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The 20 best songs of November

The 20 best songs of November

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Nialler9’s favourite songs of the past month, all in one place.


1.

Charli XCX, Caroline Polachek, Christine & The Queens

New Shapes


Another Charli pop banger after ‘Good Ones’, with her pop pals on assist. Caroline Polachek’s verse might be my favourite of the three. Charli’s fifth solo album Crash will be released on March 18th, and she’s on tour.

2.

Big Thief

Time Escaping

Big Thief at their best.

‘Time Escaping’ is a beautiful song that employs a unique muted harmonic guitar pattern (using business cards to mute the strings) to provide a rollicking percussive base for Adrianne Lenker’s vocals.

The band are releasing a 20-track double LP Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You on 11th February through 4AD.

3.

Bonobo, O’Flynn

Otomo

Bonobo’s forthcoming album Fragments drops on January 14th on Ninja Tune, and features turns from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Jamilia Woods, Jordan Rakei, Kadhja Bonet, Joji and this co-production with O’Flynn.

Much like Bicep’s ‘Apricots’ , the song is based on a Bulgarian choir and bridges Bonobo’s global sounds with O’Flynn’s tougher dancefloor characteristics.

This is as close to a big Jon Hopkins banger as we’re getting this year.

4.

Denise Chaila, MuRli

Energy

A lead single from Denise Chaila’s just-released It’s A Mixtape EP, with production and vocals from MuRli is a celebration of strength with a Lord Of The Rings Rohan reference, and uplifting brass offering much fanfare. ‘Energy’ has a mid-90s R&B lick to it, and Denise is all singing no rapping here, showing yet another side to the artist.

5.

Blawan

Bilka

Blawan returns with a new Woke Up Right Handed EP on XL that is more sound design than club focused, and that makes for some interesting textured tracks like this EP’s opening ‘Blika’, a discombobulating distorted and restrained piece of music.

6.

Mitski

The Only Heartbreaker

“If you would make one mistake / what a relief that would be.”

A great opening line about being the bad guy in a relationship sets Mitski’s new track into gear, and its propulsive light 80s synth pop style keeps it going easily.

The song is about “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.”

Ouch.

Mitski’s new album Laurel Hell is out February 4th 2022 on Dead Oceans.

It follows on from  ‘Working for the Knife’ and Dublin date announcement.

7.

Lethal Dialect

DOOM

Cabra rap O.G Lethal Dialect released a great album Songs Of A Dead Dreamer in November (as he so often does) and I want to highlight ‘DOOM’ , a short and menacing cut from the record, that indeed sounds like the Supervillain himself could rap over with ease. LD is on of our best.

8.

Ross From Friends

Life In A Mind

A standout track from Ross From Friends’ recent LP Tread on Brainfeeder.

9.

Kanye, Andre 3000

Life Of The Party

A deluxe version of Donda with four extra tracks, taking the album to well over 2 hours was released this week, and this one has been heard before via Drake beef leaks and the fan community.

Andre’s verse is the most maternally-focused on an album named after Kanye’s mother, and was left off after Andre didn’t believe the curse-laden verse would work in beep-assisted format, but here we are.

It’s an affecting cut on Andre’s time, yet Kanye shows his loss of focus once again, as his verse denigrates his rivals highlighting his lack of sticking to themes on Donda. The track ends with audio of the recently-deceased DMX and his daughter.

10.

Earl Sweatshirt

2010

The Detroit producer Black Noi$e provides this glittering bed for Earl to go off. Classic Earl.

11.

Samuel Powell

Fold

Kildare producer Samuel Powell featured here last year with his first tracks, and is now released the Owls EP on Shall Not Fade in December. The release’s taster track is ‘Fold’ a composition that isn’t in your face, it rolls into itself with synths, and a growing presence of beats and percussion across its 6 minutes running time.

12.

Nilufer Yanya

Stabilise

Nilüfer Yanya has announced a second album to follow on from the excellent 2019 debut album Miss Universe and last year’s Feeling Lucky? EP.

Painless gets a release on March 4th on ATO Records and the album’s first song, the frenetic ‘Stabilise’ has arrived with a video by Nilüfer’s sister and creative collaborator Molly Daniel.

Yanya plays Whelan’s on March 12th 2022.

13.

Deb Never

Funky

Los Angeles singer-songwriter of R&B vibes released a fine album called Where Have All The Flowers Gone? this year. This tune was how I got into it.


14.

Fort Romeau

Spotlights

Longtime Nialler9 favourite Fort Romeau has announced a new album Beings of Light on 11th February 2022 via Ghostly International.

‘Spotlights’ is the first track from the album, an ode to “romanticised New York City that lives in our hearts, nocturnal and carefree.”

15.

Rejjie Snow

Arigato

Apropos of nothing in particular, Rejjie Snow left us ‘Arigato’, a multi-beat-assisted new single in November.

16.

Charlotte Adigéry, Bolis Pupul

Blenda

Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul will release their debut album Topical Dancer on March 4th 2022 on Soulwax’s DEEWEE label.

‘Blenda’ addresses racism head on, wrapped up in an electro-poppy bop.

“Go back to the country where you belong. Siri can you tell me where I belong?” Racism has always been a part of our lives and the irony is that we wouldn’t know where we truly belong. We are foreigners wherever we go. What this painful and very common comment also exposes is the ignorance it carries. Because “we are here, because you were there” god damn it! But we converted this pain into a strength. A kind of hybrid Toyota Prius generation, but sexy!

Charlotte Adigéry

17.

ABBA

Keep An Eye On Dan

No-one needed the first ABBA album in 40 years really, and Voyage is a mixed bag of hermetically sealed old-fashioned cheesy ABBA tunes.

A Christmas song is the third song! A synth that sounds like a bagpipe! Flutes! OTT production and melancholy! A woman dragged by her partner, who prefers the dog! A Kilkenny reference. It’s ridiculous.

But it also has a track like ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ on it.

‘Keep An Eye On Dan’ isn’t going to get near the ABBA Gold collection any time soon but in its production and verve it is a tune that reminds me of an ’80s space-disco song that people would pay hundreds for on Discogs. The lyrics are about co-parenting after a split. It also has a call back to ‘S.O.S.’ at the end.

18.

Lucy Dacus

Thumbs Again

A devastating song from Lucy Dacus’ recent album Home Video, redone with a full band. The lyrics are concerned with a friend of the singer who met up with an estranged parent with Dacus’ support. It is really some vignette.

I would kill him
If you let me
I would kill him
Quick and easy
Your nails are digging
Into my knee
I don’t know
How you keep smiling


19.

Dijon

Many Times

The LA Soul artist who is supporting Bon Iver on tour soon, and this highlight from his Absolutely album has shades of Vernon.


20.

Foals

Wake Me Up

Foals are following up their two-part 2019 album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost with a new album next year, and ‘Wake Me Up’ is all Talking Heads guitar funk, Gibson Brothers drum fills and production that AK Paul is also involved in alongside John Hill and Miles James (Dan Carey was also involved in the album).



Every week, the Nialler9 Spotify Weekly Playlist is updated with new music, and in this corner, we share the playlist and highlight some some select songs from the list below.

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See the homepage for all Spotify playlists: New Music | Irish | Monthly