We had the BRITs this month. We even livetweeted it. Not that it is reflected at all in this month's new music review, exactly. (Well. Having said that, Jack Garratt's got a pity inclusion. And the deserter from that big pop act has just been releasing more fire than a pyromaniac who can spit lighter fluid.) ...but I digress.
We kick February off with the highlight from Hymns, Bloc Party's fifth release and first from the new line-up. "Different Drugs" is a hugely understated 21st century break-up song, featuring a little masterclass of pitch-shifting from Kele. (One day I'll stop writing about Bloc Party. Today is not that day.)
February also saw a return from trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack, who have another EP and full album to come in 2016. Ritual Spirit is a strong feature-heavy four-track, which builds from 2010's Heligoland. We reviewed a track and an album from Deftones and School of Seven Bells respectively earlier in the month too, both of which show promise of bigger things ahead this year.
A surprise feature comes in the form of late 90's Scottish rockers Travis. (Can you *believe* they headlined Glastonbury once? The mind boggles.) With a couple of new tracks ahead of Everything at Once, their eighth(?) studio album, 'rock' does appear to be firmly on their agenda in "3 Miles High".
RJD2, Animal Collective and Miike Snow make back-to-back monthly features, before albums from each are released. Let it be known that we'll keep you updated with each along the way. Chomping at the bit for them, to be honest.
Our biggest ones to watch this month are Porches - who bring in the chilled electronica in a way that's had Team FOULDER with the album on repeat all over the shop - and Beacon. Though they have both made it onto the list only once, we struggled to choose just one track respectively. (Srsly. Srsly. Seriously. Please go forth and listen to both Pool and Escapements. They are incredible.)
Finally, PBR'n'B is alive and well. From Majid Jordan's eponymous debut, and DJ Mustard with "Whole Lotta Lovin'", to FKA twigs and Lushlife - alongside the aforementioned ZAYN. All wall to wall bangers. One of these even made it in twice, because I feel like he deserves it. Just this once, mind.
Enjoy. (Ps. I know Macklemore's "Downtown" has been out for several months now. I know this. But I only really discovered it on a seven-hour car journey to Yorkshire where it was played no less than 43 times. Huge.)