Between seasons, March albums tackle impasses. Choose from late winter’s post-rodeo songbird LAURA STEVENSON’s luscious, precocious, “The Big Freeze,” crafty tunesmith ROSIE TUCKER’s slippery, whip-smart, “Never Not Never Not Never Not,” and pliable pedal-board voyager DELICATE STEVE’s streamlined extra-crispy, “Til I Burn Up,” or early spring’s tender-hearted starling LUCY ROSE’s stirring, sterling, “No Words Left,” and swinging LA FILLE’s paisley power-pop, “Alright Already.” Either way, there’s no getting around it.
Hand Habits - placeholder
Album title: placeholder
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Spotlessly evocative waif-pop folk-rock, “placeholder,” sprinkles whole-grain psycho-twang glitter over well-fed bohemian beds blessed in wall-to-wall melancholy and polished in life-learned mercy. Aching in patience and woozy with rumination, Hand Habits’ appetite for mellow magic produces tasty licks, condensed sentiments and caressing chords; wind-tossed willow wisdom refracting passive windowsill considerations into water-nymph symphonies where sparkling downstream daydreams become sun-ripened masterpieces.
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Ten Fé - Future Perfect Present Tense
Album title: Future Perfect Present Tense
Record Label: PIAS America
Subtle, nudged percussion bubbles beneath plush, baritone buskers; Ten Fé‘s somber cosmopolitan optimism crafts cool, hatchet-burying hooks wrapped in romance-enabled danger and cozy ear-candy allure. Muscular seductions tucked inside tender censure and tempting exceptions, “Tense,” consents to tuxedo-clad attitudes, vetted etiquette promising safe havens for part-time players, cat-walk majors and dawn-breaking trainers. Ten Fé plays Milwaukee’s Back Room March 28th.
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E.B. the Younger - To Each His Own
Album title: To Each His Own
Record Label: Bella Union
A traveling troubadour’s suitcase packed in friendly, good-time rhythms, whose casual crooning blooms beneath anecdotal hopes and good-neighbor fables, “Own,” intones gentler times where intelligence brought cleverness and differences came with benefits. A pseudonym for Midlake’s Eric Pulido, E.B. cushions his personable concerns in electric chamber-folk overtures tumbling down soft-pop rabbit-holes with swelling melodies carrying earnest verses to beautiful conclusions.
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Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs
Album title: Beware of the Dogs
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Modern folk-punk chronicler and attentive connector, Donnelly’s tidy just deserts and sturdy straight-talk cockiness mix dry-wit feminism alongside pop-tart earth-angel bliss for saucy possibilities served over cheeky, breezy themes. Half coy, half boisterous, grounded in tight, understated arrangements, “Beware,” out-stares clever revelations with playfully upfront charms; criss-crossing gender politics through bright bouncy tunes while grooming jump-rope grooves espousing revolutionary truths.
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Turning Jewels Into Water - Map of Absences
Album title: Map of Absences
Record Label: FPE Records
Indigenous intermissions splicing dark jungle twitches into crack manufactured happenings, “Map,” uncaps globe-trotting trances ramped in cyber-industrial tribalism; pumped drum-circle glitches casting powerful incantations cut into funky, digitized reductions. Smooth-glass balderdash orbiting beyond ambient tampering, TJIW’s precisely positioned fractal catapults make remixable trips for eternally recurring contortions, future-pop art-museums beamed back to Earth in slick, rhythmic linguistics and shape-shifting kismet.
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Strand of Oaks - Eraserland
Album title: Eraserland
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Cavernous rapture riding twilight-bitten blues through fog-bound ballads, Strand of Oak’s embroiled scuffles muscle shuttered moods mounted in hounded folk-emo majesty; serrated raves paved in brave self-doubt. Birthed in melodramatic surges and contemplative fates, “Eraserland,” draws gritty vision-boards from pendulum-swinging cliff-hangers, amending tender reflections into glorious reforms then sending fond remembrances sullied ultimatums. SoO plays Madison’s High Noon May 2nd.
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Murray A, Lightburn - Hear Me Out
Album title: Hear Me Out
Record Label: Dangerbird Records
Warm, massaged, mahogany phrases enrich Lightburn’s cavalier melodies, relaying unwavering romance in lofty optimism and heroic hope. Well-considered admissions swinging in bon vivant wants embellished in starlit sighs, “Hear,” steers intriguing sincerity and sensitive repentance in polished doo-wop harmonies; glowing, retro-lounge pearls strung from golden odes to love’s saving grace, life’s inevitable fumbles and the heart’s journey between the two.
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Cherry Glazerr - Stuffed and Ready
Album title: Stuffed and Ready
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Double-dare savior faire pitched in flinty quips over crunchy stunners, “Stuffed,” stacks rascally swagger onto ticklish tease and subversive reversals for ravenous magic stoking smoldering emotions. Ripped rock riffs woven from indie ingenuity, the crafty Cherry Glazerr party-crashes with blazing charades and chameleon charm igniting ferocious reproaches from mischief mistress’ doe-eyed ambushes trapping risky, frisky fun spun from power-pop fantasies.
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Bayonne - Drastic Measures
Album title: Drastic Measures
Record Label: Mom + Pop
Steady confetti textures shimmy, twinkle and shine behind Bayonne’s molting, blue-eyed butterfly soul, tropical froth pelleted in cellophane boogie, slow-motion ecstasy dipped in rainbow-riddled rhythms and fidgety digital visions. Hatched in placid waveform incubators, “Drastic,” relaxes in aqueous sound-mattresses; cotton-candy phantoms drunk on chattering percussion, rippling synths rinsed in double-ply sunshine inside colliding arpeggios absorbing cordial chords achieving sleepy peacefulness.
