For many, the new year is the do-over they need to tackle new goals. To the music community, the new year serves as a palate cleanser. An opportunity to look forward to festival lineups, gawk at upcoming releases, and put that beautiful “AOTY” stamp of approval on what we believe to be culturally significant. In honor of this new musical calendar, let’s take a look back at some projects released in January you should be listening to.
Recommended tracks: “Nanana” and “To Me It Was”
In 2020 Samia released her debut album Baby, a freshmen attempt that won her praises for her penwork and striking vocals. Now three years later, she’s shared her follow up record titled Honey.
A poignant snapshot of mid-20s distress and confusion, Honey sees Samia unveil very personal anecdotes and inner-turmoils through multi-layered storytelling. Littered with a cast of equally enigmatic, yet tangible, characters – who either interact with the songstress or are subject of silent observations – each track paints a picture clearer than the last. Like any life experience, none of the tracks truly stand alone. Instead they all contribute to an understated storyline. For example, “Kill Her Freak Out,” a track about that twisted willingness to warp yourself one way to appeal to another, is followed by “Charm You,” a relatively upbeat track denouncing these urges and creating distance to avoid the worst. Overall, Samia managed to out-do herself in every way possible, while simultaneously releasing an unbelievably memorable album.
Recommended tracks: “Blink” and “Chaparral”
It’s never too early to find your next go to summer soundtrack, and luckily for us Utah based four-piece band The Moss have the perfect collection to jumpstart our wistful summer playlists.
While Insomnia may only be a four track EP, empathetic songwriting and blindingly alluring instrumentation makes it so it covers all the bases. Lined with anxiety ridden tracks, with hints of romanticism and, of course, insomnia, the instrumentation offers pockets of colorful riffs and idiosyncratic percussion patterns sure to bring some sunshine to your life.
Recommended Tracks: “sHouLd i Be?” and “the ride-”
I absolutely love when artists use albums as moments to reinvent their sound. Not only does the record serve as a testament to trying new things, but it also shows that we are not beholden to any version of ourselves – or others' perception of who we are, for that matter. Those are the two thoughts that came to me the first time I gave Let’s Start Here a listen. I waited exactly three days to listen to it, and have been hooked ever since.
Without regurgitating too much of what has been said in the last week or two, ‘Let’s Start Here’ sees Yachty make a complete 180, combining the best of Rap, RnB, and Psychedelic Rock in a thrilling 14 track LP. Filled with an impressive crew of collaborators and notable producers, Let’s Start Here showcases the power of fostering a creative community and pushing the envelope as wide as we want it to be. Although this switch came seemingly out of nowhere, Let's Start Here was the breath of fresh air we all needed to jump start a new year in music.