The 7 best albums released in January 2018

Is it too late to still be saying 'happy new year'? Yes, yes it is

January 2018, otherwise known as the month that refused to end. It felt like it went on longer than the Grammys, but wasn’t quite as painful. For a month which sees all your mates temporarily ditch the pub for the gym (they have given up on that now, right?) it actually had its moments. Namely the release of these albums. They were the ones which found themselves most frequently on our office stereo as the dirty wet patch on the ceiling above our desks grew in size and menace. If we make it to February with the roof still intact, we’ll see you then.

Artist: Shame
Title: Songs of Praise
Label: Dead Oceans
What is it? You know the deal with this one – the south London punk band with a blistering live rep deliberately made a debut album that sounds nothing like their live shows. And yes, even the tracks that nod to Happy Mondays and Oasis are decent.
L&Q says: “The big take away is how it sounds like a living scrapbook of a group of mates still working it out.” 
Read Austin Laike’s full review

Artist: Shopping
Title: The Official Body
Label: FatCat
What is it? The third effort from the Glasgow trio may be a DIY album, but it’s also a wake up call to action – produced by Edwyn Collins.
L&Q says: “Tightly compressed and structurally flab-free, these ten songs flirt with a hip twitching form of primitive disco.”
Read Susan Darlington’s full review

Artist: Porches
Title: The House
Label: Domino
What is it? From carefree youth to drained adulthood Porches conveys that journey in meticulous fashion on ‘The House’.
L&Q says: “Not your run-of-the-mill coming-of-age collection.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review

Artist: ********
Title: The Drink
Label: Weird World
What is it? The first – and final – album from the Glasgow duo whose name is simply eight asterisks. Their sound, like their moniker, is non-conformist.
L&Q says: “‘The Drink”s art school chaff makes The Fall seem less long-winded.”
Read Dafydd Jenkins’ full review

Artist: tUne-yArDs
Title:  I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
Label:  4AD
What is it?  Merrill Garbus puts herself at the centre of a highly listenable pop album that’s also an examination into millennial whiteness.
L&Q says: “This is a serious, if oddly celebratory, attempt to explore complicity through a white, cisgender, heteronormative lens.”
Read Katie Beswick’s full review

Artist: Nils Frahm
Title: All Melody
Label:  Erased Tapes
What is it?  Seven albums in you think you know what you’re getting with a Nils Frahm album – but ‘All Melody’ marks a brilliant, subtle shift.
L&Q says: “Whether Frahm admits it or not, when it comes to playing with people’s feelings or trying to make sense of his own, he rarely gets it wrong.”
Read Reef Younis’ full review

Artist: Lylo
Title: Post Era
Label:  El Rancho
What is it?  The second offering from Glasgow five-piece – that could be an eyeroll of an album title if it wasn’t so accurate.
L&Q says: “At just seven breezy songs, ‘Post Era’ is gone in a flash, but there’s plenty to sink your teeth into.”
Read Stephen Butchard’s full review