The Best of January 2019 & Monthly Staff Playlist

Posted: by The Editor

Art by Julia Carbone

2019—how about that ride in, am I right? January is usually a pretty slow month for music, but we’ve been fortunate enough to get a slew of awesome new music this month to sink our teeth into. Check out our staffs favorite releases below and make sure to check out our Spotify playlist featuring all our favorite new tunes from January.


It only makes sense to start things off with what is probably the majority of our staffs favorite album of the year so far, Diva Sweetly’s charming debut In The Living Room. Filled with catchy choruses, bubbly synths, and energetic guitar lines, this scrappy North Carolina band takes the framework of early-2000s emo and pushes it to new heights. Another reason we love this record so much is that it manages to be both funny and eccentric without taking away from the music, combining the humor of 90s Nickelodeon with the bouncing off the walls energy of The Get Up Kids . But don’t just take my word for it, make sure to check out our editor Eli’s review if you haven’t already!

Next up we have Better Oblivion Community Center and their surprise released self-titled debut. Comprised of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, Better Oblivion Community Center proves that Bridgers and Oberst are perfect sparring partners for one another—their writing styles seamlessly blending together for an unwavering collection of shuffling folk-rock. Between her solo work, Boygenius, and now Better Oblivion Community, Bridgers might possibly be the greatest utility player indie rock has had in the past 10 years, as she’s constantly bringing out the best in her collaborators.

Another album that hit us by surprise was the self-titled Hollow Comet LP, which is the solo moniker of Strange Ranger’s Isaac Eiger. Hollow Comet is a lot more vulnerable and stripped down than that of Strange Ranger, showcasing a softer side to Eiger’s songwriting. If you’re in the mood for some twee bedroom-pop, make sure to check out Bigness by Pickle Darling, the most charming and endearing album released so far this year, filled to the brim with saccharine hooks and gossamer arrangements.

January saw a number of highly influential emo acts from the 90s-early 2000s release new music—with new albums from both Pedro The Lion and Say Anything. American Football released a new track and video for “Uncomfortably Numb”, featuring Haley Williams of Paramore, and it rules. Even Mineral joined in on the fun, releasing a fantastic pair of songs, the latter of which we covered earlier this month. All of these bands have helped to shape the sound of the current wave of emo, and these newest additions to their catalogues only further cements their place in the pantheon of emo’s history.

We also got our first peek at a couple of our most anticipated release of 2019, starting off with “Kids” by Canadian rockers PUP. The track finds PUP sounding more like The Hold Steady than ever before, but thankfully that’s a good thing. PUP have released some of the most accomplished and innovative music videos of the past couple few years, and the bleak and dystopian visuals for “Kids” don’t disappoint. We also got our first taste of Vampire Weekend’s forthcoming LP Father of the Bride, backed by the lead single “Harmony Hall”. With “Harmony Hall” they’ve finally become the jam band we deserve and I’m definitely here for it.

Nanami Ozone first captured our attention at the end of last year with the “Alone Too” / “3 Mile Drive” digital 45, and they’re back with “The Art Of Sleeping In”, the third single from their forthcoming album NO. The Arizona four-piece plays music that’s both noisy and beautiful at the same time, it’s like a lullaby that you can only hear when your ears are ringing. We also got new music from DC punks Priests with “The Seduction of Kansas”, which is both darker and groovier than their previous work, so it will be interesting to see what direction they go on their new LP.

Charlotte rapper DaBaby, who released the Blank Bank mixtape last year, has garnered a lot of buzz from his single “Walker Texas Ranger” (peep former Vine star Casey Frey dancing to it above) and the tracks accompanying music video which dropped at the beginning of this year. Rico Nasty teamed up once more with producer Kenny Beats for the rowdy and menacing “Roof” and it’s beautiful to watch her music getting stranger and stranger. “Meet Again” from Maxo Kream employs the storytelling of the golden age of hip hop to paint a picture of the ways in which incarceration effects the lives of your loved ones on the outside, it’s one of the most poignant rap songs I’ve heard in a long time.

Well, that’s all we’ve got for this month. Thanks for checking out the site, we promise to continue providing paywall free music coverage of all the best stuff out there. Smell ‘ya later.


Written by Michael Brooks // @nomichaelbrooks

Playlist curated by Steven Lalonde // @StevenLalonde

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