As leaves fall from their trees in the autumn frost, they float gently to the ground and become...the 20 best songs of November 2014. Listen before spring hits and they become toxic.
"Josh Tillman presents a portrait of life in America that toes the line between self-serious piano ballad commentary and very unserious social satire, complete with its own laugh track."
"...there's little ambiguity on the aggressive electronic bounce of "Burn Your Village." It's a slamming conduit for righteous indignation, articulated by the sample of Wednesday Addams's classic speech from Addams Family Values."
"The hook that opens Pusha T's new out-of-nowhere single shows he's not eager to drop the dope boy theatrics, nor the adventurous sonics, which Kanye West's bubbling mothership samples provide in droves. But the song is not about a bully's triumph or wrongheaded entitlement, as much as it represents a path to thriving when all the most "noble" routes are blocked."
"...his tendency for a sparse and stirring guitar ballad is as keen as ever..."
"In preparation for his new self-released album, Egyptrixx's new song takes us on a tour of an abandoned prison planet. "Transfer" is a captivatingly transient take on the sounds of grime's new wave. "
"'Pile (Tina, Age 13)' has moments of silence between the chain gang guitar crunch for feelings of futility to slip through, adding pale but captivating colour."
"...the cool on their remix of Future Island's breakout track is more of a buttoned down and dark shades affair than the skeleton cowboy murder tunes they've been putting out."
"Her mournful reflections - 'Things walk by you can never take back again' - seem to expose the ruins of a relationship, but the trick of her tough words and tender voice is how it can extend to just about any melancholy feeling, even if it's sprouted from something as small as a few drops of rain on the window."
"Fans (including us) mourned when Alex Zhang Hungtai announced the dissolution of Dirty Beaches, his shape-shifting, distressed highway lo-fi project. ...The wandering and gloomy nature of his new Last Lizard songs strike a familiar note to his final DB album, the instrumental Stateless."
"Rising rapper Tink glides into the formula easily, her rapping cadence harmonizing with Krauss's feathery melodies. And thanks to Tink's off-the-cuff mic test that forms the hook, she brings the group back to the impulsiveness that defined their earliest material."
"...adds an extra veil of ethereal vulnerability and deadens the pulse slightly, giving new listeners more time to dwell with her on its confessions of inadequacy."
"'Sunrise Old'...justifies their persistent descriptor "jangly" with Darcy Rego's shimmering mandolin-played-as-guitar line. It's still a great pop song, but it's got sections and orchestration and maturity."
"One half of Zacht Automaat, one of the best bands in Toronto, brings out a new project of experimental discursions."
"Its discordance harmonizes with your own inner tumult, and offers crashing waves of saxophone noise and wobbling pedals as a backdrop to Roberts' croaked parable."
"'The Possum' returns us to the ongoing open book of Kozelek, where a trip to a Godflesh show and the sight of a dying animal become resounding meditations of the end and what we do until we get there."
"True to form, the supergroup rip through minute after oppressive minute of Throbbing Gristle vocals and building noise that screams bloody fretboards."
"Like Keef on some of his unexpected standouts, SD rides the melody of his new single "Circles" fast and loose, his raps slouching around the pitch like it's a half-considered suggestion. It's a huge track that uses its staggering as a strength, and hits you quick even though it moves slow."
"The language in her ode to a crush is so simplistic, it's almost devoid of any human signifiers, like we're listening to a sixth grade chat room romance unfold, as read by the server it's taking place on. Maybe I'm just a robot, but it seems like Diamond keeps it on this side of the uncanny valley, where anyone can pick up the silliness of it all, when all words just seem manufactured."
"There are shifting sonic attitudes here within a set framework, imbuing the more than two dozen tracks with classic alt-rock impudence and longevity."
"To drown out all the bullshit, she turns her noise up until it approaches shoegaze, blasting out the weak and useless men in her song and carving a line in the concrete."