The first in a series of monthly lists of albums I love and you should love, too. Let’s get into a few January records, shall we?


This is actually the culmination of over a year’s worth of work on my end. I have a 2012 MacBook Pro with iTunes that I use to organize my music library of over 25,000 songs (and growing). Last year, I spent countless hours listening to albums I hadn’t touched in ages, sorting through the songs, deciding which ones I wanted to keep in my personal rotation and which ones I wanted to let go.


What I ended up with was a series of curated playlists. For instance, I have a pretty self-explanatory playlist called “Best Albums;” it’s all my favorite albums, at the ready for whenever I want them. I also have a playlist called “Radio 12,” with all my favorite songs. I throw that sucker on shuffle and there’s never a skip. “But Adam 12, why don’t you just use Spotify?” Because Spotify sucks, that’s why.


January Records: 6 Albums for the Coldest Month

Besides, I’m a big proponent of owning my music, not renting it. Even though Bandcamp is in flux, I still use it to discover new music, track down old releases I might have missed, and give my money directly to artists and labels instead of some creepy billionaire who refuses to pay the artists that power his app fairly. Check out my Bandcamp page and library here if you’re curious.


But I digress. Pivoting back to playlists, I have one for each month of the year, chock full of albums that I like to revisit during that month every year. Maybe it’s because that’s when the album dropped or when I discovered it, maybe it just captures the vibe of that month. As it’s January, I’m sharing a half-dozen of my first month selections below. Enjoy.

  • Alice In Chains 'Alice In Chains'

    Released on November 7, 1995, this album sounds like late autumn into winter. Album opener and lead single “Grind” hits like a blizzard, then changes over to snow squalls with the opening riffs of “Brush Away.” “Heaven Beside You” even name checks the season in the lyrics: “Like the coldest winter chill…”

  • Cracker 'Kerosene Hat'

    This one dropped in the summer of ’93, but for whatever reason, it was always my go-to in winter months. Inevitably, it would snow. And I would be tasked with shoveling. Popping this tape in the Walkman always gave me the motivation, mainly due to that absolutely filthy opening riff to “Low.”

  • Death Cab For Cutie 'Transatlanticism'

    Death Cab’s finest album. I obsessed over this when it released in October of 2003, but I always drag it out in January because the title track reminds me of a wicked winter storm in early 2004. The streets were so slick with ice I had to take the train into WBCN, where I was working at the time. I was walking through an empty, crystalline Kenmore Square as this song played. Core memory.

  • Failure 'Wild Type Droid'

    This is a newer release, from January 2022. Failure is a fave of mine (they’ll show up again in this series) and since reuniting almost a decade ago now have been putting out unique and compelling rock music. Check out the album’s lead single, “Headstand.” It’s stark and stripped down, much like winter.

  • Sunny Day Real Estate 'LP2'

    Oddly enough, this album dropped on the exact same day as the abovementioned Alice In Chains album. And both bands are from Seattle! SDRE aren’t a grunge band, though. They’re an emo band that helped establish the Midwest emo scene in the mid-’90s, and they’re another favorite band of mine. Album opener “Friday” hits like a snowstorm.

  • Surfer Blood 'Astro Coast'

    The debut album from these Florida indie rockers hit on January 19, 2010. I always like to make the grand claim that it’s the Greatest Indie Rock Album of the 2010s. Truthfully, though, it could very well be the Greatest Indie Rock Debut of the 2010s. It’s that good. Not a dead moment across the 10 tracks.

Sign me up for the ROCK 92.9 email newsletter!

Be the first to know about rock news, upcoming shows, plus exclusive prizes, giveaways, and more!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.