January 2017 Recap

With the first month of the year coming to a close, we look back at the music that graced our ears for the past month. While we are only thirty-one days into the new year, that does not stop artists from slowing down their new releases. 

Albums of the Month:

We started off the year with You Me At Six releasing their fifth studio album. After three years of silence, You Me At Six made their triumphant return to music in January 2017 with their fifth studio album, Night People. The Surrey quintet's latest album is nothing short of pure pop rock, with arena worthy anthems like “Night People,” and sentimental pieces such as “Take on the World,” which slow the pace but not the pulse of the album

Following in similar fashion to You Me At Six, alternative rockers Deaf Havana released their fourth album, Countless Nights, this month. This is the Norfolk band’s first release since 2013’s Old Souls, and it is a record jam packed with crunching classic rock guitar, huge drum fills, and melodies that you’ll have stuck in your head for the rest of the year.

January was a big month for British music, especially for The xx. The trio graced the world famous Saturday Night Live stage in New York in November 2016, giving the world a taste of what was to come in 2017. The xx’s follow up to 2012’s Coexist measures up, in a refreshing and thrilling way. Layered and textured with brilliant production, it’s no wonder that this album is was the band’s second release to chart at #1 in their home country of the United Kingdom. 

One band that we recommend everyone see this year is ONE OK ROCK. Hailing from Japan, these boys have made a splash in the US market with their new album, Ambitions. This record is jam packed with ear-candy and features notable collaborators such as All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. Bringing a classic J-Rock sound to North America, they have shaken the scene for the better, and are a group to watch out for in 2017.

Singles of the Month:

After a year hiatus, Ed Sheeran has found himself back on the Top 40 charts in 2017, releasing two singles, “Shape Of You” and “Castle On The Hill,” and announcing his next album, Divide. This British artist knows how to jump off the couch and back into our hearts. While the new releases do not show much growth since his last release, it does have us excited for what he has been working on in the shadows.  

There have been multiple rumors of Halsey being back in the studio to record her next studio album, but before she has even spoken about her sophomore album, she dropped a track that is to be featured on the next Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. “Not Afraid Anymore” is a seductive, stripped down track compared to what she released on Badlands, but has made it very clear that this is not what the next album will be leaning towards. 

One song we have not been able to get out of our heads since it dropped is “Bad Behavior” by The Maine. This track has undertones of their previous releases, Black & White and American Candy, and ultimately, all the elements collide to make the track sound distinctly unique to one band and one band only: The Maine. With a catchy guitar riff and lyrics to sing along to repeatedly, it is clear to us that The Maine is putting their best foot forward in 2017. 

Over two years ago, we were lucky enough to hear this new track live at the Calgary Stampede and have slowly been waiting for the studio version to be released but it was worth the wait. Scott Helman finished off January with the release of “21 Days,” a love song with a zombie twist. You hear his classic acoustic sound that gives us a sense of what his first studio album will be sounding like, which will hopefully be released later this year. 

Anticipated February releases: Mother Mother, Big Wreck, Lupe Fiasco, Ryan Adams, The Orwells, Joel Plaskett, Bebe Rexha

Tours to catch: Arkells, Pierce The Veil, Billy Talent