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:
Devon Welsh: Faces
Ontario-born Welsh returns and already the jungle drums are beating furiously with anticipation and delight at his return. A flawless performance, ‘Faces’ channels a refined eloquence drenched in melancholy. Piecing together snapshots of hope, life’s journey and nature’s progression, this soundtracks them all with an incredibly earnest delivery. There’s something to be said for vocal and instrumental simplicity performing so honestly.
The Birmingham-based outfit has been on a fascinating journey over the years but has continued to consistently evolve and stay true to their art. This is one of the most striking songs released by the band and its exhilarative synth hooks enable this to translate from dancefloor to stadium and vice versa. Nu-electro is not a description that you may have placed in the same sphere as Editors but this is a calling for them.
THE BOHOS: Already Dead
The Liverpudlian powerhouse return with their second release. A breathtaking punch to the gut, this is faultless from delivery to production. Tight, accomplished and ready to clothesline your instincts, this demonstrates indie punk for the new school. This is one of the first legitimate heavy rock bands to land this year.
Originally from Australia and now Berlin-based, the new wave duo embraces as much as they entertain. A compelling composition and kaleidoscopic wash of melodic lines, percussive pulses and impressive experimental production, this weaves a fascinating sonic tapestry and a completely addictive one at that.
Taken from the debut EP Night Wandering, this is laid on a foundation of dark, minimal electro, dubstep and techno. An electronic highlight, this highly effective taunting of deep-seated guttural basslines and exquisite production makes this an essential listen.
Cautious Clay: Sidewinder
Clay continues to be at the top of his game and his blend of R&B, psychedelic tone and soul manages to place him in a league of his own. There’s a beautiful hue that flows over the top of this song and its lazy percussive amble lulls you into submission. Clay bursts to the surface with his melodic crescendoes before drifting below surface again. His brilliance grows with every release.
REYNA: The Way I loved You
The Milwaukee sister duo joins the elite club of infectious indie-pop stars to catapult you into the realm of sheer joy. Sky-high melodic hooks combined with heady production make this exceed all expectation. Grabbing you with its full-bodied stellar pop licks, this will leave you with a longing for much more.
Daya: Left Me Yet
With a list of notable accolades to her musical CV including opening for Carly Rae Jepsen, the GRAMMY award winner returns with another frighteningly addictive number. The production may be packed with glitz and glamour but there is heart here. A strong, pulsating human underbelly and one that fuels her modern blend of electro-pop.
Magpie Blue: Just In Time
The Scottish singer-songwriter arrives with her raw and elemental debut. Packed with intensity, Millie Hanlon Cole fashions originality and a heavenly presence. Her movements from whispers to deep vocal outthrusts are effortless. As a debut, this is up there with some of the finest.
David Kitt, Fehdah, Kean Kavanagh: ‘Follow The Sound’
A fascinating melding of talent, the song was written collaboratively as part of Three’s ‘Made By Music’ initiative. Boasting some of Ireland’s most talented contemporary artists, new layers will unfurl with every listen. This blossoms into something beautiful as it builds and its production makes this feel like a sophisticated art form.