This month's music must-haves.

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THE XX - Happily Coexisting

"When you see a puddle of petrol and water on the floor and it makes a rainbow, I wondered what it was," says Romy Madley Croft, sitting in a Sydney bar with her two fellow members of London alt-pop heroes The xx. “I read that ‘oil and water don’t mix, so they agree to peacefully coexist’. I like the idea of two things that are separate and not necessarily considered beautiful coming together to create something that is beautiful.” Madley Croft is not merely explaining the title of The xx’s new album Coexist
– the follow-up to their Mercury Prize-winning eponymous debut: “I was thinking about us as individuals coming together to create something that cannot be created [on our own]. It had that connotation to it – the three of us coexisting with one another and our tastes kind of living alongside each other. I think we try not to make our music relate to a particular time or place, so anybody in the future or now, anywhere, can relate to it.”
Coexist is out now through Inertia. Visit www.thexx.info.

The Killers

Battle Born (Universal)
For some unknown reason, many seemed to tolerate the band’s last album, 2008’s risible Day & Age. Thankfully, for those who couldn’t, the foursome from Las Vegas are back making the triumphant, chest-beating indie rock that made everyone fall for them in the first place on their fourth long-player, Battle Born. Drums pound and crash, guitars squeal and cry and Brandon Flowers’s vocals reach for the heartstrings one minute, up to the skies the next.

Paul Kelly

Spring And Fall (Gawd Aggie)
As if Paul Kelly’s A-Z shows of
recent years didn’t prove the venerable Australian singer/storyteller had enough memorable folk-flavoured pop songs, here are some more to add to his formidable canon. Spring And Fall starts prettily enough, with the breezy strum of the opening few tracks bringing the simple, natural pleasures suggested by the title. Kelly being Kelly, however, things get more complicated, interesting and even a little darker as the album progresses.

Mélanie Pain


Bye Bye Manchester (Cartell/Inertia)
Most of us first heard the sensual tones of Mélanie Pain when the Frenchwoman was purring covers as singer of mid-2000s sensation Nouvelle Vague. Her second solo album continues to show she’s just as adept when performing her own guitar-and-synth-driven pop and acoustic folk. Despite the (somewhat unglamorous) title, it is mostly sung in French, and entrancing throughout. In January, Pain will perform in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Visit www.melaniepain.com.

OUR FAVOURITE TRACKS FROM THIS MONTH’S ARTISTS

• Bennie And The Jets – Elton John
• Angels – The xx
• 7 Ou 8 Fois – Mélanie Pain
• Miss Atomic Bomb – The Killers
• Cast Away – Strange Talk
• Gonna Be Good – Paul Kelly
• Exit Music (For a Film)– Radiohead

ON TOUR
RADIOHEAD
Alt-rock titans Radiohead are about the only band touring that have become so huge, yet have remained so cool. They tour nationally from November 9–17.
Visit www.radiohead.com.

ELTON JOHN
Elton John has been writing pop classics since before most of us were born. Indeed, this tour celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of his most beloved tunes – “Rocket Man”. Hear him play that and many more from November 10–20. Visit www.eltonjohn.com.

ONE TO WATCH
They’ve just played New York City with the presets, but Melbourne four-piece Strange talk specialise in a dreamier brand of widescreen electro pop – the kind those Frenchies of m83 do so well. catch them at the Soundscape festival in hobart on November 16, or at their club shows in Melbourne and Sydney. for
dates, visit www.facebook.com/strangetalkmusic.