Essential Listening: New music releases in February 2023
Listen to the best new releases of February in our Essential Listening playlist. Discover more about the tracks and buy tickets to see the featured artists live
Last updated: 7th Feb 2023
In the market for some new music? Well then, you've most certainly come through to the right place! Once every week, we take a proper rummage through the endless reams of records which land on our chosen streaming platforms to curate ten of the most 'essential' tracks out there for your listening pleasure.
From the finale of this year's Independent Venue Week celebrations to the GRAMMYs and the forthcoming BRIT Awards, February is customarily a very busy time for the music world. Chuck in a whole bunch of noteworthy new releases from exciting new names and returning international icons and splitting your time between all this content can become quite a challenging task. So we did it for you.
At the bottom of this page, you'll find our Essential Listening playlist, featuring ten of the best new singles of February 2023 thus far. You'll also find a few of last month's top selections, should your thirst for new music not entirely be quenched.
Continue further down the page to listen to the playlist in full and learn about some of the quality jams featured in our first new-record roundup of the month.
The Scottish-hailing experimental trio recently finished up their duties as ambassadors of Independent Venue Week 2023, and are now out on the road touring their long-awaited new album, HEAVY HEAVY, released just last week. From that album, we've chosen the single 'Sink Or Swim'.
Fans of the Mercury prize-winning act will find much to love in this long-playing record. More frenetic beats and ferocious vocals that'll get you up and moving involuntarily. And there's no exception on 'Sink Or Swim'. Turn it up loud and pogo around your living room like an uninhibited juvenile.
Multi-award-winning junglist, Nia Archives brings new energy to her anthemic sound on her latest single 'Conveniency'.
Taken from her forthcoming EP, Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall, due for release on Friday 10th March, the track is an evocative statement, looking back over the years and recognising her growth as an adult and an artist. One of many on the EP that explores themes of 'love and loss, rejection and estrangement'.
Launching with a sultry guitar lick, the track quickly evolves into a customary Nia Archives bop, featuring that signature choppy-breakbeat sound we've all come to know and love. We can see ourselves swaying in the summer sun to this floaty drum n bass jam at many a festival in 2023.
As dynamic in her writing as she is vocally gifted, chart-topping songstress RAYE has seriously impressed us with her latest single offering, 'The Thrill Is Gone.'
Apparently drawing influences from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lilly Allen, according to our team of curators, the track is soulful and funky, experimenting with different genres and instruments, and showcases RAYE's ability to merge spoken word rap with beautifully sung arrangements.
Lyrically, it delves deep into the pain points of a dwindling relationship and yet, contrary to its content, it's still pleasantly upbeat. Bound to have any mover and shaker up and on the dancefloor, it's a sentimental record without all the soppiness. And we like it!
Fans of world-renowned dubstep pioneer, Skrillex will know that the American producer has been sitting on this one for a while...
Featuring the hypnotic vocals of Palestinian singer, Nai Barghouti, Skrillex's latest release 'Xena' is, as you'd expect, completely off the chain! Jumping between dubstep, jungle and techno, it's four minutes of sonic carnage from start to finish, boasting not one, not two, but four insane drops that are guaranteed to make audiences go wild.
'Xena' is the fifth single from Skrillex ahead of the release of his eagerly-awaited double album project, coming later this year. More details have yet to be announced. Watch this space.
Parklife Festival 2023:
Listen to the best new releases of 2023 thus far in our Essential Listening playlist, below. Be sure to follow the playlist for your regular fix of new music each and every week.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.