At the beginning of this year I had a personal goal to listen to new music every month. It’s not that I don’t ever listen to new music – I do try to go to festivals and as many gigs as possible, so I hear a lot of new music regularly. The thing is, I only really take in new music when I’m:
- On a train
- Avoiding humans
Let’s be honest, when you’re at work and you put your headphones on, you only make it through the first round of a chorus before there’s an “emergency! This is priority!” panic, or at least a “can you look over this”. Thinking you’ll have time to scroll through google search for “new music” is your first mistake. (Although maybe that’s how you found this post – so it looks like you’re having a lucky day!)
Finding New Music
Each month I go through as much as I can bear from a list of new releases, and I make a short, sweet playlist of my favourites. And by short and sweet, I mean between half an hour and an hour long. (This will depend on how many releases there actually were that month). You can listen to them on your journey to work, or when you’re washing the dishes and at the end of it all you can say you gave ‘new’ a chance. Who knows? You may find something you love. (See the GD about page to find out what music genres I listen to and pick from).
Here we are, ploughing through the days as though summer is endless. BBQs – nil. Days on the beach – nil. But the music just keeps on coming, beckoning us to take a break. So I think it’s about time we stop, sit back and just chill. Get your headphones, find a spot in the grass and just relax. We’ve taken care of the rest – just hop over to our Spotify and give us a follow, or scroll down and dive in to 7 short and sweet playlists of new music, with more still to come!
January Music Favourites
January saw new albums from a few indie folk rock favourites like Ryan Adams and Laura Marling as they set forth on their live tours. There’s a few heavier choices from Cloud Nothings and Japandroids, which really helped on those cold, dark January mornings!
February Music Favourites
February releases included the dreamy Jesca Hoop whose name I’ve seen popping up at local events recently. Which leads me to another interesting thing I’ve noticed this year – there has been an incredible influx of female artists releasing albums in the folk, electronic, dream pop and indie genres. Alas, these artists very rarely make it into the charts (probably not wearing enough pink or some shit like that). Take a listen for yourself and let me know what you think of this increase in female singer-songwriters in the ‘indie world’!
March Music Favourites
In March we saw my friend’s band, Cupids, release Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait) only to turn around and split a month later. This song is an interesting take on the world of music as a profession and how frustrating it can be to watch others succeed, only when they accept their role in the music industry as a carbon copy. This problem is even more prevalent in Manchester with the whole Hacienda/Madchester scene. The effort put in to achieve authenticity is rarely appreciated, or even required, for many record labels. What it always comes down to is ROI (return on investment). If you know something has sold well in the past, you may assume that the same or similar will sell well again. However, investment in carbon copies is to the detriment of incredibly talented and authentic musicians.
I will be writing a more in-depth post about this topic later this month, so don’t forget to subscribe to the blog on Bloglovin or follow us on social so you don’t miss it!
March also gave me the gift of IDLES, who released their debut album ‘Brutalism’ in mid-March, which will be the next album I’ll be reviewing in my Notes on Music series.
April Music Favourites
As we moved closer to warmer weather, there was a growing number of releases beckoning us to call for a ROAD TRIIIP! From Charly Bliss’ Percolator to Sylvan Esso’s Radio, April was the beginning of the transition into summer. There were also a lot of great Psychedlic and Indie Pop releases, from the likes of Splashh, Alexandra Savior and Sophia Kennedy. So I won’t keep you any longer – dive in!
May Music Favourites
Living in the north of England, sunny days are rare, and they don’t last long. Manchester, and the north in general, have a marine west coast climate, so summers and winters are mild, with copious amounts of rain throughout the year. Though that may sound like every summer-lover’s nightmare, having lived with it all my life, I find real comfort in it. In a way, wherever I may be, if it rains it feels like home. In the moments right after the rain settles, everything is still, the air is fresh from the scents of petrichor and there’s a sense of calm.
With that in mind, my May favourites were in a way a preperation for those rainy days. So let it whisk you away the way it did me, on a rainy, May evening.
June Music Favourites
At the end of May, Andy and I went to Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester. I was so uncomfortably hot that I almost regretted wearing my dreamy Lazy Oaf rainbow dress. I also instantly knew my footwear choice was going to cause me grief, as I walked from Granada Studios to Soup Kitchen. But it was all made better by the fact we were about to see Parcels live. Parcels were still fairly low key at this point but they’re really breaking new ground in bringing back the disco-funk scene. Or in the case of Germany where the Aussie boys have just relocated to, they’re bringing a disco-funk scene to them, that they never actually experienced back in the day. So when we heard that Daft Punk had stepped in to produce their next single Overnight, I knew it would be worthy of the June Music Favourites playlist.
July Music Favourites
July seemed to fly right past us like a coal tit on a summer’s day. But, that can only mean there’s loads of stuff we missed that month – including new music! July’s playlist includes the likes of Public Service Broadcast who combine instrumental music with samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material. Listen to People Will Always Need Coal to understand the purpose of this kind of sampling. To balance this out there are easy-listening singer-songwriters thrown in too, like This Is The Kit with Bullet Proof and See Through Dresses with Pretty Police – a refreshing take on Dream Pop that manages to crack the myth that this genre isn’t in anyway ‘rock’.
So there it is, every monthly new music playlist so far. If you’d like to follow me as I build up the August playlist, feel free to follow it on Spotify here.
Until the next one, have a great one.