Best Albums of November 2018
November was somewhat of a quiet month for album releases. This is to be expected, as most artists signed to a record label tend to release their best work during the spring or summer. Regardless, the month saw over 100 releases from artists spanning several different genres. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites from November.
Trippie Redd – A Love Letter to You 3
Trippie Redd continued his Love Letter to You series with this month’s mixtape. We were personally excited because his original A Love Letter to You tape is what got us listening to him in the first place. Redd’s latest releases like Life’s a Trip were somewhat underwhelming, but this new release shows quite a bit of improvement as a musician and songwriter. Redd is embracing the use of guitar-backed songs and staying away from overly autotuned melodies. By sticking to his natural voice, he is able to project a lot more passion and personality into his songs. A stand out is the lead song “Topanga.” Redd incorporates a gospel-inspired beat with several different chord changes in the hook.
Sun Kil Moon – This Is My Dinner
Singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek released his third piece as Sun Kil Moon this month. He has been in the music industry creating slow and contemplative music for many years now. As a writer, he is raw and unedited. He goes into great detail painting pictures of everyday life, growing up in his hometown, and the situations he finds himself in as an entertainer. His music is inoffensive, slow, and repetitive. These are normally things that would serve to discredit an album, but the gentleness of the music gives the audience an opportunity to focus on Kozelek’s rants with intensity. The long, sometimes unfocused rants may be unusual for some to experience, but he is a fantastic storyteller. If you give his style a chance, you will likely find yourself gripped by his unique ability to paint a scene.
Julia Holter – Aviary
Julia Holter has not yet amassed a widespread following, but she has proven herself as one of the most creative artists working over the last ten years. She is a composer and able to play several different instruments. Her music is ambient, abstract, dream pop. Her 2013 release had a beautiful nod to jazz with plenty of horns and upright bass in the composition. Aviary is a continuation of Holter’s abstract style. She incorporates plenty of classical influence with strings throughout the album. Her voice is mellow and enchanting. This is our favorite performance so far from Holter as a singer. She has perfected how her soft voice can blend in against the multitude of instruments. The transcendent atmosphere paired with opulent instrumentation makes it one of the best dream pop records released in the past ten years. This album is enchanting. We can listen to it on repeat for hours at a time, except for the track “I Shall Love 2.” This one track breaks up the consistent aesthetic of the album. Many artists put in songs that create an arc and contrast varieties of sound, but this one does so clumsily. Instead of contrasting different styles within the dream pop vibe of Aviary, “I Shall Love 2” feels like an out of place B side sitting in an otherwise perfect album.