January is often a month associated with cutting back, sometimes through choice, at other times through necessity. Festive print deadlines and people having other things to do with their time means the January bundle looks a little sparse. By the time 2024 rolls around and you’re reading this, there’s a strong chance there will be plenty of new material for you to check out, but for now, we actually have a clearer idea of what is set for a February release, rather than the first month of the year.
Martha May & The Mondays tease the title track of their February EP SP!T, and it’s a clear indicator the band has evolved far from Martha’s early forays in the industry. With genuine snarl and a soaring guitar solo, you’ll feel pummelled in just over two and a half minutes. If you’re keen to start 2024 with some energy, this is far better for you than Jägerbombs.
Bits favourites Hank Tree released a video for ‘Sweet Saltpeter’, ushering a new sense of life into the song from their debut album, The Big North. Going by social media posts, we’re expecting more music from the band this year, so if you haven’t checked them out so far, this is an apt time to get ahead of the game.
Then again, the thought of heading out in January might be too traumatic, with the allure of remaining warm and cosy keeping you indoors. If so, ‘Fit 2 Crazy’ from Washington, Gillieson is something you can sink into. The lush vocals from Washington will wrap themselves around you and the musical flow moves forward without leaving you out of breath. If you’re stepping back to the gym in the early days of 2024, this might be the sort of pace you need, and overall, it’s a comfortable way to ease into the year.
The same goes for ‘I Woke To The Sound of The Wind’ by Afterlands, featuring Rick Anthony (Phantom Band) and David McAulay (Strike the Colours). It’s a little mournful, but beautifully so, and if you can’t handle a tinge of melancholy at this time of year, when can you?
‘Headhunter’ by Cloaks is more invigorating, with the Glasgow five-piece turning in a tune that should appeal to Britpoppers and indie rockers. ‘Tradeston’ by Poster Club is a little woozier, with a slight psychedelic edge and whispered vocals intoning about the FBI. Thier second EP Deterioration Part II also came out at the end of December and is well worth checking out. And with that, we’ll keep it short and sweet.
Next issue should be more like normal. If you’re heading out to any gigs, dress for the elements, and enjoy yourself. If not, comfort yourself by staying warm, dry, and listening to new music.