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Pop, Lock & Bops: Best of January 2018

Welcome to Pop, Lock & Bops, a monthly playlist series documenting our favorite windswept country tunes, heartfelt tearjerkers and down-right intoxicating dirty-pop club bangers.

2018 is gonna be one killer year in music. I’ve just got this feeling deep in my bones. Well, January zoomed by every which way, now only a footnote in the greater scheme of things. If you blinked, you probably missed some pivotal moments. Betty Who declared her independence; Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan teamed up for a badass bluegrass-spun trio; Carrie Underwood made a splashy iTunes comeback; Ferras reentered the stratosphere with a jaunty gem; and Fly by Midnight dished up the saucy Avril Lavigne remake we didn’t know we ever needed. In between each of those monumental pop pillars, many other soon-to-be torchbearers were dismantling the status quo and setting the pace for an utterly thrilling new era.

B-Sides & Badlands takes a look at the first 31 days of the year to compile our favorite songs, from folk and Americana music to electro-pop, gritty rock and scorching singer-songwriter. In the playlist attached below, you’ll find folks like H.C. McEntire, Mathew V, Inara George, Ansel Elgort, Cappa, Sonia Leigh, DYLYN, LPX and Song Suffragettes, a band of women ringing the bell of “Time’s Up” for the country music industry. Elsewhere, Camila Cabello, SUMif, Ronnie Eaton, Lizzy Farrall, BØRNS, R. Finn, First Aid Kit, Caitlyn Smith, The Winter Sounds, Youngr, and Big Little Lions examine life and death, love and heartbreak, sadness and joy. All in the sake of art and baring their souls. So, we’ve got 51 must-hear songs ready to be consumed over and over and over again.

Writer Chris Will also contributed to this scorecard.

Take a spin:

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Jason Scott

Editor-in-Chief of the Badlands, spinning those B-Sides. Love Parks & Rec. Addicted to high-priced coffee drinks, alt-country and synth-pop, and never know when to quit. Got a cat named Jake--and she doesn't like you very much.

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