What a start to 2017! It may have been the month that a deranged Wotsit got sworn into office, but from a musical perspective it’s given me plenty of reasons to be hopeful for the year ahead. Here are my favourite tracks that were either released, or I discovered, in January 2017. Enjoy and share!
1. A Foreign Affair – ‘Awake’
Fans of any Blue Swan band should find plenty to enjoy here; the vocals are outstanding, the central groove means you won’t be sat still for long and there are all kinds of interesting instrumentation flowing in and out of the quirky song structure as well. It’s reminiscent of Kurt Travis era Dance Gavin Dance, or maybe a less-cluttered version of Hands Like Houses’ debut album. [More at: Single Review, Ones to Watch]
2. FM84 – ‘Running in the Night’
This is joyous, 80s electro-pop that has such a warm tone that you can’t help but feel comforted by it.
3. Jupiter Hollow – ‘Deep in Space’
A mix of Rush and Tool, this EP is a good introduction to Jupiter Hollow. It’s not quite the finished product yet but I admire the ambition and adventure of it and I have a feeling that when their debut album is complete, it will be really impressive. [More at: Album Review]
4. hubris – ‘Doom Mons’
Post-rock is a hit and miss game, but hubris definitely have the quality to stand out. They have a full-length out already on Bandcamp and will be releasing their next one in the spring. [More at: Feature Article, Ones to Watch]
5. Memories in Broken Glass – ‘The Constant’
This is a really impressive debut album thanks to the band fully committing to its collective influences, refusing to take an average position in favour of pushing hard at both the heavy angle and the melodic. [More at: Album Review]
6. From First to Last – ‘Make War’
I’ll admit this track doesn’t do anything unique or particularly interesting, but it is solid track with a catchy chorus and a good slice of attitude. As much as I’ve enjoyed seeing Sonny make a name for himself through his Skrillex alter-ego, it’s a shame that his signature voice hasn’t been heard enough over the past decade. It’s fantastic to hear him airing his voice again – it was made to be heard and made to be sung loud. [More at: Single Review]
7. Ghost Iris – ‘Pinnacle’
Danish band Ghost Iris are further proof that the Scandinavian regions are kicking our assess at tech-metal and I absolutely love it! A new album is coming on Feb 17th and I’ll be putting a review up when it’s ready.
8. Moddi – ‘Punk Prayer’
This combines two of my favourite things: Scandinavian folk music and the beautiful scenery of Norway. What’s not to like?!
9. As It Is – ‘Austen’
As It Is have produced another solid slab of catchy rock songs that proves their proficiency at creating memorable anthems. okay. spreads the band into the pop-rock arena and in doing so, should see them attracting an influx of new followers who maybe didn’t appreciate their less mature pop-punk sound the first time round.
10. Anna of the North – ‘Oslo’
Given my love for Scandinavian culture, I’d be remiss to exclude the dream-pop of Anna of the North in this list. New track ‘Oslo’ is as beautiful as the scenery in the video, as is everything Anna of the North have done to date.
11. wars – ‘The Art of Not Knowing’
You don’t always need to be reinventing the wheel to create good music and here’s a good example of that. wars’ debut album ‘We Are Islands, After All’ may have the familiar post-hardcore formula at its core, but the band bolster this with a relentless series of punishing riffs that make it stand out. [More at: Album Review]
12. Deaf Havana – ‘Trigger’
Deaf Havana are back to their lovable best. The merging together of all of their experiences to date makes this record their most varied, yet cohesive offering to date, broadening their personality even further. It’s great to have the band back on top form.
13. Suasion – ‘Hestia’
Tech-metal is usually impressive in small doses, but it does have the tendency to get old pretty quickly as it falls into repetitive tempos and djent-style riffing patterns. Belgian band Suasion bring all the great aspects of tech-metal but without the predictability, making them a thoroughly exciting band to keep an eye on. [More at: Feature Article]
Thanks for reading. If you’ve loved something in January that’s not in my list, leave me a comment and tell me what to listen to!