Whilst we’re working away on new technologies, products and innovations at Cambridge Audio HQ, we’re always on the lookout for exciting new music to play through the office hi-fi systems and share around the building. And because we’re just as passionate about music discovery, we thought why not compile our favourite releases in blog format and share the wealth every month!
With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of our favourite releases from January 2018.
The Radio Dept. - Your True Name
"Your True Name" is the celebratory anthem Radio Dept. fans have been waiting for. Last year, the band took on a techno-inspired demeanour for their fourth studio album, Running Out of Time, but their dreamy guitar lines found on their previous albums were missed. They reappear in their first single of 2018 and debut release of their own label, Just So! Records. The track's glistening melody immediately inspires you to sway your worries away, just as the band does in its lyrics.
Mount Eerie - Distortion
Since the passing of his wife, Genevieve, Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum has transformed his art into a consistently-evolving narrative of his life. In his fantastic 2017 album A Crow Looked at Me (included our staff list), he uses music as a coping mechanism to build new strength and live on with their daughter, who is still a toddler. "Distortion", the first track released from his upcoming Now Only EP, opens a new chapter of his psyche and examines the death of time. The memories he discusses on the track are processed with more colour than A Crow Looked at Me with the piano, vocal harmonies, and harrowing distortion, instrumentally, and some lighthearted and humorous lyrics sprinkled throughout. “Distortion” proves Elverum can transform any memory into an emotionally-potent narrative.
Hussey – Hitchens
Nathans Hussey, who’s known more for his frontman duties of alternative rock band All Get Out, strips back for his solo 2018 release Hitchens and does a pretty good job too. For fans of the band, there’s plenty to enjoy here, as all the compelling lyrics and songwriting are still there, but driven differently through a relaxing indie/emo acoustic moniker. It’s an intimate experience that discusses the worries of aging, loss of a loved one and more, all wrapped around ambient soundscapes perfect for a wintery evening listening session.
Mimicking Birds - Layers of Us
With each Mimicking Birds release, songwriter Nate Lacy explores nature and his own humanity and combines his lyrical reflections with his band's ever-growing instrumental pallet. While their sophomore album, Eons, was a full-band development of Lacy's solo acoustic songwriting, Layers of Us takes their most experimental leap yet. Its electric guitar lines are paired with spacey electronic soundscapes, deep bass, and synthesizers reminiscent of Tycho. Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock makes an appearance on the outro of "Island Shore", which takes a menacing twist when the vocalist takes his turn. It’s surely the band’s most psychedelic and pop-friendly release without losing sight of their dark intimacy.
The newest addition to Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster extends its immersion into R&B with SiR. His debut album, November, is a futuristic neo-soul album filled with musings of a player and lover. As SiR speeds through space, he sings of feeling spoiled by the fruits of success and touring yet still longs for true compassion. Its overall vibe is defined by the "deepest blue”. Most of its tracks are groovy slow-burners that dream of love with the lights off. He strives to subdue his audience into slow motion, as he croons on “D’Evils”, with the album's chilled out beats, unlike the hip-hop edge found on his earlier EPs.
Marmozets – Knowing What You Know Now
If you fancy something with a bit more ‘oomph’, then it’s certainly worth checking out the long-awaited second release from Leeds based band Marmozets. Although not quite as ‘raw’ as their debut back in 2014, the band have had plenty of time to grow up and evolve their sound further with anthemic pop chorus’ and even a slow ballad or two. With all five members still relatively young, it’s an album that allows them to figure out their place in the world and deal with their youthful frustrations and issues. We reckon it’s going to be a big year for this Yorkshire lot.
Did we miss out any amazing albums from this month? Make sure you let us know in the comments below.