Must Listen 2018: The best new music this January


If your New Year’s resolution is to discover the hottest new music (which it totally should be!), then you’ve come to the right place. We’re kicking off 2018 in style with a stash of freshly dropped bangers, primed and ready for your listening pleasure. No matter your musical preference, we’ve got the perfect tune for you on our new release radar.

Justin Timberlake - Filthy

When he’s not busy starring in box-office blockbusters, it’s easy to forget that the oh-so accomplished Justin Timberlake’s first passion is music; incredibly good music at that. Almost five years after gracing the world with his last album, JT makes a welcome return to the studio – teaming up once again with prolific collaborator and old pal, Timbaland.

Essentially, Filthy is 2018’s answer to Sexyback. Like its predecessor, the tune merges skewed vocals and chopped up beats, constantly underpinned with a sensual narrative. While it may not make much sense upon first inspection, the unconventional track becomes a rewarding experience with repeat listens. It’s also a sumptuous teaser for new album, Man of the Woods, which drops in February. We can’t wait for it.

Likely to hear on: Kiss, Radio 1

The Vaccines - I Can’t Quit

Ever since their debut effort back in 2010, The Vaccines have always had a knack for crafting anthems tailor-made for a heaving festival crowd. Following the age-old rule of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ they return with the first taster of album number four.

Clocking in at just under three minutes, I Can’t Quit is a rampant reminder of one of Britain’s finest indie bands at the peak of their powers. Blessed with a flawless sing-along chorus, coupled with the sort of guitar riff that rings in your head for days on end, it’s not hard to envisage this one setting the festival circuit alight in 2018.

Likely to hear on: Absolute, Virgin, Radio X

Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B - Finesse

Bronx-born rap sensation, Cardi B, has to be the woman of the hour. After taking over the globe with breakout single, Bodak Yellow, she soon became only the third ever artist to have their first three entries in the USA’s Billboard top 10 charts simultaneously – following the footsteps of Ashanti and The Beatles!

So, it comes as no surprise that everyone’s favourite Uptown Funk-er, Bruno Mars, has reeled her in for a fresh new remix of album cut, Finesse. Jam-packed with east coast attitude, the tune sees Bruno and Cardi playfully bounce verses off each other to a backbeat of unadulterated funk. The perfect antidote for those pesky January blues.

Likely to hear on: Capital, Kiss

Superorganism - Everybody Wants To Be Famous

This mysterious eight-piece collective caused quite a stir at the tail end of 2017. After meeting on music forums, key members of the group began sending tracks back and forth from across the globe, before self-releasing a handful of chaotic pop bangers. In a matter of days, Superorganism went from unknowns to the hottest unsigned property in music.

Now all based in four-bedroom house in east London, and signed to Domino Records, the outfit are back with a new single. Everybody Wants To Be Famous is a genre-bending delight, interpolating cartoonish synths with a selection of intriguing samples. What results is a bonkers, but feel-good, anthem that’s packed full of colour.

Likely to hear on: Radio 6 Music

Lily Allen ft. Giggs - Trigger Bang

If we ignore her brief cameo for a heart-warming John Lewis festive advert in 2013, Lily Allen has spent the past few years hibernating in the musical wilderness. Re-energised from this hiatus, she’s back with a vengeance on soul-baring cut, Trigger Bang.

In a bid to reinvent her sound, Allen has enlisted rapper Giggs – whose opening gambit showcases exactly why he’s one of the biggest hitters in the UK’s prospering grime scene. Playing out over a laid-back hip-hop backing track, a confessional Allen then goes on to tackle her inner demons – lamenting a troubled history of addiction and denouncing toxic people in her life. It’s this coming-of-age eureka moment that just might give her career the kickstart it deserves.

Likely to hear on: Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra


If you want to listen to these huge new tunes any time and any place, then we’ve got you sorted with the #PureMustListen Spotify playlist. Enjoy from any device through Bluetooth and Spotify Connect on loads of our digital radios, or take your favourite playlists on the road with a Highway in-car adapter.

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