New Music Roundup: January

New music roundups are a monthly recap dedicated to covering the latest music in a series of short, descriptive reviews. This month’s edition includes new releases from Boogie, Bring Me The Horizon, James Blake and more.

Boogie – Everything’s For Sale

Honesty. It’s the quality that Shady Record’s newest star, Boogie, is showcasing on his debut, Everything’s for Sale. And in his honesty, he bears his somber heart about struggles keeping up with his family, love, and own mind while trying to move himself in his music. The beats are slow and just as moody as the rapper’s voice, as if he’s forcing himself to cough up the truth and the pain it reminds himself of. Gruff yet sad. He says “throw your hands up” on “Live 95but only sound as excited as someone going through an emotional wave. He knows he’s not telling tales of sunshine and rainbows but it’s something he’s okay with it, because he still reflecting himself in the darkness.  – Tyler Jones

Big K.R.I.T. – TDT

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In the microwave era of music that sees releases blurred in time with each other, the King Remembered In Time takes his time with every song he chooses to release. That’s no different with this collective eight track offering, a sonic rearrangement from the previous smaller EPS of Trifecta, Double Down, and Thrice X. K.R.I.T. provides a new listening experience by creating a coherent narrative to be absorbed as one. The transitions make more sense and are perhaps a little sampler of what is to come from K.R.I.T. as he’s cooking in the kitchen. Quality controlled over the rapid released quantities.  – TJ

Bring Me The Horizon – amo

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With amo, Bring Me The Horizon has come out with yet another genre-defying album. The band never seizes to amaze me with how far they will go in order to achieve a new sound within the realm of pop-rock. The band is comprised of unique artists who bring their own tone to each and every song, notably “nihilist blues,” “wonderful life,” and “heavy metal.” The latter song addresses the fans who have stated that BMTH is no longer a heavy-metal band, with the band simply replying “that’s alright.” This just goes to show how much this band has progressed in their 16 years of music. The fact that they are able to adapt to new genres and still be able to express their emotions through art is the reason this band is still relevant today. Songs like “wonderful life” and “MANTRA” still provide a heavy-hitting, metalcore sound, while “nihilist blues” and “sugar honey ice & tea” show their newer pop sensibilities. Overall, this album shows great maturity and greatly reflects the group’s musical progression. They are not afraid of change, and that’s what makes them such a great band.  – Matthew Sandoval

Foxwarren – Foxwarren

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One of a handful of releases that slipped by me at the end of 2018, Foxwarren’s self-titled debut is an inviting medley of mellow folk tunes and charming soft rock. Over a decade in the making, the record possesses a beauty indicative of the Canadian prairies the group calls home. The band tries their hand at numerous styles, from psych-pop on the uptempo groove “Everything Apart” to chill folk-rock on the mesmerizing “Sunset Canyon.” The mix of acoustics and smoothly sung vocals creates a feel that is both dreamy and extremely organic. Even with the various musical excursions, the album’s atmosphere is a constant joy.  – Roberto Johnson

Glitter Fish – Memory Response EP

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Among Santa Barbara’s most colorful and inventive rock bands, Glitter Fish’s latest effort, Memory Response, is a brief but expansive collage of psychedelic sounds. The group’s many musical tendencies result in kaleidoscopic fusions of synth-pop, psych-rock, noise and ambient music, aggressively bridging these multiple styles to the point they seem indistinguishable from each other. The band’s sheer tenacity of electric dance grooves lurks throughout, best seen on the cosmic-sounding title track, as well as the merciless space jam “Mountain Top.” The music isn’t all that pushes the envelope either, with many of the vocal performances coming unhinged as each track progresses, giving the record a raw and reckless feel that is easy to indulge in.  – RJ

James Blake – Assume Form

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There are many reasons to celebrate James Blake’s latest LP Assume Form. For one, it marks the return of one this decade’s more unique and intriguing music minds. Blake’s relentless experimentation within pop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic music have fathered multiple amazing records, and his newest creation deserves much of the same praise as his past work. Whether it’s the emotional undertones of “Into The Red” or the sulky balladry on “Lullaby For My Insomniac,” Blake’s chilling soundscapes consistently paint a picture that’s both beautiful and haunting. Assume Form also features a number of stunning collaborations, most notably the mystical soul elegy “Barefoot In The Park” with Spanish songstress Rosalía, the Moses Sumney-assisted “Tell Them,” and to little surprise, an electrifying performance from André 3000 on “Where’s the Catch?” – each feature is a highlight on an entirely necessary album.  – RJ

Julia Michaels – Inner Monologue Part 1

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Julia Michaels has been killing the music scene this past year, working with notable artists such as Clean Bandit, Lauv, and RL Grime. The amount of work she puts in her features definitely makes her stand out from the crowd and this album is no exception. Inner Monologue is a very intimate album, diving into the mind of an artist that feels everyday emotions such as anxiety, heartbreak, and reminiscence to intense levels. Songs such as “Into You” and “What A Time” deal with loss and heartbreak, while “Happy” and “Anxiety” describe how she fights with her emotions in everyday situations. Julia also has some very impressive features in this first part of the album with Niall Haran and Selena Gomez singing alongside her. Overall, this project shows how much this singer-songwriter has evolved over her career and how much she is willing to express in order to deal with her own emotions.  – MS

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