We Rounded Up the Best New Music of November, 2022
Doot do-do-loot-do. Doot doo.
Howdy y’all, we’re trying something new here and hopefully you enjoy it. This year has been full of exciting new releases in the music world, and we at TMS wanted to share in the fanfare in the way we best know how: with a lil’ intersectional flair, and with a touch of nerdism.
Now, I can’t promise this list will give too much attention to more mainstream artists. But that’s not so bad, right? You’re here to learn about someone new, and that’s what I’m here to do. So, the following are some artists who’ve put out some pretty great new music this past month, as well as some soundtracks that are worthy of praise. Please feel free to add your favorite November releases to the comments, I’d love to continue the sharing down there!
Okay Kaya: SAP
Kaya Wilkins has been producing music since 2015, with her first release “Damn, Gravity”–a song that still holds up, which is fairly rare when it comes to singer-songwriting debuts. Her songs have always tangoed between somber sentimentality and a sort of goofy nonchalance, and this latest album, SAP, leans more into the latter.
The song above, “Jazzercise,” makes me feel like I’m in a PS1 game, my actions being narrated by someone who finds my trials entirely absurd. Sometimes when artists dive a little too far into meta-irony, they end up sounding pretentious and annoying, but Kaya’s songwriting is incredibly fresh, brisk, and ultimately delightful.
Ultimately though, I wouldn’t say that SAP is the sort of album you could listen to casually. It merits a situation that fits its whole “deal.” If you listen to it while jogging, you might just get tired preemptively. But if you go sit in a grungy cafe while it’s raining to get some work done, then you’d be a fool not to bring SAP along with you.
BROCKHAMPTON: Not One, but Two Farewells
I’m not really sure what to say about BROCKHAMPTON. So, I’ll try not to say much at all—you can easily find information about their controversies and make up your own decisions based on them—and I’ll just focus on the music.
These last two albums…I don’t know if I can listen to them in totality again. They make me sad. BROCKHAMPTON came in hot all those years ago, but now, it’s just so evident that they’re tired. While prior albums were full of rich sounds and themes, “TM” and “The Family” are hazy. Many of the songs feel like the last call at a bar, with “TM” sounding almost entirely made up of demo tracks.
But the two that stood out most to me are “Big P****” and “My American Life.” The former (which yes, doesn’t have the most appropriate name, reminds me the most of “Old BROCKHAMPTON”: the beat is sick, the lyrics are electric, and everything about it just feels alive and brimming with creativity. But it’s also more mature, less “kill the haters” and more “I’m gonna live despite the haters.” Which is cool!
But then, you get to “My American Life,” and that energy falls backward onto the mattress. Kevin Abstract, whom I consider to be the heart of the whole group, tells it to us straight. He’s not doing well. Fame hasn’t been kind to him. And sure, maybe some of that is his own fault, judging from some of the allegations against the group. But I can’t help but feel for him: he escaped a dangerously homophobic environment to be the artist he wanted to be, and now, it’s ending on such a strange note. It’s a beautiful song, and you can’t help but feel it all over.
Ultimately, people are entitled to how they feel, and I’d understand if people could care less. But I’ll admit, I’m sad. BROCKHAMPTON brought something really unique to hip-hop, and the lyrics make it clear that they’re pretty broken up about breaking up. I hope they find peace, whatever they do next.
Pokémon, feat. Toby Fox
Not to hard-pivot on purpose or anything, but since we are a nerd site for nerds (yes you, reader, you too), I had to plug in my favorite soundtrack of the month. And look, hate Pokemon ScarVi all you want for the glitches and graphics, but don’t you dare look me in the virtual eyes and slam Toby Fox’s contributions to the music.
If you didn’t already know, Toby Fox is the guy who made Undertale and Deltarune. He scored pretty much the entirety of both those games, too, and he’s got an almost freakishly incredible talent for making absolute bangers. Naturally, he caught the attention of some pretty important people, and now we find him having worked on more than half of Scarlet & Violet‘s score. And damn, you can really tell it’s him.
Like the kids say: what kinda sauce is he putting in these tracks?????
Matt Watson, Sarah Bonito, and SEE YOU THERE
Our favorite white boy did it!!!
I’m not huge on let’s plays anymore, but back in the day, I used to watch Supermega all the time. I’ve checked back in over the years just because I like Matt and Ryan, who seem like genuinely good, cool, and creative people, and I can’t help but feel proud of Matt that he’s finally put out a full album. Not only that, he got to collab with Kero Kero Bonito’s Sarah Bonito, whom he’s been a big fan of for years. That’s just incredibly cool to see.
I gotta admit, this kind of music isn’t really my thing. But I thought I’d give it a shoutout nonetheless, because I see Matt going in a really fun direction in his career and I think he’s gonna start attracting a lot of new people to his music.
…and since we’re done with November now, I may as well post this below to show how much he’s grown (and apparently I haven’t grown, because this song still cracks me up):
Fleet Foxes & Tim Bernardes: “A Sky Like I’ve Never Seen”
If you’re looking for something softer, then I’m happy to give you this sweet, delightful collaboration. Amazon will be releasing a movie called Wildcat at the end of the year, and while I’m anti-Amazon and probably won’t watch it, I’m definitely a fan of Fleet Foxes and Tim Bernardes.
If you haven’t heard of Fleet Foxes, you’ve probably listened to them at some point. They were one of the biggest staples in folk and indie for many years, and if you were unfortunate enough to live with the kinds of people I lived with for a while, you probably heard someone describe their members as “looking like they’re good lovers.” Bleh! Nasty! Moving on!
Collaborating with Tim Bernardes was such an inspired choice for them, as well as a natural one. Tim Bernardes is a Brazilian musician of many, many talents, with a soft, dreamy voice, and a soft, dreamy guitar style. I’d like to think the movie will comprise an entire album done between the two, but for now, this song was a well-needed gift.
What Have You Been Listening To?
Whether it’s new, or something that’s new to you, let us know in the comments!
(featured image: 21st Century Fox)
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