January isn’t exactly a month that’s known to be inundated with massive album releases. Big pop albums get dropped around the summertime, then others get scattered around the year, but January isn’t a usually a big month.
However, with the Internet playing a massive role with music now, there’s been a slight shift. Albums can be dropped whenever without even any kind of notice (Run The Jewels on Christmas) and they can still be incredibly popular. Last January, there were big releases which included; Sia and Rihanna, smaller albeit excellent releases from Ty Segall, Savages, Chairlift and Anderson .Paak; and 2016’s most celebrated album: Charlie Puth’s Nine Track Mind. I mean, wait, no no I didn’t just say that, I’m talking about Blackstar, obviously.
January 2017 is more for the indie crowd, no major releases but big releases for the music nerds. I’m gonna run down some of them here, in the order of what will be released first.
1. The xx – I See You (Jan 13th)
This will most likely be the biggest album of the month, I’m sure there’s gonna be immediate praise for this one once it’s released (I can sense a Best New Music from Pitchfork already). The lead tracks so far have shown a departure from the whispery, soft sound they once had, and you can clearly see that Jamie xx’s production from ‘In Colour’ is bleeding its way through.
2. Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone (Jan 20th)
Since seeing this UK rapper a couple of times live, I’ve been hoping he’d eventually drop a full album. At this point, I’m surprised he already hasn’t. I first saw him live back in February 2015, and some songs he played then are on this album. I must admit I am mildly disappointed that songs that are over 2 years old are making their way onto a 2017 album, but that doesn’t mean to say that the rest of the album won’t be great (those songs already are great, to be fair). Loyle Carner has a lot of passion and soul in his music, and it really comes through in his character, too. I can see him breaking big one day.
3. Foxygen – Hang (Jan 20th)
Foxygen made quite the blunder with their last album in 2014, which was a real shame since they started off incredibly strong with their ‘Take The Kids Off Broadway’ EP and the excellent ‘We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic’. Their old style sound of 60s rock n roll, mixed with psychedelic and baroque pop works exceptionally well, and the excellent lead single, ‘America’, shows they they could be close to releasing greatness.
4. Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound (Jan 27th)
This Ohio indie rock band don’t tend to stray away from their roots too much, but their last two albums have been solid, nevertheless. This album is sounding like it’s going to be produced cleaner and more accessibly. With this band comes consistency, so it’s bound to be at least a good listen.
5. Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life (Jan 27th)
Perhaps the most Japandroids album title they could have come up with. Their music has always been about life, they seem to have a song about every small moment that every person experiences at some point. They can be incredibly relatable, even if at times their music is made for college kids drinking beer at a barbecue whilst the sun is setting. They have strong punk tendencies in their music, fast paced, relentless songs, and I’m hoping that continues on this release.