Look, I’m asking the same thing – how the heck did we arrive at our January Tunes so fast? I genuinely feel like I’m still in October, but at the same time I’m hoping to 2020 is going to be a great year!
January has already been a busy month for me personally. Work is slowly but steadily picking up, I’m thankfully back at the gym after renewing my membership, I’ve booked my first holiday for the year, and I’ve got so many plans starting to line up. And it’s only January. How’s your January been?
So to kick it off, let’s begin with the songs I was listening to nonstop this month. As is to be expected, there were some great releases, and I also enjoyed quite a bunch of old favourites, as you’ll see.
Heat – Chris Brown, Gunna: Here’s one partially brought to you by TikTok. 2019 may be over, but the hours I spend pouring over TikTok’s, sending them to my sister and the various group chats we’re in with our cousins, trying and failing to learn the dances and imitating all the memes, has only kept increasing. That said, TikTok comes through when it comes to music, and obviously I had to include this one in the first monthly roundup for the new year.
By Fire – Hiatus Kaiyote: I got recommended this song by my friend who plays the bass guitar in our band, and I’ve been going mad over it ever since. The vocals in this, the syncopation, everything about this song is insane. It’s a music theory nerd’s dream, and while that may not be me, I can still appreciate it to the best of my ability. Plus, Nai Palm’s vocals always hit you in the gut, regardless of whether it’s in her solo stuff or with the band.
10/10 – Rex Orange County: This song sounds like the anthem to growing up, and though he released it a while ago, it came back onto my radar when I heard it on the radio while I was in the car. The chorus is always getting stuck in my head, especially this month.
Need Somebody To Love – Ady Suleiman: Ady has such a beautifully simple voice. It’s so nice and relaxing to listen to. He can hit all the notes, low and high, and this song is such a vibe. It also has that classical guitar in there, which I think only matches the mellow energy of the song, and it’s been such a chiller to just throw on in the morning when I wake up. Plus, you all know how much I love a horn section, and it’s so seamlessly worked into this song.
I Can Love You – Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim: Okay. So this one stemmed from TikTok too, but only because I heard a remix and had to listen to the original right away. This original will always get me. Always. There’s no point during the day or the week or the month, where listening to this song just isn’t a vibe. It’s that old school RnB I tell you.
Jam – Starboy, WizKid, Chronixx: My love for this song definitely grew and grew this month. I’ve been listening to it non-stop. The mix of sweet saxophone with a slight dance-hall infusion just makes it the perfect track for me, and I can’t help but have a boogie each time it’s on. I’ve even got my sister onto it considering it just always happens to come on shuffle on our way to the gym. It’s the saxophone I tell you.
Braid My Hair – Mario: My good friend Daniel showed me this song, and I added it straight away. Again, old school RnB. It just knows how to do it for me. If you ever want to make me happy and completely content, just throw on the first old school RnB playlist you can find. That said, Mario has a special place in my heart. Man’s smooth.
Partner In Crime – Ocean Alley: I don’t know if it’s just because it’s getting warmer and warmer here in Australia, but I’m bringing Ocean Alley right into 2020 with me. They just match my vibe, all the time. At any given moment, there’s an Ocean Alley song that can perfectly match my mood or the way I’m feeling, and they encapsulate the mix of surf rock/reggae/pop that I love. I’m also just in love with all of them too.
Grave – Summer Walker: Another song I’ve been obsessed with this month. I feel like such a fraud saying this, but I got over the little Summer Walker obsession really quickly. I’m the first to say she has an incredible voice and beautiful songs, but I stopped listening to her as much as I used to, that is, until I heard this song. Holy. Moly. This is the perfect mix of her smooth, smooth vocals and another master-class in musicality on the drums. And don’t get me started on the switch-up at the end of the song.
Drive and Disconnect – Nao: Severely underrated in all senses of the word. Nao deserves so much more, and this song is one of the perfect examples of why. The voice, the lyricism, the beat, it’s all there.
Kickback – Omar Apollo: I get to see Omar Apollo after listening to him for close to three years at the start of February and I’m so excited. I love this song as I tend to love most of Apollo’s music. He comes through with a reliably groovy bass-line, something I’ve come to expect from him, and I cannot wait to see this performed live.
Piece Of Your Heart – MEDUZA, Goodboys: Alas, another tune proudly brought to you by TikTok. That’s all I have to say.
Juice – Lizzo: I don’t know why I always feel hesitant to tell people that I really don’t listen to Lizzo a lot? It’s not something that happened on purpose because she genuinely has some bops, it’s just something I never got around to. However, I was at a house party towards the end of the month and this song came one, and everyone lost their minds. It was so infectious and just raised energy levels straight away. Plus, there’s also Harry Styles’ cover of it that’s been everywhere and for good reason.
Talkin Bad Blues – Lindsey Lomis: Lindsey featured on the December Tunes, and she’s starting off with a feature on the January Tunes as well. I can’t get over how talented this girl is, and she’s nearly six years younger than me. Just another talented teen making me feel completely inadequate.
Come Thru – Summer Walker, Usher: Another Summer Walker song. This song came on in a TikTok, so again, have to give credit to the highly addictive app. I genuinely spend hours on TikTok and it’s becoming an issue, but I don’t see myself changing. I mean, when it consistently delivers amazing music, such as this incredible RnB slow jam, how can I really complain.
Roulette – Church & AP: Okay. Yo. Listen up. Please, give these guys a listen. I discovered them on Instagram, uncharacteristically, and I’m obsessed. They’re a duo from New Zealand, and I’ve spent several days on end bumping their music and nothing else. They remind me of a harder version of BROCKHAMPTON, mixed with a bit of grime type of music. They combine the parts of Skepta’s music that I vibe with, with really groovy drum and bass pockets, and catchy choruses and I honestly hope I get the opportunity to see these guys live.
Drink From The Water – Mako Road: My love for this New Zealand band only continues to grow in 2020, beginning with this song. These guys pull off a change of pace mid song like no other, and I cannot wait for them to blow up. I’m calling it now, but they’ll reach Ocean Alley status eventually. It’ll take some time, but calling it now.
There you have it! These are just some of my favourite songs that I was listening to in January to kick off 2020. What were some of your new finds for the start of the year? Let me know in the comments! Hopefully you gave some of these a listen and maybe found a new tune to add to your playlists!