From Shania Twain, Caroline Polachek, Paramore, Gorillaz, and many more.
by Tyler Appleby
Publishing date: Jan, 31, 2023
After a relatively slow start to the year for new music, February has a ton of exciting new releases across multiple genres. If this month is anything like it was in 2022, we’ll definitely be getting some of the best records of the year throughout the next few weeks. From the electrifying boundary-pushers Young Fathers to the legendary Shania Twain, February has a ton of albums to look forward to. Let’s countdown to all that this month has in store for us.
Young Fathers – ‘Heavy Heavy’
- It’s been nearly five years since Young Fathers blew everyone’s mind with Cocoa Sugar, a record that showcased why they’re one of the most exciting, experimental trios in rap music. With beautifully abstract production and catchy lyrical hooks, Young Fathers have certainly been missed. Heavy Heavy marks their return and is already looking out to be an absolutely magnetic record. The lead single “Geronimo” has an undeniable repeat-worthy quality, while “Rice” presents just how vast their influences are. If you’re interested in discovering this chaotic,—yet sleek—exciting UK group, look no further than this record.
Shania Twain – ‘Queen of Me’
- Let’s go girls, the Queen of country music has returned. Canadian icon Shania Twain releases Queen of Me, her sixth full-length record and first offering since 2017’s Now. As the best-selling female artist in country music history with five Grammy Awards under her belt, Shania doesn’t have anything left to prove. Queen of Me is poised to be Shania at her best—nostalgically comforting ballads with a side of party anthems. “Last Day of Summer” set the tone as the lead single and is reminiscent of “You’re Still the One” while “Giddy Up!” is 2023’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman”. Queen of Me is exactly what we need to escape the isolating vibes of the winter.
John Frusciante – ‘I & II’
- It’s been a wild few years for John Frusciante. After rejoining the Red Hot Chili Peppers, putting out two records, and touring the world with the band, John is now set to release two solo records. While he’s best known as the guitarist behind “Under the Bridge” and “Snow (Hey Oh)”, John’s solo work dives into the ambient electronic world. Made as an effort to clear his head after recording two rock albums with the Chili Peppers, this double album sees John making music without restraint. If you’re a fan of Daphni or Burial, definitely check this one out—just don’t expect anything remotely close to the Peps.
Paramore – ‘This Is Why’
- What does a band do after they’ve once redefined their sound? They reinvent themselves again, of course! Legendary pop-punk band Paramore is back with This Is Why, which follows up their 2017 landmark record After Laughter. Anchored by the gobsmacking lead single “This Is Why”, this record sees Paramore leaning into a heavier rock sound reminiscent of their earlier records. What makes this one different from the rest of their catalog is the continued evolution of Hayley Williams as a songwriter. She’s the very best that the genre has to offer, and she truly shines on this record’s singles. “C’est Comme Ca” sounds like it belongs in the early 2000’s era of The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, while “The News” sounds like an early Bloc Party track. For Paramore fans and anyone who thinks rock music is fleeting, check this record out—we think you’ll fall in love with it.
Tennis – ‘POLLEN’
- Indie-pop couple Tennis release their sixth record titled Pollen this month, featuring the earwormy single “One Night with The Valet.” The married duo state that the record is about “small things with big consequences” and “remaining in a moment without slipping into dread,” which sets the stage for the most ambitious yet restrained record in Tennis’ catalog. “Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight” perfectly encapsulates this energy, as singer Alaina Moore yearns for adventure over disco-esque production. Pollen is the biggest statement from the band yet and is a record that all pop-heads should have on their radar.
Yo La Tengo – ‘This Stupid World’
- It’s rare for a legendary band to continually evolve as they age, but Yo La Tengo just keeps getting better and better. This Stupid World is the indie band’s sixteenth record, and is “the most live-sounding Yo La Tengo album in years.” Totally self-produced with a new level of immediacy to the music, This Stupid World is the band grabbing hold of what’s made them so special over the last 25 years and holding on tight. “Aselestine” is an ode to their more dream-pop acoustic sound while “Fallout” is the band turning up the distortion with hushed vocals. Check this one out, and if you like it, be sure to dive into their older records. They’re all superb.
Yeat – ‘Afterlyfe’
- Breakout online rap star Yeat has been teasing his new record Afterlyfe for the last few months, and rumor has it, it’s out this month. After getting the name from a Reddit thread, Yeat’s new record looks to extend the vibe that he presented on his 2022 record Lyfe but with some added features. Lil Uzi Vert and Destroy Lonely have been rumored to appear on the record, with others sure to tag along as Yeat’s rise to fame continues. While many details regarding this record are unconfirmed, we’re crossing our fingers that Yeat’s tease is true.
