MONTHLY MIXTAPE: JANUARY 2023
BY BRENESSA ROACH | JANUARY 28 2023
Welcome to the first post in the “Monthly Mixtape” series. This is a series where I will be sharing my top new releases in the month in the first half of the blog. The second half of the blog is where I will be sharing my top songs that I enjoyed in the month no matter when they were released. Since I am scouting for new music daily, I always find some great music so I want to share it in this monthly blog.
Something to note, is that some songs from previous blog posts in the month, will be featured in this monthly mixtape. However, if I mention a song this month, I will never put it in the post for the next month, so I can keep each post diverse. You can expect “Monthly Mixtape” blogs and playlists on the last Saturday of every month. As well, you can look forward to a Korean music monthly blog on the last day of every month.
As always, there will be a playlist of every song mentioned in this post at the end of this post.
Released on: January 6
“MOON” was my no doubt my #1 song for January. It is a song that has impacted me A LOT, and clearly has impacted Spotify curators as it has been featured on playlists such as; Jasmine, R&B Feels, tapioca and more. I discovered hanuel through JUNNY in September and I’ve been casually listening to him ever since but, with the release of this song, I think I can officially call myself a fan. The song is a collaboration between haneul, a 23 year old from Vancouver, Canada and myno, an 18 year old based in Australia.
The introduction is initially what got me listening to this song because it starts off with guitar and slowly builds with layers of different instruments and vocal samples. The drums start in the first verse, followed by hanuel’s amazing, colourful vocals. The second verse is beautiful when myno sings because he has such a light/sweet but powerful voice. Essentially both hanuel and myno’s style of singing meshes really well and together they both remind me of keshi…so if you like keshi definitely check out hanuel and myno.
Listen to “MOON” by hanuel and myno on Spotify:
Released on: January 6
“Enfant de” is such a catchy song that it was stuck in my head constantly throughout the month. I came across the song in Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist when it released. The title translates to “child of” and I think it’s so cool that the production of the song has a very nostalgic sound that reminds me of when I was a child. The synth in the song reminds me of the kind of synths you hear in late ‘90s, early 2000 songs. After listening to this song and discovering Pierre, I definitely am excited to hear more of his new music in the future,
Listen to “Enfant de” by Pierre de Maere on Spotify:
Check out Pierre de Maere on Instagram: @pierredemaere
Released on: January 11
“Air” is hands down, my all time favourite song of Sylo’s. It was released first in November 2022 and then released on his album blanket this month. I was super excited for the release of this album as I have been a fan of Sylo’s for almost a year now. I literally don’t know what Sylo put in this song but it’s so addicting. His voice suits this exact style of music so well and it’s so comforting to hear. My favourite part of the song is the verse where he goes into his head voice and sings the line “So we’ll both arrange, our bodies once again”. Really excited to stream this song for the rest of the year (and my life).
Listen to “Air” by Sylo on Spotify:
Check out Sylo on Instagram: @sylooo
Released on: January 13
After a hiatus since her last album Plastic Hearts in 2020, Miley Cyrus has returned with a new single “Flowers”. This is an upbeat, ‘80s disco, breakup song that is so empowering. Some people have pointed out the similarities of “Flowers” and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. As well, Gloria herself approved of the song and said “Your new song carries the torch of empowerment and encourages everyone to find strength in themselves to persevere and thrive.” (Source: Gloria Gaynor’s Instagram).
Not only did Miley get inspiration from Gloria, but she also samples the tune of “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars and uses the same lyrics but, with a twist of her own. In Bruno Mars’ song, he sings “I should have brought you flowers, and held your hand…” whereas Miley sings “I can buy myself flowers, write my name in the sand, talk to myself for hours, say things you don’t understand. I can take myself dancing and I can hold my own hand.” I have been a fan of Miley’s for the last 17 years and I am so excited to hear what other music she has in store for the year.
Listen to “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus on Spotify:
Check out Miley Cyrus on Instagram: @mileycyrus
Released on: January 11
“Good For Now” is a song that mixes elements of alternative and R&B. It’s a collaboration between Chiiild, a Canadian experimental soul artist and Lucky Daye, an American singer-songwriter. I have been a fan of Chiild’s for a while now and I absolutely love this style of song.
Listen to “Good For Now” by Chiiild and Lucky Daye on Spotify:
Released on: January 6
“Home” is a song I listened to after seeing some of my Instagram followers post about it. It is a collaboration between Niko Rain and EJEAN, two artists that are super talented and underrated. I really love this song because it’s a pop song infused with other musical elements and it’s definitely a fun, driving song. It also is currently in the Spotify curated playlist “Jasmine”.
Listen to “Home” by Niko Rain and EJEAN on Spotify:
Released on: January 6
I had never listened to SYML prior to this song but, since then I have become a fan. SYML is a pop/alternative indie singer, which is one of my favourite genres. “Believer” is a sweet song about how he realized that his lover is what made him a believer, rather than God or a magical ghost (Source: Broadway World).
Listen to “Believer” by SYML on Spotify:
Check out SYML on Instagram: @symlmusic
I really like Kali Uchis’ music so I was very excited for the release of this song. “I Wish You Roses” is a beautiful song about the ability to release people with love. Kali says “It could be a friend, a lover, or someone else, but the point is to celebrate releasing people from your life without being resentful or bitter.” (Source: Genius Lyrics). I think with the start of a New Year, this is a perfect song to help people set goals to be less resentful or bitter.
