15 essential albums to hear in February

From Zara Larsson and Real Estate to Grandaddy and The Last Dinner Party, these are the records not to miss this month

2 February

The Last Dinner PartyPrelude To Ecstasy

The Last Dinner Party - Caesar on a TV Screen

“Album? Who needs an album anyway? Already earning their Buzziest Band badge without even releasing any music – drawing the biggest crowds at last year’s festivals and fuelling a whole new wave of baroque-pop soundalikes – The Last Dinner Party are finally doing things the old-fashioned way. Naming their first record a ‘prelude’ to anything is pretty ironic at this point, but if it means there’s more to come, that’s fine by us.” Paul

J Mascis – What Do We Do Now

J Mascis - Can’t Believe We're Here (Official Video)

“The Dinosaur Jr frontman spoke recently of the freedom his solo work brings. Shorn of the ear-splitting expectations that accompany his primary gig, Mascis gets to play around a bit more. The canvas remains the same, but the crashing pianos and acoustic guitars of ‘Can’t Believe We’re Here’ and ‘Right Behind You’ create a whole new palette. J being J, there are still plenty of incendiary solos but What We Do Now lets his songwriting sit front and centre.” Mark 

9 February

Brittany HowardWhat Now 

Brittany Howard - What Now

“Five years after her debut album, Jaime, Alabama Shakes lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brittany Howard will provide February’s dose of blues, funk, rock, and Americana soul with What Now. Exploring conflict, contemplation, heartbreak and reluctance, What Now will serve as Jaime’s punchier sequel, if the eponymous lead single is anything to go by.” Maxine

Madi Diaz – Weird Faith

Madi Diaz & Kacey Musgraves - "Don't Do Me Good"

“As a songwriter, Diaz possesses that elusive ability to capture a feeling sincerely, wholly and without melodrama. After 2021’s History Of Feeling brought well-deserved international attention to the singer, she’s back with a sensitive meditation on the more uncomfortable parts of falling in love. Weird Faith’s threefolk-pop singles are all special, but ‘Don’t Do Me Good’ with country darling Kacey Musgraves has to be the standout.” Caitlin

KelelaRAVE:N, The Remixes

Kelela - Happy Ending (A.G Remix) (Vignette)

“Kelela is an artist who always finds new ways to reinvent herself and her sound – not only through the elevation of the sonic composition of her latest albums, but through working with DJs, producers, and fellow artists to breathe new life into each project. Alongside performing fan favourites, her live shows are a melange of reworked and remixed tracks. At Field Day 2023, her set included previews of her latest singles; a remix of ‘Closure’ by Flexulant and BAMBII (who is on this year’s Field Day line-up); a drill remix of ‘Happy Ending’ produced by A.G; and more. Just like the remix album of Take Me Apart (2017), RAVE:N, The Remixes promises to be a club kid’s fantasy, sounding fresh on every rotation for years to come.” Maxine

Ducks Ltd – Harm’s Way

Ducks Ltd. - "Train Full of Gasoline" (Official Music Video)

“The Canadian duo have spent the last few years elbowing their way to the front of the new jangle movement, marrying glacial guitars to heavenly harmonies that evoke memories of The Feelies, early R.E.M. and The Chills. Harm’s Way, their second full-length, doesn’t mess with the formula. The sugar-rush choruses of ‘The Main Thing’ and ‘Train Full Of Gasoline’ are giddily brilliant while ‘Heavy Bag’ is a moment of heart-stopping loveliness that bursts into stunning Technicolour. Greatness beckons.” Mark

Katelyn Tarver – Quitter

Katelyn Tarver - Japanese Cafe (Official Audio)

“Predicting that Katelyn Tarver’s Quitter is going to be a top pick for February feels a little like cheating, because eight of the eleven tracks are already out in the world. Still, we’re excited to point you in the direction of the US singer-songwriter, whose sophomore album sounds like a Selena Gomez meets Phoebe Bridgers indie-pop treat.” Caitlin


