It’s only around mid-February, but an abundance of new music has already been released! Here are my favorite singles and albums of this month thus far:
“Black Summer” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers released “Black Summer” on Feb. 4. This was their first song since 2016, and their first music since guitarist John Frusciante rejoined the band in 2019. “Black Summer” is the lead single off of Red Hot Chili Peppers album, “Unlimited Love,” the band’s twelfth studio album set to release on Apr. 1. This was released around two months before the start of their first stadium tour. According to Genius.com, “this single represents a facet of bassist Flea, as he’s of Australian origins and the song focuses on the ‘Black Summer’ wildfires that devastated the country throughout 2019 and 2020.”
“Kissing Lessons” by Lucy Dacus
“Kissing Lessons’ ‘ is indie artist Lucy Dacus’s second single after the release of her album, “Home Video,” in 2021. Dacus teased the song by posting “Kissing Lessons” flyers in several US cities in late January before the song’s release on Feb. 2. In her newsletter, Dacus said that “Kissing Lessons” is “an old song [she] wrote in 2017 and tried to put on Home Video but it didn’t fit in because it’s too fun.” Dacus is correct. “Home Video” is somber while “Kissing Lessons” is a sweet, catchy and upbeat tune about a childhood friend with whom Dacus practices “being seduced.”
“Laurel Hell” by Mitski
“Laurel Hell” is Mitski’s sixth studio album which was released on Feb. 4. In an interview with Zane Lowe in November, Mitski said that “Laurel Hell is a term from the Southern Appalachians in the US, where laurel bushes basically grow in these dense thickets…When you get stuck in these thickets, you can’t get out. Or so the story goes.” Feelings of being trapped and escaping from entanglement resonate with Mitski. After performing at Central Park’s SummerStage in Sept. of 2019, Mitski announced that she was taking an indefinite break from music. Additionally, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, she said she believed that the show would be her last performance in a while. Mitski owed her label, Dead Oceans, another album, however. After a four-year hiatus, Mitski released “Laurel Hell,” an album that reveals her struggles with increasing fame, career and identity as a musician. Mitski drew inspiration from 80s synth-pop for songs “The Only Heartbreaker,” “Love Me More” and “That’s Our Lamp,” something distinct to “Laurel Hell” in comparison to her previous albums. My favorite song is definitely “Love Me More.”
“Ants From Up There” by Black County, New Road
I was sent this album by a friend earlier this week after she saw lots of discourse about it on Tik Tok, and after listening to the album, it’s evident it deserves all the attention it’s getting. “Ants From Up There” is the second studio album from the London experimental-rock band and could be perceived as a breakup album, one similar to The Beatles “Let It Be,” as frontman Isaac Wood announced his departure from the band a few days before the album’s release on Feb. 4. “Ants From Up There” earned a spot on Pitchfork’s list of “Best New Albums.” Black County, New Road’s art-rock style is a bit of an acquired taste, in my opinion, but I have a large appreciation for the album’s unique sound and melancholic songwriting.
A must listen to the song on this album is “Concorde”.
I definitely have an eclectic taste in music and am always introducing myself to new artists and genres. I hope you enjoy these current releases as much as I do; happy listening!
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