Whether fantasy anarchy or factual distractions, March albums shake things up. Rattling attitudes, push-button Krautrockers CREEP SHOW’s pleasingly devious, feverishly mischievous, “Mr. Dynamite” and tasered New Wavers GIFT WRAP’s padded jigsaw roll-calls, “Losing Count,” storm norms with non-conformity. Meanwhile, techno-funky Rastafarians KUNZITE’s mellow-buzzed chamber-pop, “Birds Don’t Fly,” fearless balladeer KRISTOFFER BOLANDER’s monumental, “What Never Was Will Always Be,” and narcotic guitar-pop sparklers CANDACE’s charmed mirage, “New Ruins,” reverse and subvert.
Yo La Tengo - There’s A Riot Going On
Album title: There’s A Riot Going On
Record Label: Matador
Pleasant experiments sated in reverent contentment, “Riot,” distills musical history’s pre-millenial side-streets into calm, contemplative journeys where ambient post-rock mingles alongside jazz-abstracted pop and Afro-Cuban lounge grooves flit among staid serenades. Delicate intent cements Yo La Tengo’s dependable independence with quiet, pervasive cravings anchored to tranquil blankets; docile, melodic motifs cloaked in luxurious convergences courting direct affection through introverted flirting.
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Suuns - Felt
Album title: Felt
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Interstellar bottom-dwellers Suuns stoke tense, probing microtones into lurid, industrial furnaces burning mechanical alien samplings; contorted, Gordian knots tied by sneaky, schematic strategists keen on discreet frequencies. Timid minimalism skittering in antsy post-nuclear trances heighten paranoid self-absorption and eerie conspiracy as, “Felt,” superimposes eroding ghosts over menacing presence manifesting half-buried tremors exposing glowing, cyber-snaked databanks primed in grimy, post-pillaged villainy.
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Amen Dunes - Freedom
Album title: Freedom
Record Label: Sacred Bones
Subterranean restraint seizes clenched sensual laments inside the tightly bridled, “Freedom,” whose foolish dreams teem in edgy soul magnetized in steely panther glances cast among shadow-captured attractions. Embroiled in foiled stories, insinuated sympathies and inexpressible revelations, Amen Dunes’ ruminating tastes pace mental cages where shifting rhythms clocking persistent thoughts stalk lost memories in thin, synth-rinsed fogs and intriguing, minor-key mazes.
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Cloud - Plays with Fire
Album title: Plays with Fire
Record Label: Audio Antihero
Sparked by trippy sixties bliss and nineties shoe-gazed glaze, the intrepid, blessed Cloud bakes hazy, fuzzed-out blazes among blithe sighing, folk-singer hopes and psychotropic commotion for subtly rumbling indie-pop parfaits. Gifted in placid, triple-tracked daydreams, “Fire,” fuses familiar feelings to unbound surroundings, offering modest optimism simmered in bittersweet cosmic-rock and set free to wander in harmonic wonder among interconnected reflections.
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Deathlist - Fun
Album title: Fun
Record Label: XRAY Records
Penetrating bass races around heated rock beats driving sinewy six-string blues whipped in grit and laced in sinister, big-sister intimidation; “Fun,” runs hot and bothered plundering solitude’s dungeons while baiting double-dating danger with breathless reckless pleasure. Exacting slash and burn terms churning life-affirming ear-worms, the coy, cautious Deathlist grips defensive desires riled in fiery distrust and dipped in frenzied consent.
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Editors - Violence
Album title: Violence
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
Brash, air-brushed hustle tainted in anguish and thirsty for terse purges, Britain’s level-headed Editors strong-arm suave, tarnished hearts pivoting in slithering alt-rock riffs ripped from romantic dance anthems. Hungry, urbanized enticements spiced in tender regrets and thundering encouragement, “Violence,” pits glaring cynicism against blind faith; steamy, preening allegiances pairing locomotive percussion to devoted emotions and dark guitars to careful despair.
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From mild-mannered cafe enchantress CAROLINE SAYS’ tactful exasperation, “No Fool Like An Old Fool,” to bedroom-pop egghead HIBOU’s dabbler’s paradise, “Something Familiar,” and elegant sentimentalist TRACE MOUNTAIN’s cozy electro-folk odes, “A Partner to Lean On,” comfort comes in many forms this March. Add restless indie-rock confessor CAMP COPE’s truth-wielding deal-sealers, “How To Socialize and Make Friends,” slow-roasted psychedelic warriors DEAD MEADOW’s heavy, hurtling, “The Nothing They Need,” and toe-tapping power-pop grandmasters THE FRATELLI’s sunny, wild-honey swingers, “In Your Own Sweet Time,” and the month will fast become your staunchest confidante.