Music of the Month: January 2018

As January comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on all the music I’ve been loving this month. I really got into the indie/alternative scene this month, but good old fashioned pop music still reigns supreme. From songs to albums to artists, here is all the music I’ve been jamming to this month:

  1. “Freedom! ‘90” by The Bellas: I saw Pitch Perfect 3 back in December. I liked it, but it wasn’t as good as the first one (better than the second one, though). This number was easily my favorite. It’s a George Michael cover and The Bellas do such an excellent job. Anna Kendrick is a true star on this track. If you dig a capella music, definitely check this song out.
  2. “Curious” by Hayley Kiyoko: Obviously it’s not a Best of the Month music list without mentioning Lesbian Jesus. This light pop song finds Hayley a little jealous. A girl she had been with is now with a guy, and Hayley wants to know if they’re serious. I mean, if it were me, I’d pick Hayley in a heartbeat, but I’m also a lesbian and the girl in the song obviously experiences multiple-gender attraction, so what do I know? (I’m right.)
  3. “Breathe (feat. Ina Wroldsen)” by Jax Jones: This fun dance song is about loving someone so much, they’re like a song stuck in your head and you can’t breathe. The vocals are a touch bluesy and the drop is chill. It’s a cute song that I definitely enjoy.
  4. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack: Even though I didn’t love the movie (here’s why), I really like the soundtrack. It’s bombastic and fun and the vocals are great. Favorites include “The Other Side,” “Rewrite the Stars,” and “Tightrope.” I also love Kesha’s rendition of “This is Me.” She was the perfect choice for the single version of that song. Even if this isn’t a new favorite musical, this soundtrack is really fun to listen to.
  5. YU YĪ by Erin McCarley: Despite being her third album, this is Erin’s first alt. pop record. And this sound really works for her. It’s chill, yet dark. Her voice croons and scrapes, oozing sexuality and vulnerability. Some of my favorites are “G O O D,” “Diediedie,” “Sexicon,” and “I Can Be Somebody.” If you’re a fan of artists like Halsey or Lana Del Rey, give this album a listen.
  6. Battle Born by The Killers: With Firefly 2018 coming up and The Killers booked as headliners, I knew I had to get back into listening to them. Battle Born was the last album I had yet to check out and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s Wonderful Wonderful’s edgier brother, the last echoing screech of rock and roll. Brandon Flowers sounds as good as ever, alternating between belting and crooning. It’s epic and understated, a big kaboom of emotion. Among the best tracks are “Runaways,” “Flesh and Bone,” and the title track. You’re probably already five years ahead of me, but this is still a great album.
  7. Lines, Vines, and Trying Times by the Jonas Brothers: When rumors began swirling that the Jonas Brothers were getting back together, I redownloaded all their albums so I could listen to them again. As I listened and reminisced, I discovered something surprising— this album, the one I cared about least, is actually their best. I’ve been replaying it a lot ever since. It’s kind of jazzy and bluesy, while still retaining that classic JB pop/rock sound. Highlights include “World War III,” “Hey Baby,” “Much Better,” and “Before the Storm.” I can’t believe we let this album flop because it is a gem.
  8. Best Shots by Pat Benatar: If I had been alive in the eighties, I’m sure I would’ve stanned Pat Benatar. She’s got a belting voice that’s one part pop and two parts rock, a tone that’s right up my alley. Her music thunders, guitars, drums, and synths creating a larger-than-life mood. This particular album is a greatest hits collection, but I just know I’m going to explore her backlog farther from here. Among these “best shots” are “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “We Belong,” and “Invincible.” There’s even a live track and I was very happy to find out Pat sounds exactly the same live as on a recording (at least she did in the ‘80s). She really was the best of that decade.
  9. The Last Royals: I actually got introduced to this band because one of their songs was used in a Macdennis edit (an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia ship). I really liked the song, so I checked out their other stuff. They have two albums, Twistification and Never Be Alone. This two-man band is a poppy sort of indie/alternative. Their sound is somehow both chill and upbeat. In a lot of ways, it’s very ‘80s. Some of my favorites of theirs are “If You Wanna Say I Love You” (the song from the edit), “Good Day Radio,” and “Tragedy.” Definitely give these guys a listen if you haven’t.
  10. Fall Out Boy: Due to the release of the band’s long-awaited seventh album (review here!), I was in a big Fall Out Boy mood. While listening, I came to the conclusion that Folie à Deux is their best album. But, either way, I really enjoyed jumping back into their stuff (although I have listened to M A N   I    A the most, being the newest).
  11. The Front Bottoms: This was another band I got introduced to because of Macdennis. Someone on Tumblr said, like, all their songs describe the ship so obviously I had to check them out. I don’t know if I agree with that assessment, but I still really like their music. This band is perhaps the most indie of the indie/alternative bands I’ve been listening to this month. They have four albums out, all of which I love. Brian Sella isn’t a great vocalist, but his tone and delivery really work for the lyrics and style. Speaking of lyrics, these guys do quirky, oddly specific lyrics right. Among my favorite songs are “Peace Sign,” “West Virginia,” “Bae,” and “Vacation Town.” Please listen to this band if you haven’t. They are so good.
  12. Car Seat Headrest: This band is my newest love and the farthest from my usual sound. This band is more on the rock end of alternative and they have great lyrics. But what’s newest for me is the song length. Their songs are incredibly long! However, that doesn’t make them unlistenable. My early favorites are “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales,” “Unforgiving Girl (She’s Not An),” and “Fill in the Blank.” I can’t wait to get more into them, especially since they have a new album coming out in February!

Do you like any of these songs, albums, or artists? What music have you been enjoying this month? Tell me about it in the comments!

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