We have put together a list of songs that have stood out in January for a plethora of reasons. Please take the time to invest and immerse yourself in them:
Campdogzzz: Rawbone Ring
Fronted by the unmistakable vocal of Jess Prince, the 5-piece has become a firm favourite of ours. ‘Rawbone Ring’ is an engrossing listen and shows a different shade to the band. It’s rhythmic section almost reminds me of Joy Division’s ‘Dead Souls’ in a weird and beautiful way. There is aggression underpinning the whole song and the band continue to brim with emotion and uniqueness.
Le Groupe Obscur: Piȼedelula
The French dream-pop outfit emerges with a supremely catchy collage of kaleidoscopic sounds. It’s pneumatic beats and celestial atmospherics merge effortlessly as shoegaze flows through its veins. This transports you to its own terrain and takes no prisoners. ‘Piȼedelula’ is a vibrant discovery and one not to be forgotten.
Spielbergs: Five On It
The Norwegian outfit has gained significant praise from peers and industry with their popularity on a skyward trajectory. Their latest release manages to merge nostalgic reminders ranging from Teenage Fanclub to The Lemonheads. It’s a righteous, anthemic foray into indie rock and a relentless one at that.
Natalie Evans: New Year
It’s often the most unassuming that make the biggest impact and Evans proves this. She takes you on a labyrinthine melodic tour with her vocal and the aid of delicate finger plucking. She makes this unequivocally hers as a song and your thoughts are hushed into submission as you hone in completely. With its strange beauty, she has issued a complete treasure.
Walden: Friends Are OK
The Netherlands outfit proves completely endearing with their latest release and provides a refreshing and addictive release in a saturated stylistic field. Acting as a body of work within a song, it comes in movements and there is something almost raw about its delivery. There’s a genuineness here that is missing from a number of other contemporaries and this is stunning.
Cape Francis: Button Up
The solo project of Kevin Olken Henthorn, Button Up is an emotionally raw with a heightened sense of clarity thanks to its spacious arrangement. Its influences act as a whirlpool which swirls into a single body of something fresh and above all, extremely poignant. The vulnerability which is at the core of this is its heartbeat and whether Henthorn sings to you in whispers or with greater dynamism, he will always be engaging.
Rosie Carney: Your Love Is Holy
Carney continues a faultless catalogue of affecting releases with her latest single. She has the ability to convince the listener of her naivety and inner strength in the same breath. Her bell-clear vocal is what carries this firmly and she continues to remain memorable. This will reel new listeners in and keep existing fans content.
The Western Den: Like You Do
This is our first introduction to the Boston duo and its unassuming start will in no way prepare you for what awaits. With a striking tone, the outfit shows a certain decadence in their delivery and production. This is almost like a hybrid of folk and indie rock, but its arrangement makes it feel so much more than that. An opus of sorts in its movement, this shows major songwriting strides.
The Italian singer-songwriter follows up with her second single and maintains a mature beauty in her delivery. Her rich vocal curls round a lucid instrumental with almost trip-hop-like beats serving like morse code. This is a slow-burning anthem which offers complete catharsis to its listener.
Henry Jamison: American Babes
Jamison is another artist on our list who has become a firm favourite. American Babes provides instant gratification and something to fully indulge yourself in. There’s a special intimacy achieved here which is like the ultimate headphones moment and the ease in which you can get lost in his consoling vocal is a gift.
The Family Knife: Don’t Wanna Give Up
The Dublin outfit manages to pack so many influences into this sonically that it leaves you thirsty for more. Calling out to the likes of The Beta Band and Deerhunter, this is a melodic gem and one that flows subtly in its textures and mood. Its lush atmospherics and fuzzed-out nuances take this away from the folk field and place it within a Venn diagram packed with differing elements. Gorgeously melancholic, this is a fully realised composition and I cannot wait to see what comes next.
The Prism Tats: Stay True
The project of South African songwriter and producer Garett van der Spek, Stay True is the latest earworm from the talented musician. His playful, otherworldly style is what sets him apart and he manages to integrate notable production and instrumental techniques and hooks which set him apart from more generic indie rock offerings. Its spirit is alive in its quirkiness and it’s like greeting a refreshing new friend to learn more about.
Swine Tax: Hold Your Own
Newcastle upon Tyne has become one of my favourite cities to discover new music and Swine Tax are part of a core group of essential new musicians to listen to. Unabashedly brash, this combines pop, punk and rock into a ball of unrelenting magic. It’s lo-fi production aspects add to its accessibility and it showers you in a hue of optimism. An absolute triumph.