A selection of the best albums from the penultimate month of the year...

Festive season is almost upon us, but before we start cranking up the Christmas mega-mix at the Clash office, and obsessing over 'end of year' lists (and this year, 'end of decade' lists), we've taken a look at the last month's album output. 

November has been a brilliant musical month, with represntation from the old guard as well as the avant garde, from guitars to rap and electronic. 

For Clash's verdict on the albums of the year, watch this space. For now, enjoy some of the best records November had to offer... 

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Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka // Review

‘Kiwanuka’ is an inspired, groundbreaking piece of work, seeing British-Ugandan artist Michael Kiwanuka exploring and embracing who he is – a journey of both self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Narzra Ahmed

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Sudan Archives - Athena // Review

The album opens with the sound of strings being plucked before Sudan Archives' sleek vocals swoop in with:“When I was a little girl, I thought I could rule the world". When Sudan was a little girl she thought she could rule the world. Given the strength of ‘Athena’ it probably won’t be long before she is.

Nick Roseblade

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FKA twigs – Magdalene // Review

Almost every track on ‘Magdalene’ is built upwards from a simple piano line, hammering home the impression of someone delicately yet decisively knitting themselves back together after coming undone. After being trapped in a cocoon state depicted on the album’s cover, FKA twigs does not want to go back to being the avant-garde oddity she was before. Instead she has knitted her own wings, tentatively fluttering into a future of infinite possibilities. 

Josh Gray

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Underworld - DRIFT Series 1 // Review

'DRIFT' is a testament to the possibilities opened up by the digital landscape: direct-to-fan engagement, exclusive downloads and ticket pre-sales, the works. By taking all these ideas and running with them, Underworld has rushed in where most artists fear to tread. “Did any of us ever seriously think there wouldn’t be a DRIFT Series 2…?” Karl Hyde asked online last year. We are ready to go. Just say the word.

Eero Holi

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Giant Swan - Giant Swan // Review

This is an album for anyone who thought that Blanck Mass had gone soft and poppy. For anyone who thinks that Lightning Bolt has lost their touch and anyone who has ever wanted a group to push things as far as they logically can. Giant Swan have done this, without the music being jeopardised.

Nick Roseblade

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Moor Mother - Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes // Review

“We’re here protesting and sharing stories, but when everything else is so loud, how do you penetrate through?” This is how Philadelphia artist Camae Ayewa - or Moor Mother as you’ll most likely know her - broke down the title of her new record earlier this year, as well as the context from which it arises. It's one of terror, suffocation, and the sense of screaming in a liquid vacuum. Above all, however, the record is the most realised and singularly minded vision yet from the Moor Mother project, a documentation of venomous rage, yes, but also one in search of a means of escape, one found through the redemptive power of community.

Eden Tizard 

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Lil Peep - Everybody's Everything // Review

Just two years since his death, 'Everybody’s Everything' is a well-rounded tribute showcasing every aspect of Lil Peep. Not only highlighting an upsetting loss in the music industry but setting the bar for emo-trap; a sound that can often come across as gimmicky, this album exceeds our expectations and is a righteous example of Lil Peep’s art.  ]

Laviea Thomas

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Leonard Cohen - Thanks For The Dance // Review

For this project Ben Cohen has taken the vocal outtakes and sketches and has crafted wonderfully rich and vibrant music around them. Is it what Leonard would have wanted? We’ll never know, but it doesn’t sound out of place in his rich canon of work, and fans will revel in another chance to lap up his wisdom. The album closes with the words: “Listen to the hummingbird, Whose wings you cannot see. Listen to the hummingbird, Don't listen to me”. I’m afraid this once we should ignore Cohen’s advice and soak in the resonance of his thick husky vocals just a few more times.

Nick Roseblade

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Girl Ray - Girl // Review

On their sophomore record 'Girl', Girl Ray sound like a keyboard is flowing in their veins instead of blood. Dripping synth notes and belting electronic tones paint the album with a rainbow glitterball brush, and it’s a sound that works with the trio’s evolution perfectly.

Erin Bashford

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Beck – Hyperspace // Review

A glittering, multi-sensory synth-pop record that compels you to let yourself be transported through cosmic dimensions and the rich, textured under-layers of Beck’s creative psyche.

Sarah Bradbury

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