I’ve probably shared this before, (and I need to warn you that you may not want to hear this) but….I love January.

I think it may go back to school days. I didn’t enjoy returning to school in August as that was always much too long a break. A summer could change everything, and there was no way of knowing where your personal star would be hanging in the brutal new session. Some years you were up, but most likely you would be down. The new year – now that was different. There had only been two weeks holiday and, to be honest, no one had much chance to think about anything other than Christmas and Hogmanay.

The new year brought all manner of unexpected delights. If there was going to be snow then January was the best bet for delivering some good sledging, if not there were new football strips to show off or if the weather was very bad you got to bring your pals over to listen to the albums you’d bought on your record tokens. Hell…I could go on.

However I have to say how much I still embrace these early days of January. I would be the first to acknowledge that this is all very well for me as I have never had a proper job in the last 37 years and, at this point in my life, I think I may well continue to dodge being gainfully employed for a little while yet. The start of the year opens up like a blank page to a songwriter. All possibilities are there and, although you know that much of what you aspire to may well get crossed out or erased; there will, you trust, still be something worth reading come December.

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I did a bit of photo browsing recently as I looked over the years our children were still with us in the family home and I was surprised at how much we all managed to fit into a calendar year. Similarly, as we picked out the best songs of 2022 to recap the radio year a few weeks ago, it was wonderful to remember how many great records we’d fallen in love with in the last twelve months.

So, with my optimism for another year in full charge, I will bring you some new names (to us) on this week’s Another Country. I don’t know if these will be familiar acts come December but I do know there is much to enjoy in some of their recent offerings. Get ready to hear some the female voices of Elle King, Madeline Edwards and Mackenzie Carpenter. Prepare yourself to be blown away by the songwriting sophistication of the first non binary artist I can recall us playing on the AC, Adeem The Artist. Listen out too for new recordings from Luke Grimes, Kameron Marlow and the truly exceptional Madison Cunningham. If this all sounds a bit challenging fear not. We will also be bringing you gems from Lainey Wilson, Caitlin Rose and Gabby Barrett plus some familiar songs courtesy of Merle Haggard, Don Williams and Bruce Springsteen. It’s the AC, that’s what we do every Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland and at a time and place of your own choosing on BBC Sounds. Either way, do join me if you can.