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June 2020

New year, new music - here are 5 things to be excited about in January 2017

As we kick off another twelve months of musical giddiness, here are five things you should have marked down for the first month of the year.
Published: 7:19 am, January 03, 2017
New year, new music - here are 5 things to be excited about in January 2017

Sundara Karma kick start a year of new bands blasting out their own scene

You might have noticed we’re quite excited about 2017’s crop of new bands about to land kicking and screaming with their debut albums. First to drop are Sundara Karma, who release their full-length ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ this Friday, 6th January.

The kind of acts who send stuffy old fogeys and insecure boasters only publicly pinning their colours to the mast of the safest pseudo-intellectual sounds into death throws of scared mortality, Sundara lead a charge full of exuberance, aware but not overly concerned with what came before. They’re about the moment - a lightning rod for a generation looking for something exciting to call their own but not at all bothered if it's been done before. A decade on from the day-glo flash of Nu-Rave and the deafening buzz of Skins, the signs are all there; like it or not, in 2017 the gatekeepers are changing the guard.

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The xx and London Grammar are back to sooth our pain

We've all heard about the struggle of 2016 - heck; we lived through it. It only makes sense that - when our brows are at their most fevered, our worries at their most intense - two of our most emotionally powerful bands should return to ease our fears.

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The xx we've been expecting for a while now, as they drop tracks that both play to their strengths and showcase the brilliance of Jamie xx's magpie mind. Joined at the start of the year by a returning London Grammar - away working on new vibes for longer than we dare recall - it feels like a warm embrace of familiarity, lined with the silver promise of something truly special. With The xx's new album 'I See You' set to arrive on 13th January, there's the promise of more to come.

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Frank Carter is about to light a fire

Frank Carter refuses to put a number on punk. While he has his reasons, you'd not bet it isn't because we've yet to hit enough noughts to comprehend his level of incendiary power.

With a back catalogue of destruction and noise in his wake, there's every sign that 'Modern Ruin' - the second full-length with his band The Rattlesnakes - could be a defining status. The thumping promise of 'Lullaby' or the pulled blade of 'Snake Eyes' both feel like calling cards for destruction. By the time we unwrap our present on 20th January, expect everything you see to be going up in glorious flames.

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Japandroids and Cloud Nothings will make a glorious din

There's something brilliant about a band willing to make a tuneful noise. Underground sensations who know where to find the perfect meeting point between distortion and delight; fusing the art of song with the scorched earth of feedback and destruction.

January sees two of the best make their big comebacks. Both Japandroids and Cloud Nothings have fearsome full-lengths to follow up on, but both have that kind of innate quality-control that refuses to let them be anything but at the top of their game. With both set to drop new albums on 27th January, expect to finish your month in a blissful cocoon of fuzzy excellence.

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Toothless is stepping out of the shadows

"No one expects the bass player of a band to do that much." Those were Ed Nash's words to Dork when chatting about his debut album as Toothless late last year. Stepping away from a Bombay Bicycle Club 'on a break', he's already making the statement seem deeply flawed.

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With a series of standout tracks throughout 2016, 'The Pace Of The Passing' feels like an album more than capable of hitting the heights of his storied past in one of UK indie's most successful bands. There are no surprises for a man who has seen every stage, from the bottom to the top, in the past decade or so, but for anyone yet to realise just how good that bass player can be, there'll be more than one shock in store by the end of January.

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