March marches out crowd-pleasers aplenty to deploy or destroy. Be it serene subterranean screamers BRITISH SEA POWER’s iridescent descent, “Let The Dancers Inherit The Party,” or thunder-crunching COUNTERFEIT’s ferocious, “Together We Are Stronger,” movements tune into exemplary assemblies with jazz-folk dream-weaver LAURA MARLING’s steamy, scheming, “Semper Femina.” prodigious studio-wiz HAUSCHKA’s prickly player-piano samples dancing around, “What If?” and trip-hop pop-fusionist LYDIA AINSWORTH’s R&B glitter-bombs, “Darling of the Afterglow.” Parade away.
Chaz Bundicks Meets the Mattson 2 - Star Stuff
Album title: Star Stuff
Record Label: Company Records
The ever-inquisitive Toro Y Moi unites with the telekinetic Mattson Twins for a flashy astral-jacked collaboration whipped in old-school jazz-funk blow-outs and cosmic conquistador-rock symphonies. A feel-good goulash whose heady segues cite chain-lightning psychedelics while quoting Motown, “Star,” jams in flammable high-five space-jive, fusing weepy wah-wah, nimble rhythms and pliable bass into swinging bell-bottom epiphanies perfect for super-charged intergalactic get-downs.
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Shelby Earl - The Man Who Made Himself A Name
Album title: The Man Who Made Himself A Name
Record Label: Nine Mile Records
Coming at you like a rodeo queen’s rockin’ stepdaughter, Earl’s swirling torch-singer swagger corrals fiery hearts raging in free-range bangers packed with outspoken anecdotes and solace-seeking pleads heated in glib sympathy. Dynamic commandments undercut blues-infused memoirs while, “Name,” campaigns in untamed mind-games stuffing the ballot-box with leather and lace prayers and lobbing tumbleweed valentines over honky-tonk sonnets riding roadside gospel.
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J. E. Sunde - Now I Feel Adored
Album title: Now I Feel Adored
Record Label: Cartouche
A palatable gallery framing prim prismatic anachronisms in golden melodic afterglows, “Adored,” explores hand-crafted baroque-pop with quaint restraint, studious ingenuity and transporting choruses. A Minneapolis folk artisan whose poised and polished causes deliver melancholy allegories in bittersweet suites and steadfast narratives, Sunde’s idealist’s appeals, thoughtful offers and sun-drenched sentiments prove nimble fodder for land-locked chanteys, modern-day madrigals and gallant ballads.
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Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Find Me Finding You
Album title: Find Me Finding You
Record Label: Drag City
Former Stereolab chanteuse Sadier’s savvy ensemble dispenses ultra-smooth Afro-Cuban grooves amid graceful Cubist coos, baking tasty space-age pastries drizzled in paisley daydreams and blissful sophistication. Purring prog-pop narcotics administered with casually accurate precision, “Find,” seeks half-whispered secrets revealing quenchable sensual pleasures in plush, palpitating escapes; captivating couture happenings set free among retro-metropolitan salons, sleek catsuit cafes and chic beatnik playgrounds.
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New Street Adventure - Stubborn Sons
Album title: Stubborn Sons
Record Label: PIAS
Posh caramel-coated soul folded into upfront street-punk funk, “Sons,” run silver-tongued urban-jungle rumbles lathered in heart-throb bravado and midnight-player panache. Tough, but supple anguish enriched in champagne refrains, NSA layers bluesy doo-wop harmonics over sharp sparse rhythms and voluptuous bass, chasing wavering faith with dockside struts erupting in openly romantic tantrums painted with hard, lean facts and hungry, plundered truths.
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Blanck Mass - World Eater
Album title: World Eater
Record Label: Sacred Bones Records
Adamant patterns saddling digi-shifted rapture capture shadowy carousels unraveling in harrowing goth-rocked proms; “Eater,” feasts on gnarly card-punched conundrums soaked in primordial ooze and plastered in redacted catastrophe. Cut-and-paste taste-tester Blanck Mass’ manipulated impatience distorts engorged discourse contorting dense agitated electronics into burning firmaments forming formidable sound-on-sound stampedes from ash-filled heavens as Jericho free-falls storm ghost-rattled gates in crushing vapor-waves.
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March albums also focus on foregone conclusions; whether psychotropic pop-rockers TEMPLES’ intoxicating rainbow explosion, “Volcano,” radiant pranksters GRANDADDY’s anointed synth-folk poignancy, “Last Place,” or scruffy Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos acolyte RICHARD EDWARDS’ melancholy longing and taxing basement-rock nostalgia, “Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset.” Foreshadowing abounds in Pavement co-founder SPIRAL STAIRS’ delicious pulp-fiction smack-downs, “Doris & The Daggers,” perceptive folk-pop adventuress SAMANTHA CRAIN’s, head-spinning, “You Had Me At Goodbye,” jazz empaths JULIA HULSMANN TRIO’s beautifully intuitive, “Sooner and Later,” and indie-rock singer-songwriter TIM KASHER’s intricate cinematic narratives, “No Resolution.”