On their second album, Towards The Shadow, April Camlin and Albert Schatz are traveling expressly on “an excursion into inner space—not as a form of escape, but rather in search of purpose and personal liberation in a time of chaos.” That journey is fueled in part by a new emphasis on drummer Camlin’s vocals, with lyrics influenced by weighty philosophical readings and personal revelations. “If we hold the unknown / We can find deeper truth,” she sings on “It’s Okay,” before the track lifts off into an intricate, panoramic groove. [Kelsey J. Waite]

November 15

Leikeli47, Acrylic

Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47, or 47 for short, is an elusive figure, unwilling to reveal much about herself in press, or much of her face at all (she wears masks to perform). Her music, by contrast, is bold and opinionated, with undeniable beats and swagger. Since earning support from Skrillex and JAY-Z with early Soundcloud recordings in 2015, 47 has signed to RCA, contributed to the Insecure soundtrack, and released her debut studio LP, last year’s Wash & Set. Follow-up Acrylic, she says, is “an invite into my world… It’s ghetto, it’s righteous, and it’s fun; and I’m talking my shit.” The first three tracks are already out via the “prequel bundle” Pick A Color, to be followed by Design on November 7, before the album is released in full November 15. [Kelsey J. Waite]

November 16

Brainfeeder X

Do we take Brainfeeder for granted? For a decade now, the label—founded by Flying Lotus, and flowering out of the Los Angeles beat scene—has quietly issued consistently mind-expanding releases, melting astral jazz and woozy beats and fried sci-fi keyboards into a delirious, post-genre whorl. The lushly packaged compilation Brainfeeder X attempts to synopsize a decade of the label’s work in just 17 tracks, with another 19 devoted to new material and remixes. If you’ve only dabbled in its higher-profile releases—by FlyLo, Kamasi Washington, and Thundercat—it’s a great time to jump aboard, and if you’ve been listening to the label the whole time, well, it’s a good opportunity to consider just how broad and rewarding this roster has become. [Clayton Purdom]

Kate Bush, Remastered

With many of Kate Bush’s albums being unavailable on vinyl for at least a decade, Remastered comes as a great relief for completists and fans who’d just rather listen to the pop pioneer’s discography on the turntable, with the added excitement of rarities being collected here. The 18-disc box set will be released in four parts: I (The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never For Ever, and The Dreaming) and II (The Sensual World, Hounds Of Love, and The Red Shoes) on November 16; III (Aerial, Director’s Cut, and 50 Words For Snow) and IV (rarities, remixes, and covers) on November 30. The latter includes everything from Hounds Of Love 12-inch remixes to the festive 1980 single “December Will Be Magic Again” and Elton John covers. There will be CDs, too, if that’s your thing. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Mariah Carey, Caution

Mariah Carey’s forthcoming album, Caution, the follow-up to 2014’s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, comes with a warning for the Grammy winner and her listeners. On profanity-laced breakup track, “GTFO,” Carey lets former—and prospective—lovers know she has no time for their bullshit. That same honeyed tone is found on “With You,” a soulful single about a relationship that’s suffered some setbacks; Carey shows considerable restraint, waiting until the final strains to unleash all the octaves. She might be in love again, but she’s not giving herself over entirely just yet. Most important, Caution is a reminder of how adeptly Carey has adapted to new styles over the years—counting her out now, even after that New Year’s Eve performance, isn’t advisable. [Danette Chavez]

Josephine Foster, Faithful Fairy Harmony

With their Joan Baez-like vocal inflections and twisted Autoharp and slide guitar, many of Josephine Foster’s songs can sound like old folk standards that have become gently warped in their journey from the past to the present. Advance singles from the Colorado-based singer-songwriter’s upcoming double album enrich that wistful mood: “Shepherd Moon Of Starry Height” embraces a troubadour’s romantic vision of the heavens, while “Challenger” is a more grounded, melancholy wish to break into the sky. Another high-concept project from Foster, Faithful Fairy Harmony is a four-part movement exploring mortality and morality. She’s joined in the studio by guitarist Victor Herrero and others, and accompanies herself on guitar, piano, organ, harp, and Autoharp. [Laura Adamczyk]

Anderson Paak, Oxnard

Anderson Paak has been rolling out his new album Oxnard forever, possibly taking inspiration from new label head Dr. Dre, a man who is known for delaying releases himself, to put it lightly. Two early 2018 singles found Paak at his effervescent best, but it wasn’t until the Kendrick-assisted single “Tints” took off that he finally got a release date for the project. Anyway, there’s reason to be optimistic: 2016’s Malibu was a sterling showcase for Paak’s do-everything showmanship, and the Knxwledge collaboration as NxWorries tempered some of his cornier tendencies for a dusty beat tape that sounded right at home on Stones Throw. Oxnard will probably be fussy and eager-to-please, but Paak’s one of those weird talents who can pull that off. [Clayton Purdom]

The Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.

“I want my band back,” Billy Corgan wrote in 2005, by way of announcing that he was reviving The Smashing Pumpkins, just five years after his multi-platinum rock outfit broke up. But “band” is something of a misnomer for the revolving lineup of marginalized collaborators Corgan has relied upon since he began releasing music under the Pumpkins umbrella again. Initially conceived as a pair of EPs, the forthcoming Shiny And Oh So Bright actually does get most of the band back together: It marks the return not just of on-again/off-again drummer Jimmy Chamberlin but also of original guitarist James Iha, who hasn’t been a member in 18 years. Of course, the continued absence of bassist D’arcy Wretzky keeps this from counting as a full reunion, and the released singles—the beefy and moody “Solara,” the shimmering and midtempo “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)”—don’t exactly promise a thunderous return to form. At least the unwieldy album title recalls the grandiosity and excess of the Melon Collie years, when the Pumpkins were still plural. [A.A. Dowd]

November 23

Songs: Ohia, Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions

This box set from the late Jason Molina repackages Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness along with an entire additional LP of outtakes and previously unheard material. The Lionesss was recorded in 1999 in Glasgow with members of the Arab Strap and tells the story of Molina falling in love with the woman who would become his wife. With lyrics like “Every love is your best love / And every love is your last love / And every kiss is a goodbye,” it’s a decidedly Jason Molina love album—dark and moody and poignant—and comes with replications of a handwritten letter from the musician, a photograph of him and his wife, and writing from family and friends. Molina died in 2013 at the age of 39 from organ failure due to alcoholism. [Laura Adamczyk]

November 30

Jeff Tweedy, Warm

The man who loves you, who is trying to break your heart and dreamed about killing you again last night, has released music with his son Spencer under their shared surname; he’s stripped down the highlights of the Wilco catalog and re-recorded them alongside representative examples from sometimes side projects Golden Smog and Loose Fur. But Jeff Tweedy has never done a true-and-proper solo album before Warm, which arrives at the end of the month that also sees the Wilco leader and Uncle Tupelo co-founder putting out a memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back). It’s tempting to say that Tweedy’s in the mood for reflection and introspection, except that those two qualities color most of his recorded output. Many sides of Tweedy—the hopeless romantic, the deadpan wit, the melodic savant, the studio tinkerer—are on display in “Some Birds,” the video for which stars multiple Tweedys and multiple multi-neck guitars. [Erik Adams]