Royel Otis - Velvet (Visualiser)

“These Aussie hotshots harking back to the heyday of indie worked hard to build a lot of hype throughout 2023, both at home and here in the UK. Their debut hopes to justify this attention; if not, there’s always the recent triple j version of ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ for an instant win.” John

Zara Larsson – Venus

Zara Larsson, David Guetta - On My Love (Official Music Video)

“High priestess of European pop Zara Larsson is back with her fourth studio album, and if Larsson isn’t already considered one of the greatest pop acts of her era then Venus could cinch it. Between club banger lead single ‘Can’t Tame Her’, EDM power ballad ‘End Of Time’ and piano driven David Guetta collab ‘On My Love’, the album promises to be everything we could hope to hear from a main pop girl.” Caitlin

16 February

Idles – Tangk

IDLES - DANCER (Official Video)

“Need a last-minute late Valentine’s present? Idles have got you, as ever. Filling their fifth album with ‘all love songs’ (according to Joe Talbot), Tangk is aiming at something big and electric and floor-filling – even throwing half of LCD Soundsystem into the mix for the lead single, ‘Dancer’. Nothing says romance like a bunch of post-punks stomping through a car park, singing about cocoa butter.” Paul

Middle Kids – Faith Crisis Pt 1

Middle Kids - Bootleg Firecracker (Official Video)

“With each album, the Melbourne trio have added a little more pop to their anthemic indie. Faith Crisis Pt 1 continues that progression, leaning into Hannah Joy’s tremendous voice and the band’s massive choruses. ‘Dramamine’ bounds along on Vampire Weekend guitars and a hook that most pop stars would sell their souls for, while the swaying ‘Bootleg Firecracker’ shows they’ve lost none of their depth along the way. If Middle Kids keep carrying on like this, they could become Australia’s favourite children.” Mark

serpentwithfeet – GRIP

serpentwithfeet - Damn Gloves (ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Yanga YaYa) [Official Video]

“From the sweaty and raunchy electro R&B lead single ‘Damn Gloves’ (featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Yanga Yaya), to the sensual and slow experimental R&B latest single ‘Safe Word’, it’s clear that serpentwithfeet’s upcoming album, GRIP, will do what it says on the tin. Previously opting for a more emotional, vulnerable approach to songwriting, GRIP is freer, sexier, and at the centre of Black gay nightlife. The highs and lows of lovers on the dancefloor, the heightened senses and euphoria of the safe spaces provided by queer nightlife, GRIP is sure to push serpentwithfeet’s artistry into new directions.” Maxine

Molly LewisOn The Lips

Molly Lewis - Lounge Lizard (Official Video)

“If 45 minutes of whistling doesn’t quite sound up your street, then perhaps give Australia’s Molly Lewis a chance to prove you wrong. There is of course, far more to Lewis’ warm, soulful and nostalgic reimagining of yesteryear Hollywood, though her natural mastery of these non-verbal melodies are truly breathtaking.” John

Grandaddy – Blu Wav

Grandaddy - Watercooler

“It’s been seven long years since we last had new music from Jason Lytle. The peerless purveyor of space-age Americana has spent the last few years delving back into classic records The Sophtware Slump and Sumday, but Blu Wav is overwhelming proof that he’s lost none of his fragile wonder. Singles ‘Cabin In My Mind’, ‘Long As I’m Not The One’ and ‘Watercooler’ are as haunting and delicate as anything Lytle has ever written.” Mark

23 February

Real Estate – Daniel

Real Estate - Water Underground (Official Video)

“Real Estate supposedly named their sixth album Daniel because ‘it seemed like a good idea to bestow a human name upon a record’. We might not know who Daniel is, but these songs are certainly the happy and curious gentle jams we first got to know the New Jersey band by all those years ago.” John

Tickets are on sale now or soon for many of the names on this month’s list at, with a lot of major tours and dates still to be announced this year.