Hello and a (belated) Happy New Year, everyone! I’ve come to check on your new year’s resolutions. How’s the dry January going? Fortunately, musically it hasn’t been a dry one at all. It’s been two months since I’d presented you with our regular content, because, you know, Christmas happened. So what we have here is an extensive selection of fresh tunes with a good chunk of last year’s leftovers. But I can assure you, everything’s still fresh. Nothing frozen or stale.
December has been an exhausting month of browsing through everyone else’s “end of the year” lists. But while we were all looking back the year just gone by, the new stuff kept coming. It’s becoming more evident that artists are ok with releasing new music during the Christmas break, taking the advantage of the silence of others. Music fans are hungry, always.
Where do we begin? For starters, UK ska pioneers, THE SPECIALS, have announced their comeback album with two new tracks. So did disco diva CHAKA KHAN, by sharing another modern funk sizzler “Hello Happiness”. MASSIVE ATTACK have dug out some previously unheard sounds from the vaults ahead of the reissue of their classic album “Mezzanine” and the string of accompanying concerts. Dublin gig is scheduled for 22nd of February at 3Arena. And with the fresh reports of the tour kick-off, the fans are in for a real treat. Finally, RADIOHEAD’s “Ill Wind”, a rare b-side from their last album, has made onto streaming services.
January has been equally busy. JAMES BLAKE made the headlines by expectedly dropping his fourth star stubbed LP, “Assume Form”. The album’s standout track “Barefoot in the park” featuring ROSALIA, marries Blake’s ascetic electronics with Catalan singer’s modern take on flamenco. TORO Y MOI’s Chaz Bundick updated the blueprints for his proven formula for melodic, yet danceable chill pop on “Outer Peace”. Encouraged by the success of their version of TOTO’s “Africa” earlier in 2018, the ever-not-so-serious US indie rockers WEEZER have released a full covers album, entitled “Weezer (Teal Album). Dublin indie quartet BOUTS are ready to catch the good waves with their newly minted LP, the fuzzy and melodic “Flow”. MAGGIE ROGERS, SHARON VAN ETTEN, TOY, DEERHUNTER and THE DANDY WARHALOS have also put their records out early this year. The smaller surprises include new tracks from BONOBO, BECK and FIONA APPLE. Rejoice!
Besides bringing the new goodies, January is also full of promises for the following months. One of the most exciting news this year is YEAH YEAH YEAHS’ KAREN O teaming up with the legendary hip-hop producer, DANGER MOUSE, for a joint album. The already extended list of upcoming releases is expanding really fast. FOALS, HOZIER, FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, VAMPIRE WEEKEND, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, LAMBCHOP, IAN BROWN, THE DRUMS, BEIRUT, PANDA BEAR, THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA, LANA DEL REY, THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS and RYAN ADAMS will all bring out their next LP’s by the springtime.
Surely, 2019 will also belong to some exciting newcomers ready to takeover the world. As a friendly tip-off, I’ve featured NILUFER YAHYA, SASAMI, KÁRYYN, LIZZO in this mixtape.
Until next time, keep your ears open for new sounds incoming. Stay tuned. Stay with us.
Piotrek Czarnecki | No Snobs Allowed