New Music Playlist: January 2020

NM January 2020
Top row left to right: Rosie Tucker, Francis Quinlan, Termination Dust, 26 BATS!, Lindsay Munroe; bottom row: Sister Species, Partition, Floodwater Angel, Dad Bod, Vanbur

New year, new music! What have I been listening to this month? There have been a ton of releases I’ve had on repeat this January, like the debut album from Minneapolis’ Partition to Termination Dust’s record Growing Down and the new heart-wrenching Rosie Tucker song. Last month I forwent a New Music Playlist to post my Gems of 2019, so I’m also sprinkling in a few songs that came out in December that I’ve been loving.

Minneapolis band Partition’s songs aren’t meant to be listened to; they’re meant to be felt. The band, who describe their sound as “where violence meets pleasure,” released their debut album Prodigal Gun this January. The album is a gritty and visceral journey through band leader Taylor Nice’s childhood, from their Virginia roots to their complicated relationship with their abusive father to their struggles with addiction and recent sobriety.

By January in Minnesota, it’s easy to lose hope that the snow will ever thaw, but the latest single from the self-described chamber-pop band Sister Species is a cinematic ode to the cold. With a slew of instruments at their disposal, including a three-part trumpet section, Sister Species build a crescendoing song that could easily soundtrack a space age movie about a world ravaged by climate change. “It’s easy in Minneapolis winters to imagine moving to warmer places,” writes singer, songwriter and accordionist Emily Kastrul, who says that “Heat Death (Hold Me Here),” “grapples with the end of the universe as a tool to return to the details of my life and to remember the things that hold me here.”

One of the songs that has been stuck in my head all month is the debut single “Asparagus” from Floodwater Angel. Listening to the song feels like being thrown into a psychedelic fever dream after spending one too many days cooped up inside your apartment. The song is the perfect tongue-in-cheek jam to shake you out of your seasonal depression — or maybe just something to vibe out to while you wallow? Floodwater Angel released “Asparagus” in December, but they already have two new singles out, which you can listen to on Bandcamp.

As you might already know, I’ve been loving Growing Down, the new album from Termination Dust. It’s a self-reflective album that embraces the messy, painful, and freeing parts of change. Growing Down blends the band’s emo and indie influences, and if you want to learn more about how the album came together, you can check out the latest episode of the Pass The Mic Podcast, or read my conversation with Termination Dust’s Jaybird and Steffi.

Check out the playlist below to listen to all these songs, and more. Plus, as a bonus, you can watch the new music video for “Moody Knows Best” from Bugsy, whose debut album comes out February 7.

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