What a month January has been. It’s been an eventful start to 2016 to say the least!
Firstly, it would be absurd not to mention the death of David Bowie. Not only did the world lose an incredible musician, whose dedication to not just music but the art of music shook the world and inspired many, the world also lost an icon. I was lucky enough to pay my respects to Bowie at the Bowie tribute in Brixton at the end of January and it was incredibly touching and extremely heartbreaking. There were hundreds, literally hundreds, of messages and memories of their hero and it was so emotional to witness and read some of them. The community and love surrounding Bowie, and his death, is something simply indescribable.
Also this month Arctic Monkey’s debut album ,”Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not”, turned 10- 10! Still to this day it’s one of my favourite albums and it has had a huge impact on the music industry and, of course, on the band themselves. The album has become “classic” with many of its tracks becoming anthems over time. You’d have been wise to “believe the hype”.
In other Alex Turner news, The Last Shadow Puppets returned this month with “Bad Habits”. I love it as a comeback single. Whilst it’s quite different from their previous material it seems to fit with the ever evolving image of Alex Turner and Miles Kane as artists. It’s a song with an element of attitude and an LA twist, complete with dramatic violins.
There’s also new Rat Boy material. “Move” was released earlier this month and is an energetic track, complete with edgy sampling and catchy lyrics. I look forward to hearing it live in May! Rat Boy is currently touring on the NME tour with Bloc Party, Drenge and Bugzy Malone.
And, of course, there’s “The Sound” by The 1975. Again, The Sound is a taster of what to expect from The 1975’s latest album, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It” released later this month. Like “Ugh” and “Love Me”, it’s 80s fuelled, pop magic. It’s catchy, uncontrollably dance-y and full of the type of articulate manner of lyrics we’ve come expect from Healy. Above all, it’s simply a great pop song.
This month I also saw The Maccabees. The Maccabees were incredible and it was amazing to hear material, old and new, played in a venue like at Brixton’s O2 Academy. Their set was filled with nostalgic trips through their older albums and the highlights from 2015’s “Marks to Prove it”. I reviewed the album last year and the concert earlier this year.
There’s also been huge line up announcements from a whole array of festivals, like Brighton’s “Great Escape Festival”. The highlight for me being Reading Festival (as I’ve already booked to go). I think the Foals/Disclosure co-headline will be huge. Foals are such a relevant up and coming band who have worked their way up the festival line-up. They’re current and exciting. Many people have questioned whether or not they’re big enough to headline but I definitely think they are. We’re going to have to find new headliners at some point, so why not now? It’s boring watching the elite few, albeit iconic, bands hoard the headline spots on circulation, but it’s time for something fresh. It worked before. It’s time to start promoting bands to headliner position and I definitely think Foals are ready. Disclosure are also huge. With the release of their latest album, “Caracal”, a huge success worldwide (number 1 in the UK), it’s hard to ignore the Surrey duo. With their explosive collaborations with global stars, like Sam Smith, Disclosure will, undoubtedly, conquer the main stage at Reading and I look forward to seeing what the set entails.
I’ve been super into Jamie XX lately. I’ve been loving the album “in colour”- I know I’ve jumped on the bandwagon a bit late- and I can totally understand the hype. The album itself is a creative masterpiece which oozes passion. I love it.
Sadly, January hasn’t been without its “hiatus'”. Bombay Bicycle Club have gone on hiatus and have (hopefully only temporarily) stopped writing and recording as a band. I love Bombay Bicycle Club and I can’t wait to see what their individual future endeavours entail, but I’ll be forever hoping for some new Bombay Bikes material!
This month’s playlist also includes Drenge, Viola Beach, The Big Moon, and Black Honey. Enjoy!