February albums bring on the heartbreak, angst, and vulnerability of 2023. SYML and Raye kicked off the month with The Day My Father Died and My 21st Century Blues, respectively. The long-awaited return of Paramore arrives with This Is Why. On-the-rise Dublin band Inhaler drops Cuts & Bruises, and Gorillaz raise the bar with Cracker Island at the end of the month. Listen to these February albums and more on our February Heartbreakers playlist.
// FEBRUARY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST // FEBRUARY APPLE MUSIC PLAYLIST //
Raye–My 21st Century Blues // Stream & Shop
Raye’s debut album, My 21st Century Blues, is a fusion of the British singer-songwriter’s work after her departure from Polydor Records. Raye kicked off this album with her first Number 1 single, “Escapism,” with 070 Shake. As an independent artist, Raye tackles her most personal inner struggles. Song titles like “Body Dysmorphia” and “Environmental Anxiety” speak for themselves as the album weaves through a diary-like journey. Raye intertwines genres of pop, R&B, gospel, funk, and soul on this candid composition of 15 tracks. Apart from “Escapism,” our favorites include “Oscar Winning Tears” and “The Thrill Is Gone.”
SYML–The Day My Father Died // Stream & Shop
Singer-songwriter SYML (sim-ul) captivates fans with his sophomore album, The Day My Father Died. The album takes a sensitive topic to the forefront as the solo artist discusses the loss of his father. Several songs, including the title track, are surprisingly upbeat as the songsmith faces grief and pays homage to his father. Songs like “Sweet Home” and “Corduroy” call out feelings of Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver as they weep across the arrangement. Highlights of the album include a Fleetwood Mac meets James Bay style track, “Laughing at the Storm,” and heart-pouring “Baby Don’t Lie.” The Day My Father Died is produced by Phil Ek, known for his work with Fleet Foxes, Vance Joy, and Band of Horses. If you are a fan of any artists above, you’ll quickly fall in love with this staggering record.
Paramore–This Is Why // Stream & Shop
Your favorite early 2000s bands are back and delivering albums for fans to relive their black nail polish and Warped Tour days. The glorious concept about Paramore’s timing with This Is Why is that, along with their fanbase, the band has matured and blessed us with emo songs for adults in their twenties and thirties. If you weren’t sold on the sound from “This Is Why,” try “Running Out of Time” or “You First” for a guaranteed serotonin-boosting flashback. This Is Why chews over topics from depression and isolation to anxiety and uncertainty. Paramore combines post-punk, subtleties from Hayley’s solo work, and riveting lyrics at the right level to make the album shine.
Inhaler–Cuts & Bruises // Stream & Shop
Dublin band Inhaler releases their sophomore album, Cuts & Bruises, our favorite album from this list. Leading with three anthemic singles, Cuts & Bruises has countless alternative rock fans joining in on the listening party. The band’s third single, “If You’re Gonna Break My Heart,” is making headway worldwide on emerging artist playlists and top music magazines. Inspired by seeing different bands at festivals and touring America, Inhaler emulates Kings of Leon, Sam Fender, and The Strokes. Cuts & Bruises undoubtedly brings Inhaler to the forefront of the alt-rock scene.
Gorillaz–Cracker Island // Stream & Shop
Gorillaz gear up for the festival season with their eighth studio album, Cracker Island. After hearing five released tracks from the star-studded record, fans revel in an innovative genre-shifting album. Noteworthy highs include “Silent Running,” a dreamlike electro-earworm, and “New Gold,” a smooth hip-hop-infused dance bop. Artists featured on Cracker Island include Thundercat, Stevie Nicks, Beck, Tame Impala and Bootie Brown, Adeleye Omotayo, and Bad Bunny. Cracker Island rounds out a spectacular second month of 2023 new music releases.
For more alluring February albums, including new releases from Pierce the Veil, Kelela, and Shania Twain, check out our February Heartbreakers playlists.