Coming up: the gigs, books and albums not to miss in November and December

The Observer’s pop critic is back with another clutch of musical highlights, including Jon Savage’s new cultural history, Lizzo’s new album and the return of Madonna

Chvrches tour

Perky Scottish synth outfit tour their second album, the poppy and wistful Every Open Eye. Four Tet guest at the tour’s London climax.

Tour starts Brighton 16 Nov; ends London 27 Nov

Jon Savage book - 1966: the Year the Decade Exploded

Jon Savage
Jon Savage’s new tome. Photograph: PR

Cultural analyst Jon Savage has boiled down the Swinging 60s to one year, 1966, a year in which pop music, drugs, modernism, fashion and political upheaval all combined to change western society. Expect a sideways take on the usual shibboleths.

Published by Faber on 19 Nov

Disclosure tour

Guy (left) and Howard Lawrence of Disclosure. Photograph: Richard Beaven/Guardian

The brothers Lawrence start the party season off with a hedonistic handful of dates, airing their recent No 1 album, Caracal. But which of their high-powered guest vocalists will turn up to sing live?

Tour starts Glasgow 26 Nov; ends London 3 Dec

Nadia Reid album

Nadia Reid
Kiwi singer-songwriter Nadia Reid. Photograph: PR

Anyone who has played the last few Laura Marling records to death and needs new sustenance should check out this preternaturally assured New Zealand artist, a 23-year-old who arrives fully formed on her debut.

Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs is out 27 Nov on Spunk records

Lizzo album

Lizzo, back with more bangers. Photograph: PR

Two years on from her debut, the feted Lizzobangers, the Minneapolis rapper returns with Big Grrrl, Small World. Recorded at Justin Vernon’s Eau Claire studio, it’s a kaleidoscopic and intimate album.

Out 11 Dec on Lizzo’s BGSW records

Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts tour

Jeffrey Lewis
Jeffrey Lewis, on tour soon wit his band Los Bolts. Photograph: PR

Portraits of New York abound in pop; this latest one – Manhattan, by hyperactive folk sing-talker Jeffrey Lewis deploys his habitual mixture of verbose humour, compassion and wry observation on songs like Scowling Crackhead Ian. You can hear it in intimate UK venues throughout December.

Tour starts 4 Dec Colchester; ends 19 Dec London

Madonna tour

Madonna, on tour in December. Photograph: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Currently beating its way across north America, Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour arrives in the UK in December. Expect “flamenco-inspired choreography” and “nuns on poles”.

Starts London 1 December; ends Glasgow 20 Dec

Sun O))) album

Sunn O)))
Attila Csihar of Sunn O))) at the Royal Festival Hall, London, August 2015. Photograph: Maria Jefferis/Redferns

Billed as “their most outright ‘metal’ album in some years”, Sunn O)))’s latest work, Kannon, comprises three suites. Naturally, it’s not about some misspelt artillery, but a feminine manifestation of the Buddha known as the Goddess of Mercy.

Out 4 Dec via Southern Lord

Hudson Mohawke tour

Hudson Mohawke
Ross Birchard, AKA Hudson Mohawke. Photograph: Sarah Lee/Guardian

The temptation to merely DJ must be overwhelming for electronic musicians. Producer and Kanye confidant Hudson Mohawke has chosen to play out his latest album, Lantern, a lot more live than most.

Tour starts Dublin 9 Dec; ends Glasgow 12 Dec

Ana Matronic hosts Artsnight

Ana Matronic
Ana Matronic and her cyborg ink. Photograph: Suki Dhanda/Observer

Scissor Sister Ana Matronic has a tattoo of cyborg circuitry on her arm, took her soubriquet from a childhood fascination with robotics, and has recently published a book about them. She co-hosts (with a robot) BBC2’s look at all things android.

Artsnight, BBC2, 11 Dec


Kitty Empire

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