Best Music of January 2018
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When we completed our year end top 50 list and awards, I’d finally be able to take a breath and catch up on some music I might have missed, maybe even listen to some classic albums for a while. I figured, ‘How much good music could really come out in January?’
Well, I got my answer on day 1 of 2018 with the surprise release of a new Jeff Rosenstock album, and it’s only accelerated from there. We’ve already been blessed with tons of releases so far this year and it is shaping up to be an excellent year for new music. Here were some of our favorites from January:
THE BEST MUSIC OF JANUARY 2018
Jeff Rosenstock’s new album POST- is an album about America post-election night, post-Trump, and post-that horrible feeling that just won’t go away. Its an album that perfectly conveys the anxiety and frustration of this time period, but does so with the frantic cheerleader energy that Jeff Rosenstock releases always bring. I really can’t do it better justice than Eli already did in his review, but be sure to know that this is a release you need to listen to.
In a year that’s started off with a bunch of great new records, Sidney Gish’s debut record has stood out. This album bursts with quirky personality. Well placed samples collide with Kimya Dawson esque indie folk that often folds into a more Regina Spektor style indie pop (tracks like “Sophisticated Space”). Hooks on hooks on hooks. Dare you to listen to this just once. And it has the lyrics to back it up.
This month there have also been a ton of incredible singles being released that have opened my mind up to the possibility that 2018 is going to be even better than 2017 for new albums. It doesn’t hurt that we just released our Most Anticipated List, which has me stoked on the prospect of all this new music.
This Kississippi single was a jam and builds hopes for an incredible release from her in 2018.
There were also few rad singles off Runaway Brothers new album already and that is shaping up to be one of the cooler releases of this winter. I especially really liked the bass line on “Conscious in Tumult”.
There was also the new single from Hop Along (winner of our 2015 AOTY). The track is a poppier catchier take on the sound from their last record and I absolutely love it. This is a potential AOTY contender in 2018 for sure if this single is any indication.
Speaking of albums with high expectations, Camp Cope’s first 2 singles have been jams, especially the political track “The Opener” which pushes for non-men to be treated as equals within the indie rock scene in their native Australia and around the world.
Heart Attack Man’s 1st track on their split with Mccafferty is a millennial anthem (always encouraged), which has me excited for their next release after the beautiful and depressing LP they released last year The Manson Family.
Probably the single that blew me away the most though was Donovan Wolfington’s first single from their final album. I honestly believe they were one of the most talented bands of this decade. Their discography is incredible and I think this final album will be a fitting conclusion.
In the wake of Don Wolf, we are still left with a crew of talented songwriters going their own ways, and lucky for us they are already producing a ton of music. Pope has a new album out, so does New Holland, and Neil just released his first single for his solo project. Excited to see what all of them are able to come up with, and just really glad they will still be making music.
1 of the coolest things of late December which I can’t not mention, was Counter Intuitive’s 12 Days of Prince Daddy video series where different bands covered 13 Prince Daddy & The Hyena tracks. These included covers from Pictures of Vernon, Remo Drive, At Zero, Casual Friday, Nervous Dater, Mom Jeans, Looming, Just Friends, Save Face, Macseal, Retirement Party, and Kississippi (performing her cover live on stage with Prince Daddy themselves). The covers vary from pretty solid to ‘holy shit that was incredible’, but I especially dig how many of the bands took a new take on the tracks. A very cool idea, and it just proves that Prince Daddy write excellent songs. I can’t wait for their upcoming LP.
It feels like every month there are a few incredible musicians that pass away (we need to take better care of our artists as a society), but the one that hit me especially hard this month was Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries. Her incredible voice made for some of the best songs of a generation and those tracks will be remembered forever.
There were also a few cool records that came out right at the end of 2017 that you shouldn’t skip. Mainly Foxy Dads and Special Explosion.
Special Explosion’s album starts with a slowly increasing swell of sound and some light chimes and you instantly know exactly what you are in for. To Infinity is a warm and comforting snuggle on the couch under your favorite blanket. Seattle dreamo band Special Explosion enamored me with their EP The Art of Mothering in early 2014 and then… nothing for nearly 3 years. Well now I know what they were working on. Crafting this gem. Each track builds toward the sky creating the pure feeling of calm, which its introspective lyrics soothes you.
Foxy Dads mix bedroom pop and emo influences in Song From The LIRR to create a sweet and relatable personal account of everyday life: commuting into work on the train, hurrying to get home to get high with your friends, and trying to make the right choices in between. Ilana’s voice pulls the whole project together but its the cutting lyrics that really shine. “I wanna put hexes on my exes / I love it when you clean up my messes. / Let’s sit on a park bench in the city, next time things are too intense, and we can read the Village Voice, hang out w the boys. / Everything lately feels like background noise.”
That’s all for this month. Oh also be sure to check out our radio shows: Go Dumbcast! (mostly rap) and Get Alternative Radio (mostly rock). You can listen to them anytime on our Mixcloud channel for a nice mix of great new music. If that’s something you might be into.
Written by Henderson / @HendoSlice
Playlist curated by Steven Lalonde / @StevenLalonde
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