As we know 2016 was a fantastic year for music and 2017 is going to have to bring some really special music to compete. As the month of January comes to a close I must say that it has gotten off to a pretty flying start.
This year really started on the front foot and the king of ambient music, Brian Eno, didn’t hang around with his ‘Reflection’ project which he released on January 1st. This is another great record from Eno and it marks his 26th solo studio album which is insane!
We got the David Bowie ‘No Plan’ EP made up of tracks from his Lazarus LP recorded in the sessions for his, sadly, last album ‘Blackstar’. It seems even the grave isn’t going to stop Bowie from releasing music.
Bonobo, the British downtempo electronic wizard released his sixth full length ‘Migration’ which I jammed out quite a few times this month. It’s a very cinematic and transcendent record with a definite tinge of melancholy, it’s a very interesting listen. I’m still really discovering this album but I’m finding new things to love about it after every listen.
Pennsylvanian hardcore band Code Orange unleashed ‘Forever’ which is my favourite thing that they’ve put out. It’s essentially a hardcore album with massive metalcore influence and I can even hear some Fear Factory style industrial metal in their sound too.
The XX released ‘I See You’ which I won’t get into too much detail about because I reviewed it recently so check that out!
Cloud Nothings put out ‘Life Without Sound’ which is another great addition to their pretty solid indie rock discography.
Kehlani released her first full length LP ‘SweetSexySavage’ which to be honest I was pretty disappointed with. I really enjoyed her ‘You Should Be Here’ Mixtape. It’s a fairly bland Trap Soul album and it just got a bit stale a lot earlier than I expected it to. There are still some great tracks on here such as ‘advice’ and ‘distraction’.
Canadian indie / garage rockers Japandroids returned with their first LP in 5 years ‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life’ which is a great comeback and shows they haven’t lost it while they’ve been away.
Georgia trap rap group Migos released their second full length ‘Culture’ which boasts an impressive features list including: Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott & Lil Uzi Vert. They also bagged the number one spot in the Billboard Hot 100 which is absolutely massive for them and rap culture as a whole.
January boasts a lot of great releases but my album of the month is Julie Byrne’s ‘Not Even Happiness’.
Julie Byrne is an indie folk singer from New York. Her 2014 LP ‘Rooms With Walls And Windows’ is one of my favourite modern folk records. I was lucky enough to see (and meet!) Julie live in 2015 and her live show blew me away. That being said, it’s an understatement to say I was looking forward to another full length from Julie Byrne.
‘Not Even Happiness’ did not disappoint. This LP is stunning. Without straying too far from the sound from her first record of ethereal acoustic folk, Julie’s songwriting style is a lot more honest on this project. The songs are spacious and guitar tones are very dreamy it’s almost too easy to get lost in this record.
From the siren song opening track aptly named ‘Follow My Voice’ to the autobiographical ‘I Live Now As A Singer’ this is a gorgeous collection of music.
What music have you enjoyed this month? Get in touch & let me know!
First Hurdle Music.