Month In Music – The Best Things We Heard In January

Go home, 2013, you’re already drunk. While half the country seems to have been on a ‘no drinking’ health kick, the music world has been spending January, acting up, throwing out increasingly ludicrous ideas and generally playing the fool.

Who would have believed, for example, that the year would barely be a week old before David Bowie announced his shock return. He used his birthday to spring his first single in ten years and announce a new album. Even better than the news of his return was the fact that the single itself, ‘Where Are We Now?’ is a triumph. Here’s NME’s Lucy Jones explaining exactly why.

He hasn’t been away for anything like as long, but in my head at least the return of Nick Cave is just as big a deal. ‘Jubilee Street’, the second single to emerge from his new album ‘Push The Sky Away’ is staggeringly gorgeous. Listen here. It’s his fifteenth album – so just ten more to catch the Thin White Duke.

If that pair are a little too sedate for your taste, Deap Vally are here to blow you away. Their new single is called ‘Lies’, it’s produced by Lars Stelfors of The Mars Volta, and you can hear it here.

This month also saw the return of Foals with their most impressive record yet. As well as appearing on our cover, they also took time out to talk us through the story behind their incredible single ‘Inhaler’:

Radar favourites Jagwar Ma premiered their new video for ‘The Throw’, only making us even more excited about seeing the Sydney duo play an NME Awards Show with Childhood at London’s Birthdays on 26 February.

Everything Everything struck a blow for great music in the pop charts when their new album went straight in at number. They celebrated by taking us on a day out to the Tate Modern:

Meanwhile Parquet Courts have been winning over the NME office with their particular brand of stoned Pavement rock… although the most startling thing from our Radar profile of the band is that singer Andrew Savage was in a diner that served him a “vegan Philly cheese steak”. How does that even work?

Here’s a Spotify playlist of tracks we loved this month, including almost all of the above plus Drenge’s ‘Bloodsports’, Iceage’s mighty ‘Coalition’ and all 9 minutes 17 seconds of The Knife’s ‘Fulle Of Fire’. Enjoy!

For an alternative take on January, check out this Soundcloud mix from NME’s Assistant Reviews Editor Sian Rowe featuring Disclosure, Danny Brown and Merchandise.