Read about our top 5 new music releases for the months of December ’18 and January ’19, plus some country crossover from 2018 that we somehow missed. Listen to the tracks at the end of the post or download or stream these songs this month…
Song: Stock Image
From album: Premonitions
Of all the uses of modern social media tools, Miya Folick assembling her band using ‘dating’ platform Tinder stands out as pretty unique. Californian born to a Japanese mother and Russian father (who both feature on the album cover), Folick was raised Buddhist, learning to play the taiko drums through religious gatherings. Following a few singles and EPs, Premonitions is her debut album and exhibits confidence and swagger in spades. The album highlights her staggering vocal range, from sweet and sassy to a defiant roar. Lead single Stock Image finds her performing in more operatic mode over a sugar-pop-meets-punk backdrop. Lyrically, she has a wonderful way of making the everyday seem poignant. One to watch.
(Also download or stream from the album: Premonitions, What We’ve Made, Deadbody)
From album: A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships
One of the most talked about albums of 2018 came to us late in the year. The hype was only matched by the quality of the music. Wildly diverse and enthralling, the 15 tracks and one hour of A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships takes us on a whirlwind trip through R&B, pop, indie, jazz and even some drum & bass and ambient. A head-spinning album that points to the future for rock bands (by producing music bearing zero resemblance to rock). Frontman Matt Healy cleaned up his act and kicked a heroin addiction in the lead up to this, the band’s third album, and it shows. More focused, lyrically sharp and worldly than before, A Brief Enquiry… brought us a record that found itself near the top end of many critics year-end lists. With this diversity on offer its tricky to pick a favourite track. Tootime gets featured probably only as it was the best fit with the flow of our 2018 year-end playlist in December. Listen to the whole thing and pick your own.
(Also download or stream from the album: Love It If We Made It, Give Yourself A Try, Sincerity Is Scary)
She Drew The Gun
Song: Something For The Pain
From album: Revolution Of Mind
With a lyrical narrative spanning personal relationships to the global war system, Liverpool band She Drew The Gun have broadened their ambition to tremendous effect on 2nd album Revolution Of Mind. Their sound has been fleshed out too and taken on more muscle. Something For The Pain for instance features a bold bluegrass-meets-blues plucked guitar motif that builds real punch into the chorus. Normally a death-knell for a band, She Drew The Gun won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent contest in 2016. No doubt the brand of political psych-pop they favour will have the legs to win over many more fans.
(Also download or stream from the album: Resister, Paradise, Dopamine)
Song: Before The Sun
From album: Radiate
What’s going on over there in France? Hot on the heels of the takeover of our pop consciousness by Christine And The Queens comes another androgynous performer with a collection of slick and thought-provoking pop tunes. Jeanne Added is a Parisian who spent most of her musical years in the French jazz scene following formal studies in classical music. Now she’s teamed up with British electronic production duo Maestro to deliver a collection of pristine pop washed in a ultra-cool electro sheen. She puts her dramatic transition down to getting bored of the low interpersonal reaction from typical jazz and classical concert goers, wanting ‘the crowd to be more dynamic, and a little less respectful’. All the better for us then.
(Also download or stream from the album: Mutate, Falling Hearts, Radiate)
From album: Crooked House
The closest description of the music put out by Crooked Man would be house. To label it as such however would undermine the breadth and quality on offer on this, the sophomore release under the Crooked Man moniker from veteran UK producer/DJ Richard Barratt. Barratt himself seems to cheekily acknowledge this via the title of his second album, Crooked House. The record opens with a twisted take on chill-out, followed by a set of the highest quality ranging from NYC disco belters to sinister electro-pop. Walls is 6 minutes of pure house, sounding gloriously out of step with current trends. Dance diva Amy Douglas provides the power vocals.
(Also download or stream from the album: Here On Earth, Take It All Away, Every Killer Needs A Friend)
In case you missed it…
Song: Slow Burn
From album: Golden Hour (from 2018)
Normally our ‘in case you missed it’ entry features an album from a few years back (and even sometimes way longer back than that). This month, however, we feature an album that we somehow missed over the course of last year. Let’s blame the fact that the country genre is not exactly enthusiastically followed in our part of the world. Then again, the work that Kacey Musgraves puts out hardly fits the pure country tag either. Indeed Golden Hour was an album that brought her a heap more fans residing nowhere near Nashville. Perhaps she also pushed a few die-hards away at the same time with this deep dive into pop territory.
Musgraves was born in small-town Texas and steadily built a loyal and local fanbase over her first 2 albums. Golden Hour was a significant departure and probably upset a whole bunch of them. ‘Grandma cried when I pierced my nose’ is a lyric from Slow Burn, the best track here. Gives the listener a sense of the ultra-conservative attitudes of the community Musgraves hails from.
(Also download or stream from the album: High Horse, Oh What A World, Rainbow)
LISTEN TO OUR PLAYLIST
You can listen to previews of each track by clicking on the icons next to the song titles below.
If you have iTunes and an Apple Music account, you can listen to the full songs and add the playlist to your library. Simply click on the grey Apple Music icon.
See more of our music reviews and playlists here.