By Zach Hester (Photo by Ariel Kassulke, @arielkassulke on Instagram)

From new artists to long-awaited returns, this month brought up several pieces of music worth mentioning. January is usually a month where new, exciting content in the entertainment world takes a break after all of the end of the year lists from December. Despite this stigma, January 2019 really showed out and showed up in the world of music. 

I’m going to start a tradition for the last RANKED episode of each month to showcase my favorite songs of said month. Here’s the first entry into this new series! Instead of ranking my choices for this article, the entries are in alphabetical order by artist’s last name.

2. Mile High — James Blake, Travis Scott, & Metro Boomin

With assists from Travis Scott and Metro Boomin, James Blake crafted a stellar song from his new album Assume Form. Trap and hip hop influences take center stage on this track and the mesmeric sounds from Blake’s layered vocals in the third verse give me chills every single time.

SoLow — Keegan Calmes

Keegan Calmes hasn’t left Vinyl Theatre behind, but he seems to be hitting a new stride as a solo artist. “SoLow” is the musician’s first single of the year and explores that feeling when you hit the bottom and it seems like no one can bring you up. As a major fan of this guy in general, I can’t wait to see if we get a full solo album from him this year.

Moderation — Florence + The Machine

It was only last year that we got new material from Florence + The Machine, so waking up to “Moderation” was more than a nice surprise. Florence Welch delivers some classic, still amazing vocals that proves she is one of the best vocalists of our time. “Moderation” might just be the start to something new for this band. 

i’m so tired… — Lauv & Troye Sivan 

Pop worlds collide in this collaboration between rising pop stars Lauv and Troye Sivan. Both guys prove they can carry a song from the radio straight into your mind as this one is instantly stuck in your head. It’s not bad that the title is really relatable as well… 

Harmony Hall — Vampire Weekend 

Fans have waited over half a decade for new material from Vampire Weekend. This month, they returned with “2021” and “Harmony Hall”, with the latter taking the top spot this month. The track takes influences from several previous songs from the band and is both instantly catchy and charming. Their new record “Father of the Bride” can’t get here soon enough. 

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