Eleven Great Songs: November 2018

Foreword: November was yet another month in the life. I listened to music that month. Here’s some of my favorites.

Sarcastic Sounds – “I Can’t Help”

Sarcastic Sounds is the first “chill beats to study/relax to”-type artist that has really grabbed me. The music in that genre is meant to be inoffensive and that usually results in it being too boring to actively listen to. But Sarcastic Sounds’ calming piano chords, record pops, and vocal samples works just right for me–I devoured their whole catalog eagerly and came away with a few new favorites. Interestingly, when searching for this song on YouTube I found that there are tons of hour-long videos of this one song being looped. That’s more or less exactly how I listened to the song when I was super into it, and it’s telling that I’m not the only one.

Poppy – “Play Destroy”

It took a few listens, but I really like this song! I was hooked on the synthy pop verses from the start and merely tolerated the corny nu metal parts, but after a few listens I had come to love it all. And it’s undeniable that the song wouldn’t work without those ridiculous guitar riffs. Also, I can’t talk about this song without mentioning the amazing delivery of the line, “it’s time to die!”

Slayyyter – “Hello Kitty”

Another Slayyter song I loved! All of Slayyyter’s songs fall into that niche of hyper pop maximalism that I can’t get enough of. This song was more of the same and I especially loved the “Hello Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty” chorus.

Drug Church – “But Does It Work?”

November was the month of Drug Church. I fuckin’ love Drug Church. See my fawning post about their latest album, Cheer, which was my entry into their world. After fervently devouring that album, I went digging through their back catalog and discovered “But Does It Work?” and it’s another jam. I love the endlessly repeated answer to the question in the title of the song: nothing works. Also, the delivery on “woman and woman, I presume” gets me every time. Drug Church is a new favorite.

normal state – “tdfw”

Ahh, how I love lo-fi sadgirl music. I really enjoyed every track on normal state’s EP the weather (the only thing she has on Spotify), and what I poked around in on Bandcamp was equally enjoyable. All of the weather scratches the same itch and I’ll highlight “tdfw” or this list just for that line, “make me an offer, I’ll settle for anything.” How incisive, how self-deprecating!

Hannah Diamond – “True”

HD Season is coming! Supposedly Hannah Diamond’s long-awaited debut album is to release early this year (“this year” being 2019, when I’m belatedly writing about my favorite 2018 music) and I couldn’t be more excited. PC Music–and specifically A.G. Cook–still does the sound better than anyone, and Hannah Diamond is my favorite musician from the label. I love the staccato synth chords peppered throughout this song, and the final climax where Hannah sings “no epiphanies, no believe-in-mes, no more chances wasted on nobodies… there’s no point there’s no time, maybe you’ll treat her right.” That verse gets me reaching for that repeat button every time I hear it.

Life Without Buildings – “Sorrow”

So, for some reason I’ve loved “The Leanover” for years but never dug deeper into the Life Without Buildings album it was on. I finally fixed that last year, and I unsurprisingly found a few more songs I can’t get enough of. “Sorrow” comes the closest to the heights “The Leanover” reaches. Without a doubt the singer’s sing-talking is the band at their best. I love that line “eyes like lotus leaves–no, not even like” that’s repeated throughout the song. Life Without Buildings was a great band.

Tommy Cash – “X-RAY”

I first discovered Tommy Cash through is 2014 single “Euros Dollaz Yeniz” which was a ridiculous and entertaining song that unfortunately didn’t build upon itself much past the earworm chorus. I’ve been following his music since then, especially since he linked up with PC Music a few years ago. His album ¥€$ finally delivered on what I hoped he could be, and the lead single “X-RAY” is Tommy Cash at the peak of his powers. It’s such a fucking jam, I truly cannot get enough of this song. The rest of the album is excellent too, most impressively because it sounds pretty different from itself song-to-song while still being cohesive and enjoyable. Tommy Cash ruled the end of my 2018 for sure.

Sir Babygirl – “Haunted House”

Speaking of ruling the end of my 2018: the third and final single for Sir Babygirl’s upcoming album dropped in November and as such it’s making its requisite appearance on this list. Though slightly more somber lyrically, “Haunted House” is like the other singles in that it’s a musically upbeat, danceable jam.

Floor Cry – “Who’s Gonna Drive U Home?”

This song almost didn’t make it on the monthly post. As part of going back and capturing all the songs I loved in November, I went through my playlists from November and found that I had gotten pretty bored of Floor Cry by January. But this song is worth highlighting because I got bored of it due to how much I listened to it, not because it’s not sticky. The whispery, soothing vocals are exquisite.

Toro y Moi – “Freelance”

This song is so fucking great. It’s not the style of music I usually go in for (I’ve only liked a few Toro songs over the years), but “Freelance” is just undeniable. It’s so great, it’s so weird (“walk on the waterrrrrr-er-er-er-er-er”), it’s so fun. Also, I hadn’t caught the music video before looking it up for this post and: yeah, it’s great.

Afterword: I listened to more new music in November than I had for a few months prior. Mostly I attribute that to a lack of desire to go “hunting” for new music before November. Also, I played more games during November and I find it easiest to listen to new, unfamiliar music when I also have a game to focus on–a game allows uninteresting music to fade into the background without me growing too bored.