Listen to “I Wish You Roses” by Kali Uchis on Spotify:
Check out Kali Uchis on Instagram: @kaliuchis
“MOONLIGHT” is a song by Henry Lau, who is a Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and actor based in South Korea and China. He was in the K Pop group Super Junior-M from 2008 to 2018. I absolutely love this pop/dance style song, I think it’s completely different from Henry’s ballad type song “It’s You”, which is one of my favourite songs. I really hope Henry releases an EP or album this year with this vibe because I am here for it.
Listen to “MOONLIGHT” by Henry on Spotify:
Check out Henry on Instagram: @henryl89
“Just4u” is a beautiful collaboration between Eric Ryan, a Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and Milkkid, a singer from Portland, USA. I love the chill vibes of this song and I especially love the guitar layered with the vocals.
Listen to “Just4u” by Eric Ryan and Milkkid on Spotify:
“Kill Bill” came out in December and since then, it has been on repeat for me, as well as others. The song is trending so much on TikTok and Reels and is currently still charting on the Billboard Top 100. SZA is an artist with an amazing voice and musical style, and in particular this song made me really appreciate her music.
Listen to “Kill Bill” by SZA on Spotify:
Check out SZA on Instagram: @sza
“Halazia” is another song that came out in December 2022 on ATEEZ’s first single album SPIN OFF: FROM THE WITNESS. For those of you who might not know who ATEEZ are, they are a 4th Generation K Pop band consisting of 8 members. Prior to this song, I was just a casual listener of ATEEZ and never really knew the members. However, with the release of this song, I made an effort to learn a little bit about them and Yeosang’s deep voice in the verse is my favourite part about this song.
Listen to “Halazia” by ATEEZ on Spotify:
Check out ATEEZ on Instagram: @ateez_official_
This is the song that got me into a really deep Japanese music hole this month. Also got me into Masaki Suda, who is literally incredible. I actually came across this song on TikTok because someone posted a video of Kento Yamazaki, the actor from Alice in Borderland performing this song with Masaki Suda. After seeing that short TikTok clip, I proceeded to watch the full cover on YouTube which lead me to listening to the full PLAY album which this song is on. I absolutely love the vibes of this song and I am a huge fan of rock bands, especially if it’s in a different language.
Listen to “Sayonara Elegy (さよならエレジー)” by Masaki Suda on Spotify:
“Love Is Banned” is the first single on GEMINI’s second and latest EP Still Blue, which was released in December 2022. GEMINI is someone I discovered around September through a friend who recommended a song of his. I absolutely love this EP and the whole vibe and aesthetic of it. “Love Is Banned” has a very hip hop, futuristic feel to it and the intro is super fun and catchy.
Listen to “Love Is Banned” by GEMINI on Spotify:
Check out GEMINI on Instagram: @geminiccasa
“23” is a song that I have been enjoying this month so I had to include it. It’s a fun, diy sounding song and I think Wallice has a really special voice. I also feel that Wallice is still quite underrated because I had never heard of her music until fairly recently.
Listen to “23” by Wallice on Spotify:
Check out Wallice on Instagram: @wallice
“First Of The Year” by Cuco was released at the end of December 2022 and has been on repeat for me! I love the dreamy-pop/indie sound this song has! Cuco’s style reminds me of boy pablo a little bit. Definitely became a fan of Cuco after hearing this song and can’t wait for more songs this year.
Listen to “First Of The Year” by Cuco on Spotify:
Check out Cuco on Instagram: @cucopuffs
“Comin’ Through” is another song that came out at the end of December. It is the second song on Hojean’s first album Swing. I am a fan of Hojean’s and I love all of his songs. This song in particular has been on repeat because it perfectly fits the style of music I like which is indie with elements of R&B and rock. I think Hojean is a super underrated Korean-American artist that needs to grow more in 2023.
Listen to “Comin’ Through” by Hojean on Spotify:
Check out HOJEAN on Instagram: @yihojean
I heard this song in the show Ginny & Georgia during Season 2, Episode 10 for the first time and it’s beautiful. I specifically love the piano acoustic version, I think it’s so calming and the lyrics are so meaningful. I love the blend of Blakey and JONES’ voice.
Listen to “Prism of Love (Piano Acoustic)” by Blakey and JONES on Spotify:
Christian Kuria is someone I started listening to this month because Namjoon (RM) of BTS posted this song on his Instagram story. I immediately listened to the song and the rest of Christian’s discography. His voice and lyricism is beautiful and I will be featuring him a blog post in February so stay tuned for that post to learn more about Christian.
Listen to “Deep Green” by Christian Kuria on Spotify:
Check out Christian Kuria on Instagram: @christiankuria
“Love Untold” is a song that came out in December on Stray Kids’ album SKZ-REPLAY. For a brief introduction to Stray Kids, they are a 4th generation K Pop group consisting of 8 members. This album consisted of solo, duets and trio songs. I don’t regularly listen to Stray Kids but this song is one that I really appreciate and love. Definitely recommend listening to this album as well since it showed each members own personal musical style.
Listen to “Love Untold” by Hyunjin of Stray Kids on Spotify:
Check out Stray Kids on Instagram: @realstraykids
You can find all 20 of the songs mentioned in this article on our Spotify playlist below: