There’s no way of sugar-coating it, really: November of the year of our lord 2016 is a pretty dismal month for album releases. Novembers in general are usually bleak, functioning as a sort of deep breath before the Christmas-time rush of big pop star releases and such, but for whatever reason, this year is particularly dire — you can count the number of decent album releases on two hands… so we’ve done just that for you! Here’s the result: eight albums that are worth hearing over the coming month.
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions — Until the Hunter (November 4)
At this stage of her career, you feel like you know what you’re going to get with Hope Sandoval — her instantly recognizable voice, still the same some 25 years after we first heard her with Mazzy Star; languid, country-tinged arrangements; and an abiding sense of melancholy. She’s certainly not messing with this formula, but she is expanding on it — Until the Hunter features a duet with Kurt Vile, which is a treat (and features a guitar lick that sounds a lot like the first part of Wings’ “Band on the Run”), along with some interesting songwriting excursions. Most memorable is “A Wonderful Seed,” which plays like a dark fairytale, an impression heightened by Sandoval’s sinister, childlike delivery. The album is streaming on NPR now.