Kelela – ‘RAVEN’
- Alternative R&B artist Kelela returns with Raven, her first record since 2017’s Take Me Apart. The 39-year-old Ethiopian-American artist took her time reflecting on her artistry during her five-year break, and Raven is a product of her self-discoveries. The record showcases the evolution of Kelela, as the adventurous production and beautiful vocals on the lead single “On The Run” make it one of the best tracks of her career. With production help from Kaytranada and Bambii, Raven is poised to be the first mind-blowing record of 2023 and surely will cement Kelela as one of the most exciting artists working today.
Caroline Polachek – ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’
- There are not many artists in pop music as cool as Caroline Polachek. Following up on 2019’s Pang is a tall task, as it’s become one of the most influential pop records of the last decade. Caroline has already proven she’s up for the challenge, as “Bunny Is A Rider” and “Sunset” have received high acclaim and showcase her wide array of influences. Her latest single “Welcome To My Island” perfectly sets the tone for the new record, and has already been brilliantly remixed by her close friends Charli XCX and George Daniel of The 1975. Still riding high off the success of her definitive track “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings”, Caroline is ready to prove to the world that she’s capable of superstardom.
Pile – ‘All Fiction’
- Boston rock band Pile release their eighth studio album at the midway point of the month, entitled All Fiction. As one of the more underrated rock groups of the last few years, Pile has put together quite the collection of solid records and All Fiction looks to continue their run. Lead single “Loops” sounds like it could be off of the Smile’s record from last year, while “Nude With a Suitcase” is a return to the shoegaze dream-rock sound that permeates much of their earlier records. If you’re a fan of rock groups like Metz, Foals, or Iceage, check out All Fiction this month.
P!nk – ‘Trustfall’
- Global pop icon and performance acrobat P!nk releases Trustfall this month, featuring the smash hit single “Never Gonna Not Dance Again.” Produced by Max Martin and Shellbeck, Trustfall looks to be another bold statement from P!nk as she continues to evolve her dynamic artistry. The title track “Trustfall” is a synth-pop banger that sounds like P!nk singing over a Robyn instrumental and sets expectations high with an indelibly catchy chorus anchored by P!nk’s trademark powerful vocals. Set to embark on a massive stadium tour this summer, Trustfall will likely provide plenty of bangers for you and your Mom to scream at the top of your lungs in the nosebleeds.
Inhaler – ‘Cuts & Bruises’
- For rock fans, there are not many bands nowadays as exciting as Inhaler. Hailing from Dublin, Inhaler quickly announced themselves on the scene in 2021 with their must-listen record It Won’t Always Be Like This and looks to follow it up with their upcoming sophomore record Cut & Bruises. If the record follows the vibes of the lead singles, Inhaler will undoubtedly become the next great rock act and dominate rock radio in 2023. “These Are The Days” sounds like the Killers at their peak, while “Love Will Get You There” is the best Interpol song in years. Check this one out to hear one of the most exciting rock bands from the UK, and to hear lead singer Elijah Hewson’s stunning voice.
Gorillaz – ‘Cracker Island’
- It seems like Damon Albarn can never take a break. From playing at every festival imaginable to reuniting with Blur, the man is always up to something big. After releasing Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez and extensively touring the world over the last few years, he’s bringing Gorillaz back with Cracker Island, their eighth studio album. Led by “New Gold” featuring Tame Impala and the title track “Cracker Island” featuring Thundercat, the record should be exactly what Gorillaz fans have been waiting for. Full of exciting features, endlessly catchy hooks and dancy beats, Cracker Island is the perfect upbeat record to carry us into the warmer spring weather.
Logic – ‘College Park’
- It’s been a confusing few years for Logic fans. After seemingly forcing himself into retirement after Supermarket and coming back with his career-best Vinyl Days, Bobby is back at the end of the month with College Park. What makes this record exciting is that Logic is going fully independent, and marks a fresh start for him as he reflects on his life and career throughout the record. With collaborations from RZA, Joey Bada$$, and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, College Park is poised to be a return to the vibe that Logic fans loved on The Incredible True Story and Under Pressure. Logic always takes his music in unpredictable directions, and College Park should be full of fun surprises.
Shame – ‘Food for Worms’
- As you can tell, it’s a big month for UK-based bands. South London post-punk band Shame release their third studio record Food for Worms at the tail end of the month, which the band describes as the “lamborghini of Shame records.” The record is a sonic departure from anything they’ve done before, and the lead single “Fingers of Steel” showcases their newfound melodic yet cathartic post-punk energy. “Six-Pack” has psychedelic guitars with pummeling drums, while singer Charlie Steen shouts lyrics about all the fake people he’s ever met. If you’re hungry for new music from Black Midi, Black Country New Road, or Viagra Boys, Food for Worms should easily tide you over.