November is shaping up to be a fine month for new music — and not just because the biggest pop group on the planet are releasing their latest album.
While the return of a K-Pop titan is the headline attraction, there's plenty more new material worthy of your listening attention.
Here, we've picked out 10 albums you need to hear over the next few weeks, ranging from an intriguing covers album to a hugely hyped debut mixtape.
So, calendars at the ready: here are the dates for your musical diary.
Dutchavelli — Dutch From The 5th (November 6)
Dutchavelli, the east London artist with a voice like he’s gargling gravel, is one of the biggest forces in UK rap right now. He’s had a huge 2020 — breakout singles such as Only If You Knew marked him out as a fierce lyricist, and collaborations with the likes of Stormzy have followed. He’s capping it all off with this debut mixtape.
Kylie Minogue — Disco (November 6)
As tonics for an awful year go, a Kylie Minogue album full of disco stonkers is more than welcome. Much of the album was recorded at Minogue’s home studio during the lockdown, but the early singles fizz with dancefloor energy — it’s all gloriously retro, with synthy wobbles and flashes of brass.
The Kanneh-Masons — Carnival (November 6)
Royal wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is just one member of an insanely talented family. He collaborates with his six siblings on this, their first album all together, with some famous contributors: Michael Morpurgo will read poetry, joined by Olivia Colman. Elsewhere, there will be a new interpretation of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
Yungblud — Weird! (November 13)
Yungblud is back with his second album. The album cover features the Doncaster artist dressed up as different alter-egos, and it looks as if that’s an indication of what kind of sounds we can expect — it’s set to be another genre mash-up, blending together emo, new wave, pop-punk, grunge and more.
Marika Hackman — Covers (November 13)
The motivations behind covers albums are always intriguing. For Marika Hackman, recording renditions of other people’s songs was a way of “expressing herself without having the pressure of the blank page”. There are some fascinating picks here, with song choices ranging from Radiohead to Beyoncé.
BTS — BE (Deluxe Edition) (November 20)
The pandemic might have got in the way of BTS’s plans for a world tour, but 2020 has still been a prolific year for the K-Pop titans. They topped charts around the world with Map of the Soul: 7 in February, and followed it up with a Japanese-language release in July. Now, the biggest group in pop music are back with BE, their ninth full-length. It’s guaranteed to be another smash.
Babeheaven — Home For Now (November 20)
The west London duo of Nancy Andersen and Jamie Travis have been building a steady fan base for four years now, since the release of the tracks Heaven and Friday Sky in 2016. This is their long-awaited debut album — early singles are doused in their trademark wooziness, with dashes of trip-hop and R&B, too.
Nick Cave — Idiot Prayer (November 20)
Nick Cave delivered one of the finest live-streamed performances of the year with Idiot Prayer, playing alone inside the cavern of Alexandra Palace’s West Hall. It’s now being released as a live album, and while the visual side of the project is an important component, there’s still plenty of dark beauty to be explored in audio alone.
Miley Cyrus — Plastic Hearts (November 27)
The California wildfires of 2018 reduced Miley Cyrus’s home to ashes and, in the process, destroyed much of the new music she had been working on. She started again, though, and is now releasing Plastic Hearts. It seems as if she’ll be leaning into a rockier aesthetic — there’s a full-throttle live cover of Blondie’s Heart of Glass on there, as well as a take on Zombie by The Cranberries.
Smashing Pumpkins — CYR (November 27)
Billy Corgan and co are back with their first full-length record since 2018 and they’ve clearly been hard at work: CYR will be a double album, spanning 20 tracks. So far, we’ve heard six of those songs, and it’s all sounding very synthy.