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Julia Jacklin - Crushing
Album title: Crushing
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Truth-bomb romps calmly lay down the law and Jacklin is public defender and ace reporter. Burning questions with long fuses, the Aussie’s honest, confident, “Crushing,” breaks everything into simpler pieces. Defiant self-reliance coated in folk-pop melancholy, friendly deference and plain-spoken poetry, Jacklin’s personal insights apply disquieting focus to shy, diary disappointments, charging hypnotic hurrahs hiding unspoken stories under pensive compensations.
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Martin Frawley - Undone at 31
Album title: Undone at 31
Record Label: Merge
Youthful troubadour days ripen into descriptive reminisces and keen self-examination as, “Undone,” strums and plunges, stalking and balking with distracting challenges wrapped in genre-hopping pop-punk passions. Smart, perceptive and articulate, Frawley’s solid observations find common ground in bouncy modesty, laidback hindsight and droll consolations; well-paved escapades braving clever fair-weather speculations anchored in leveraged memories, court-jester regrets and small-town pawn-shop monologues.
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Girlpool - What Chaos is Imaginary
Album title: What Chaos is Imaginary
Record Label: Anti-
Wide-eyed DIY adventurers, Girlpool’s infectious folk-punk gumption expands into nuanced choral-pop confections built from wholesale exuberance, centered incandescence and authentic sentiment then adding breathless depth, thoughtful polish and selective effects. Surrounded by plush, muscular daydreams leapfrogging into symphonic honky-tonk, the curious, “Chaos,” spawns fawning vaudeville concoctions radiating sumptuous stadium flame-outs, coffee-shop chops merging intimate string bridges to unlocked bedroom jangle.
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Frances Cone - Late Riser
Album title: Late Riser
Record Label: Thirty Tigers
Lifted in smooth blue-eyed soul flowing in bold dream-pop composure and courageous harmony-rich exposure, Frances Cone’s sumptuous air-brushed heaven blends solemn compositions into tumultuous wonders, inspiring choir-spiked hindsight fortified in evangelical groundswells exploding over cagey rhythms. Drenched in sensitive strengths and generous intentions, “Riser,” nurtures positive urges, enraptured baptisms countering drowning struggles with dramatic auto-tuned beauty from commanding synth-kissed witnesses.
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Dani Bell & the Tarantist - Wide Eyed
Album title: Wide Eyed
Record Label: The Redwood Music
Alley-cat sass slinks past B-movie flashbacks letting pulp-fiction vixens spin, “Wide Eyes,” around empowered prowlers sparring with open-hearted targets. Sensual empathy emptied into beatnik quips at after-hours night-clubs, Bell’s dream-boat vocals twist coy joys into tempting remedies, whip-smart whispers nestled in grind-house rock as contagious danger lures uncertain mercies into smoky, fire-escape soirees sound-tracked by hip-swiveling doo-wop from doomsday sock-hops.
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You Tell Me - You Tell Me
Album title: You Tell Me
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Silky knots dissolve in gorgeous flourishes fluttering among angular bangers; Field Music’s Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes fuse trifling delights into luminous movements and glossy posturing. Poignant chords explore sharp-cornered rapport in the duo’s self-titled debut, with fussy luxuries gracing pliable pop through posh pantomimes, ornamental contentment painted in sophisticated refrains, charismatic ballets laced in lush metropolitan crushes.
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Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
Album title: Remind Me Tomorrow
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Languid entanglements make moody mazes for the indomitable, “Tomorrow,” whose manipulated sounds, melodramatic melodies and methodical percussion exhume funeral gloom into cutting rebuttals; newborn scorn knitting distant intimacy into proud alt-rock shrouds. Combative reactions, glorious abandon and self-assured purges flavor Van Etten’s psychological toffee, churning obscure cures into elusive proofs to assist hard-bitten victims sweeping romantic debris from bittersweet secrets.
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Tim Presley's White Fence - I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Album title: I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Record Label: Drag City
Gritty, jittery surf-twang dirges crash irrational art-punk passions into casual goth-pop pathos as Presley’s baroque-folk mojo floats unhinged flings past refracted realities with eerie calm and devilish delirium. Rocked in cock-eyed ironies, analogue anarchy and supernatural theatrics, “Larry’s,” packs fractured twilight torch-songs around tender demented wig-outs; slow-drip trips shaking off memory-lane mind-games with trans-dimensional calliopes, flubber-toughened bass and ricochet-rattled guitars.
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William Tyler - Go West
Album title: Go West
Record Label: Merge
Gentle eloquence greased in free-wheeling, scene-stealing versatility, the panoramic, “West,” never rests, whether fashioning magical cinematic road-trips from Celtic-country melting-pots or stitching backwoods minuets from placid Bluegrass jazz. An international tapestry of radiant runs resonating in unquenchable curiosity and serene execution, Tyler’s stylish sleigh-rides dash and skate, polishing off quicksilver passages whose soft-spoken approach shine swift licks onto nimble riffs.
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Emerging from winter, March welcomes pop-punk folk-poet ROBERT FORSTER’s, curt, percolating, “Inferno,” and six-string king BILL MACKAY’s field-hand jams, “Fountain Fire,” yearning for fashionably aristocratic TEEN’s computer-groovy, “Good Fruit.” and underwater rockers LIVING HOUR’s gossamer, “Softer Faces,” while dreaming of bicoastal country-bluesman VICTOR KRUMMENACHER’s unharnessed flea-market, “Blue Pacific,” and electro-bliss system-analysts HIGH TIDES luxurious, “Paradise Daze.” Add post-punk time-bombs GANG OF FOUR’s elastic bombast, “Happy Now,” doe-eyed indie-folkies THE WILD REED’s vibrant, “Cheers,” and old-school soul apostles DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS’ roof-raising, “American Love Call,” and spring is sprung.