January is music bonanza month! Hear new tracks from Django Django, Sufjan, the Purity Ring and more!

Lots of music artists have just announced new releases, so here’s all you need to know about their forthcoming albums in one handy post

The annual music industry dry patch that is January has been transformed: what was once a desert full of tumbleweed and cattle skulls is now a verdant field featuring pools of cascading waterfalls and schools of tadpoles. What this outrageous succession of metaphors is trying to say is that there’s a bunch of artists announcing new releases this week, and we’re using the theme of January to bung it into one blog post. So let’s begin with earnest Washington-based alt-rockers Death Cab for Cutie.

Death Cab For Cutie’s first studio album since the departure of founding member Chris Walla is called Kintsugi, after the Japanese philosophy that treats the breakage and repair of broken pottery as part of an object’s history. There’s no new music just yet, but it’s out 31 March via Atlantic.

Sufjan Stevens, an artist with a cultlike status similar to that of Death Cab, has revealed details of his first album since 2011’s The Age of Adz. Based on the promotional trailer below, he’s put the cosmic cacophony on hold for a more folky sound. Carrie & Lowell, out on 30 March in Europe and 31 March in North America via Asthmatic Kitty, is named after Stevens’s mother and stepfather. The press release says it addresses life and death, love and loss, and “the artist’s struggle to make sense of the beauty and ugliness of love”.

For fans of goth pop, witch house or whatever the genre name was for this kind of spooky synth music in 2011, Megan James and Corin Roddick of Purity Ring have announced the followup to their debut, Shrines. Another Eternity is out 3 March via 4AD, and a taster of their spectral new track, Begin Again, can be heard below.

The Prodigy’s latest offering, The Day Is My Enemy, is reportedly very violent – which makes a change from their usually tranquil chill wave. Take a listen to new track Nasty below.

And here’s Kelly Clarkson’s Heartbeat Song. Not too much to say here, other than this song is suspiciously similar to Jimmy Eat World’s Middle.

Astral art-pop group Django Django have posted their first offering since their self-titled debut in 2012. There are no album details yet, but comparing the skittering sounds of their debut to the slow-burning First Light, their energies seem to be more focused on building a serene soundscape this time.

Four Tet has launched a new album under his Percussions alias: 2011-2014 covers all of his 12-inch albums released on Text Records “and some other tracks made during the same time period from 2011 until 2014”, according to Bandcamp. Here’s one track to try before you buy.

Last, the return of Waxahatchee, who release the new album Ivy Tripp on 7 April via Wichita Recordings. Themes of loss of youth and coming of age found on Cerulean Salt are said to be replaced with self-control and honesty on this new record. “My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs,” says Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield. “I think a running theme is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming.”

How better to kick-start the year?


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