January has us deep in our feelings. Summertime sadness, if you will. Is it at all surprising when the new releases are from boygenius, Cub Sport and DMAS? It's not all heady emotion, however. Keep scrolling and you'll find tracks from Iggy Pop, Mac DeMarco and newcomers Wickbabi and Shallohalo. Below, the new releases that turned our head in January 2023.
1. boygenius, The Record
We've been gagging for this reunion for years, so it's nice to finally have our prayers answered. Ahead of the launch of The Record on March 31, the sophomore album from boygenius, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers have dropped three tracks including Emily I'm Sorry, $20 and True Blue. They're weepy, they're moody, they're perfect for brooding. So get listening, your tinnitus won't arrive on its own accord.
2. Rosalía, LLYLM
Our girlie is back! Rosalía has dropped her first track for 2023 where she sings in both Spanish and English. It's sticky and addictive, with the sensual lyrics the Spanish artist is known for. The title is also an abbreviation for its chorus refrain "Lie Like You Love Me" – for your information. Anyway, if that pleated Heaven by Marc Jacobs skirt isn't sold out already, it will be soon enough.
3. Youngn Lipz and Hooligan Hefs, Rolling Loud
Western Sydney artists Youngn Lipz and Hooligan Hefs have teamed up for the first time to produce new single Rolling Loud. Fusing a melodic drill beat courtesy of Mason & Yungswisher with Hefs' signature spluttering verses and a smooth hook from Youngn Lipz, this track has been doing laps in our head.
4. Andy Shauf, Telephone
The quiet brilliance of Andy Shauf shines once more in his latest single Telephone, a teaser leading up to the launch of his album, Norm, on February 10. Telephone is an exercise in articulate, subtle, yet razor sharp storytelling. We want more!
5. Iggy Pop, Every Loser
Iggy Pop is still here and just as productive as ever. Aren't we lucky? For his newest album Every Loser, each of the 11 tracks correlates with one of the many faces of Iggy Pop as he's presented them throughout his career. For 55 seconds in The News for Andy he even wears the hat of a salesman, in what has to be the gravelliest infomercial voice over ever.
6. 1300 (ft. Kwame), Steve Jobs
There's no stopping 1300. This time around the group has teamed up with beloved rapper Kwame for a breezy summer track that riffs on "the virtualisation of life with references to silicon valley and big tech".
7. Mac DeMarco, Five Easy Hot Dogs
For some summer is all about parties, the outdoors and big crowds, and there's plenty of music for that. Mac DeMarco's instrumental album Five Easy Hot Dogs is made for the moments in between; the listless hours commuting, plonked in front of a fan or vegging out on the couch. Made on a solo and painfully long road trip where DeMarco vowed to "not go home to Los Angeles until I was done with a record," the 14 tracks are drenched in the lethargy of being on the road.
8. Cub Sport, Keep Me Safe
With a fifth album – Jesus At The Gay Bar – brewing for a Good Friday, April 7 release date, Cub Sport dropped its single Keep Me Safe this month. The track details the secret teenage romance between Cub Sport's Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield, as well as the internal conflict Nelson felt in the period afterwards. The video clip captures the euphoria of the song with Cub Sport wearing Australian designer Alix Higgins.
9. M83, Oceans Niagara
All of the M83 simps have crawled out of the woodworks to blast the band's latest release at exultant levels. Ahead of its ninth album, M83 proves it does the whole teenage ecstasy sound best, with a signature neon-and-80s music video to match.
10. DMAS, Fading Like A Picture
DMAS drops another song in the lead up to their impending album How Many Dreams. With its signature wistful lyrics and vocals, Fading Like A Picture draws emotion not blood, but it hurts just the same. Guitarist Johnny Took says, "Our palette for this album was a lot broader because we’ve learned so much since our debut and we’ve listened to so much more music between then and now, which has shaped us. It felt like a first outing all over again. The excitement was the same.”
11. Wickbabi, Angel
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With influences like The Neptunes, Brandy, and Destiny's Child, Sydney group Wickbabi drops experimental R&B track Angel, laden with delicious honeyed vocals and clever sound design harking back to its heroes.
12. Shallowhalo, Crystal Ball
A two minute sweet synth-heavy treat from New York-based producers Allyson Camitta and Ezra Tenenbaum. Crystal Ball is fun and redolent of 80s icons like Kate Bush and Strawberry Switchblade.