» News and Features » Essential Listening: New music releases in January 2023 (Updated)
Essential Listening: New music releases in January 2023 (Updated)
Listen to the best new releases of 2023 thus far in our Essential Listening playlist, discover more about the tracks and buy tickets to see the featured artists live
Date published: 30th Jan 2023
As far as new music releases go, January has been a pretty busy one with scores of gifted songwriters and producers unleashing records unto the world, much to our collective delight. And the quality of said releases, well, let's just say the bar has been set incredibly high. February, you've got a lot to live up to. No pressure.
In our final new music roundup of January 2023, we've got tracks from returning superstars the likes of Slowthai, with the lead single from his brand new album project, UGLY, electronic music minimalist Bonobo, Glaswegian post-punk outfit VLURE, and recently-reinvented American dance producer, Avalon Emerson.
Continue reading to learn more about our pick of the best new releases of January 2023, and head to the very bottom of the page to listen to all 40 of this month's selections in our Essential Listening Spotify playlist.
Experimental techno producer and proficient DJ, Avalon Emerson has marked the beginning of a brand new project titled 'The Charm', in collaboration with London producer Bullion, with a stunning record that showcases a whole new side to the talent never previously seen or heard before.
A marriage of ideas brought together by close friends and family, the record was first conceived following a creative session between Emerson and her wife, Hunter, a few years back. Following input from Bullion and various other musician friends in the studio, the track was finally completed and earmarked for release.
Sounding as if plucked straight out of the charts in the 90s, the laidback single has an unmistakable shoegaze vibe with synths, strings, vocals and percussion all fusing together to produce a beautifully arranged, ethereal masterpiece. We're very much looking forward to hearing more from 'The Charm' in the months to come.
Nottingham's most brazen, Slowthai has issued the first single from his forthcoming new album, UGLY, set for release on Friday 3rd March via Method Records. 'Selfish', which sees the rapper lyrically analysing and addressing his own self-interests, especially in relation to his ambitions, features a noticeable shift in sonic design from the music heard on his second album, 2021's Tyron.
Returning to the jagged post-punk sound featured on some of his earliest records, from 'Doorman' to 'Deal Wiv It', it's an intense and feverish listen, building in angst throughout its 3-minute and 13-seconds running time.
Promoting the release of the new single, Slowthai was beamed onto screens around the world, live streaming from the mirrored room seen in the moody music video above.
Should this be a statement of intent which indicates the direction for the rest album, count us in, we're absolutely here for it. More of the same we beg of you Slowthai.
Bonobo needs no introduction. The producer extraordinaire has been delivering us all with exceptional minimalist electronica for years now, releasing some of the most instantly recognisable trip-hop records of all time. It should be no surprise then that his latest record follows in the same vein.
'Fold' is a meeting of two minds. A collaboration which sees Simon Green, the man behind the Bonobo moniker, sharing studio space with Montreal-based producer, Jacques Greene. Venturing out of his comfort zone and a little further into the club sound, the record is carried by an intermittent four-to-the-floor techno kick with hazy and distorted synths dancing around a female vocal sample all the while.
Bonobo's spring and summer schedule looks set to be a busy one this year, especially with the introduction of this new and more energetic rave element in his work. Keep up to date with his upcoming live shows and be the first to get your hands on tickets by tracking his artist page - HERE.
Ferocious Glaswegian punk act, VLURE are back with another stomping new record. The first single and follow-up to the band's acclaimed debut, the Euphoria EP, released on So Young Records (Been Stellar, Lime Garden, Lazarus Kane) at the beginning of last year, 'Cut It' takes aim at a modern generation made slaves to social media.
Self-recorded and produced, the group have shown their talents have no bounds on this anthemic new single. Treading the line sonically somewhere between punk and trance, it's guaranteed to convert placid crowds into frenzied mosh pits when it hits the stages of venues across the land in 2023.
VLURE have a busy schedule of gigs ahead, with standout bookings at London Calling, SXSW over in the states, and Otherlands Music & Arts Festival for which you can buy tickets below.
This event has been cancelled
Otherlands will no longer be going ahead due to poor ticket sales, rising production costs and loss
Listen to the best new releases of January 2023 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.