byDERRICK ROSSIGNOL < @drossignol10 >
March is packed. Death Grips may or may not give us The Powers That B depending on if you believe the rumored March 31 release date. Beyond that, there’s new stuff from Of Montreal, Madonna, Laura Marling, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Moon Duo, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper... and that’s just from what’s not included on this list of albums to check out this March—though, by all means, check those out too!
Cannibal Ox, Blade of the Ronin (March 3 via IGC)
It’s been 14 years since we last heard from the underground hip-hop duo, whose El-P-produced 2001 debut The Cold Vein was a critical darling. El-P’s not on board this time around, but Cannibal Ox’s hazy flow and idiosyncratic rapping styles seem to be as strong as ever.
Purity Ring, Another Eternity (March 3 via 4AD)
The ethereal electronics of Canadian duo Purity Ring have returned for their sophomore release. Another Eternity skews lightly towards EDM, but it’s substantial and understated enough to not come off as obnoxious party fodder.
Will Butler, Policy (March 10 via Merge)
Based solely on single “Anna,” Policy contains a load of DFA-style subtle dance music to look forward to. Based exclusively on “Take My Side,” Policy is a Rolling Stones-type throwback. Based only on “Witness,” Policy is a ’70s pop-rock throwback. It looks like Policy might be all of these things, and we can’t wait.
Inventions, Maze of Woods (March 11 via Temporary Residence)
The ambient side project from members of Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium released a smashing self-titled debut in 2014, and they’re already back with more. Single “Springworlds” is post-rock that takes out the big climaxes and replaces them with more subtle peaks that are just as impactful.
Modest Mouse, Strangers To Ourselves (March 17 via Epic)
It’s been eight long years without unassuming rodents, but Modest Mouse is finally set to return. They’ve preceded the album with a strong set of singles, including the indie-vaudevillian “Lampshades on Fire” and the anthemic “Coyotes.”
Twin Shadow, Eclipse (March 17 via Warner Bros.)
Neo-throwback is a common descriptor among indie acts, but none embody the sentiment better than Twin Shadow. Eclipse lead single “Turn Me Up” is indicative of that. It has strong elements of ’90s R&B with modern flourishes that make it sound aged: like wine, not milk.
Tobias Jesso Jr., Goon (March 17 via True Panther Sounds)
Less than a year ago, Canadian musician Tobias Jesso Jr. was recording lo-fi demos and uploading them to YouTube. Fast forward to last week and he was performing “How Could You Babe,” a slice of ’70s singer-songwriter gold from his upcoming debut album, with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. What a climb.
Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful (March 24 via Atlantic)
After having been an Internet favorite for years, Action Bronson is finally set to launch his major label debut. The video for “Actin Crazy” was released earlier this week, and like the song itself, it’s simple yet ornate and one hell of a trip.
Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell (March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty)
The enigmatic artist has tried just about every type of music in his career, and on Carrie & Lowell, it looks like he might be returning to simpler, more stripped-back methodologies. Lead single “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” is understated and gorgeous, a charming throwback to Stevens’ early releases.
Death Cab For Cutie, Kintsugi (March 31 via Atlantic Records)
A lot has gone down since Death Cab’s most recent album, 2011’s Codes and Keys. Guitarist Ben Walla left the group, but most depressingly, the marriage between frontman Ben Gibbard and actress Zooey Deschanel ended in divorce a few months after the record came out. Losing a treasure that pure and divine would be enough to relegate any man to a lifelong Netflix/Ben and Jerry’s marathon, but Gibbard managed to find the will to leave the house and here we are, with a new Death Cab album on the way. Great for you, Ben. Stay strong.