Release Recap: January 2022

January was an objectively long month, and a cold month if you’re in Chicago like us. It wasn’t all dreary though! 2022 has proved to be a good year for music already! There was a lot of new music coming out to accompany us on our 2022 journey. With that being said, here are some of our favorite releases from January:

Boris – W

RIYL: Sun 0))), Merzbow, Daughters

Although Boris has been delighting metalheads, sludgy shoegazers, and ambient freaks since the nineties, their new album W is the Japanese group’s first release with Sacred Bones. Its atmosphere and ambiance are unmatched, but they still bring their signature noise and metal roots on tracks like “The Fallen,” which features heavy and soaring guitar tracks. It’s an album that elicits sensation. This release is actually a follow-up to their previous album No, a very intense, energetic piece. Together, the two albums form “NOW,” symbolizing their interconnectedness. – Makenzie Creden

FKA Twigs – Caprisongs

The highly anticipated third album from FKA Twigs, Caprisongs, highlights a new era of celestial artistry for Ms.Twigs. Caprisongs contains seventeen tracks that embody independence and inner power, straying away from the melancholy of her sophomore album, Magdalene. Tracks like “Honda” and “Meta Angel” feature angelic undertones from the lightness of FKA’s vocals intermixed with choir harmonies, in contrast to the low and sharp click-clack beats. Meanwhile, the track “Papi Bones” (featuring Shy Girl) is reminiscent of early 2000s dancehall. Throughout the album, tracks feature voice memos and the clicks of cassette tapes which make the listeners feel like they are listening to an intimate retelling of Twig’s thoughts through the pause and playing of the cassettes. The album is fun and exciting, yet it does not stray away from her avant-garde songwriting and astrological interludes which makes Caprisong a dynamic album. – Jess Dominguez

Animal Collective – Strung with Everything

Animal Collective die-hards have been listening to almost all of their upcoming material in the form of live bootlegs dating as far as 2018, but when the tracklist for their new LP Time Skiffs was revealed, Strung With Everything stuck out as the only track fans knew nothing about. Dropping last week as the third and final single for the album, the track was a euphoric revelation that weaves together elements from across the band’s discography and solo releases. The structure steps forward only to fold back on previously climactic sections which then build into even higher highs. Eventually, the song reaches a point where it’s difficult to parse out the individual layers of sound, but the result is sublime regardless. We have less than a week to wait to hear the rest of Time Skiffs, but the riches promised by Strung With Everything are wearing our patience thin. – Jamie McMillin

Darksoft – Cryo

Darksoft’s new album Cryo may be the dreamy rock band’s third album, but it’s the first one I’ve personally listened to. The alt-rock album has definite dream pop and shoegaze influences heard in the lush, twinkly guitar tones. The vocals carry a sense of nostalgia that brings a feeling similar to the sound of Alex G. January was the perfect release month for this album because it will surely become your winter soundtrack. – Makenzie Creden

Mrs. Moody – Harmless

Following the viral success of Swing Lynn, Harmless steps into the new year with the soft sounds of their new single, “Mrs. Moody.” It retains much of the ethereal sounding vocals and deep basslines of their 2015 album, Harmless Fantasies, yet brings a new variation to their work thus far. It’s a song that would best be played in the evenings, as an immediate way to chill out, or even a good booster if you need to motivate some study time. Looking forward to what’s to come from Harmless! – Josie Stahler

Claire Dickson – Starland
In the Autumn of 2019, Claire Dickson embarked on a two week artistic residency within the Arctic Circle. Along with other artists as well as scientists, architects, and educators, Dickson explored some of the most remote and inhospitable areas on the planet. Through these excursions into the vast ice world that is the Arctic, the seeds for Starland, Dickson’s debut record, were sown. The Brooklyn-based vocalist, composer, and producer channels those experiences into the expanses she creates throughout the bold compositions of this record. Skating between ambiance, electronics, experimental pop, and modern jazz, Dickson’s sublime style pairs perfectly with the deep days of Winter from which we are beginning to emerge. Icy synth pads paired with hypnotic vocal loops and Dickson’s melodic mastery create the cohesive aura that makes the album’s concept so engulfing. Listening to Starland is a meditative and almost trance-like experience, one that makes me want to venture north and experience that Arctic permafrost for myself. – Erik Anderson

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