The 5 Albums You Need to Hear in January


Hello, 2014! The early part of this year is looking pretty damn good as far as album releases go, but this month not so much — it’s something of a slow start, with most of the notable releases coming in February and March. But, nevertheless, there are still a bunch of albums worth putting on your post-Christmas shopping list, and here are five such records, along with our usual brief roundup of everything else of note that’ll be in stores and/or on iTunes over the coming weeks. Let us know what you’re getting excited about!

Toy — Join the Dots (January 7)

Our learned friends at the Quietus have been extolling the virtues of Toy for quite some time now (they recently published a fascinating interview with the band), and if you like latter-day motorik goodness and London accents, then this should prove a fine way to see in the new year.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings — Give the People What They Want (January 14)

In this case, the album title really couldn’t be more appropriate. It’s great to see Jones back and in good health — the release of this album was delayed after the singer was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, for which she underwent surgery during the second half of last year. Happily, she appears to have made a full recovery, and the record is finally seeing the light of day.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra — Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything (January 21)

I discussed this briefly in my post last week about the most anticipated albums of 2014. It’s one of only two of those records released in January, but given that it’s likely to be several years long, it should be more than enough to keep the wolf from the door until February rolls around.

Against Me! — Transgender Dysphoria Blues (January 21)

Also very much anticipated: the return of Against Me! for the first time since Tom Gabel transitioned to become Laura Jean Grace.

Dum Dum Girls — Too True (January 28)

By the sounds of the band’s self-penned press release, this album had something of a fraught genesis, but from what we’ve heard so far, the process clearly paid off. (And, yes, I’m kinda disconcerted that their video for “Lost Boys and Girls Club” premiered via H&M, but shit, everyone has to pay the rent.)

Also out this month:

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks — Wig Out at Jagbags (January 7) After all these years, still an acquired taste.

Bruce Springsteen — High Hopes (January 14) Broooooce.

Broken Bells — After the Disco (January 14) Yes, but is James Mercer ever going to make anything as good as Chutes Too Narrow again?

Roseanne Cash — The River and the Thread (January 21) A concept album that “[captures] a unique, multi-generational cast of characters,” apparently.

Mogwai — Rave Tapes (January 21) Quite possibly neither tapes nor from a rave. Ah, Mogwai. Bless ’em.

Warpaint — Warpaint (January 21) LA lifestyle indie.

I Break Horses — Chiaroscuro (January 21) Nordic nu-gaze. Not all bad.

David Crosby — Croz (January 28) Read the sure-to-be-glowing review in Rolling Stone!