Essential Listening: New music releases in January 2023

Listen to some of 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

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 9th Jan 2023

The second week of 2023 has commenced and with it comes some of the first single and album releases of the new year. Eager to broadcast their art to the music-loving masses, artists representing a broad range of genres have given us the first taste of what this year's sound might entail. And frankly, we are stoked for what's to come.  

From the 'Nu-Madchester' revivalist concept of Northern four-piece Afflecks Palace to the old-school hip-hop flavour served by London rapper Fliptrix and the high-energy club sound wielded by rising DJ star D.O.D, it seems there's plenty to get excited about in music this year.

Continue down the page to learn more about our top ten releases of January thus far, and listen to each of the tracks in our Essential Listening playlist on Spotify.



Afflecks Palace - Wide Eyes On The Night Bus

Evidently, it seems the Madchester sound, the anthemic indie rock crafted by bands the likes of The Stone Roses, The Las and The Smiths, is still as popular as ever with audiences in Northern England. Reinvigorating this old cultural movement and bringing it into the modern-day, the four chaps in Afflecks Palace have found a devout fan base, winning over both the old and the young with their infectious blend of melodic guitar music.

'Wide Eyes On The Night Bus', the latest release from the group, accurately conveys the band's self-proclaimed Madchester influences, with looping piano motifs and guitar licks reminiscent of those played by John Squire. 

The band have been selling out shows across the UK since the release of their debut album, What Do You Mean It's Not Raining? last October, with Radio X and BBC 6 Music both getting behind the record. Expect big things to come from these burgeoning stars.



Fliptrix - SM58

London-born lyricist, Fliptrix, one-quarter of acclaimed outfit The Four Owls and managing director of the hugely influential High Focus Records (Dabbla, Ocean Wisdom, Strange U, Coops), has been releasing music steadily for more than a decade now. A legend of the UK's underground hip-hop scene, the Brighton-based emcee continues to grow in stature, delivering mastered penmanship and flow over old-school beats. 

In the lead up to the release of his 9th studio album, Mantra No. 9, due out next month, Fliptrix has teamed up with fellow High Focus label mates, Onoe Caponoe and Ramson Badbonez to produce his latest single, 'SM58'. Packed with fire verses and backed by an orthodox low-frequency production, the track has already been sending audiences wild in venues across the capital. 


Find tickets to see Fliptrix live below/here:

Buy tickets:



The Murder Capital - Return My Head

Dublin quintet, The Murder Capital are on the verge of releasing yet another eagerly anticipated record. Gigi's Recovery, the group's sophomore effort, looks to be their most ambitious yet. Moving away from themes heard on the Irish band's debut, When I Have Fears, released four years ago, the new record is said to possess a sound that fans won't expect, according to frontman James McGovern. And from the singles released from the album so far, we can hand on heart vouch for his word. 

Jumping between the poetic and the ethereal and the raucous and jagged, the record seems to be a more comprehensive account of each of the band members' various talents, marking a huge step from their first long-playing release. Could it be a very early contender for album of the year? Who Knows. 

Check out the video for the last single release from the upcoming album above, 'Return My Head', a nod to the return of live music following the pandemic. 



D.O.D - Set Me Free

Lancastrian dance floor destroyer, D.O.D AKA Dan O'Donnell has launched into his 2023 campaign by unleashing a punchy cobweb-clearing club banger to assist you in shaking off those dreadful January blues. 

The rising talent who won Mixmag's DJ competition back in 2010 has accomplished a great deal since receiving the sought-after accolade. From gaining residencies in superclubs on the White Isle to chalking up multiple hits on Beatport and collaborating with figureheads of the electronic scene, the likes of Afrojack, Fedde Le Grand, and Sander van Doorn, he's very much a name worth taking note of as we head into the year. 

His latest single, 'Set Me Free' is already drumming up a lot of interest and gaining spins from his DJ peers. Get this one on repeat if you're heading out to the gym at any point this month to work on that 'New Year, New You' body ahead of the coming spring and summer months. It's guaranteed to get the blood pumping. 



Listen to the ten best new releases of January 2023 thus far, as chosen by the Skiddle team, on our Essential Listening playlist, below (Click or tap the heart button to follow our Essential Listening playlist and stay up to date with the best new releases 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.








Header image credit: Afflecks Palace /