Spring has sprung! Daylight has been saved! Beef has been corned! Something about basketball! Hey gang. March 2019 sure was fun, and it was a heck of a time for new music. Here are the tracks that came in like a lion for me.
1. Angel Du$t – “Big Ass Love”
This supergroup of moonlighting hardcore screamers happens to be incredibly good at writing catchy power-pop love songs.
2. 2 Chainz (feat. Lil Wayne & E-40) – “2 Dollar Bill”
It doesn’t matter how many times the youngsters shame online braggarts with their uncool-now-that-I’m-referencing-it meme, “Weird flex but okay.” They cannot stop 2 Chainz – a walking, talking weird flex who might be the most purely entertaining rapper working. To wit: “I’m rare / Like Mr. Clean with hair.”
3. Vampire Weekend (feat. Steve Lacy) – “Sunflower”
This riff just isn’t fair.
4. Solange – “Way to the Show”
Solange has followed up her 2016 masterpiece A Seat at the Table with an even looser R&B hang-sesh, full of tracks that pulse with authenticity. Like this homage to Houston night life, heavy with the syrupy air of a perfect summer Saturday.
5. Partner – “Tell You Off”
Remember when people yelled at each other in person?
6. The Comet Is Coming – “Summon the Fire”
The latest twist on the post-Stranger Things horror synth revival comes from these Londoners, who pepper their ominous atmosphere with distorted sax leads, like Kamasi Washington being chased by Michael Myers.
7. Little Simz – “Boss”
We stay in the UK for this blast of raw, Neptunes-inspired swagger. Take a goddamn seat, Bruce Springsteen.
8. Helado Negro – “Imagining What To Do”
Calypso Nick Drake.
9. Mykele Deville – “Free Soul”
Beginning with a shoutout to Digable Planets’s Blowout Comb (the 59th best album of the 1990s), this Chicago emcee delivers a mix of jazz loops and positive vibes that lights up my nostalgia centers like a Christmas tree.
10. Quelle Chris – “Obamacare”
Over a swirling cold front of scary-ass piano loops, Quelle Chris raps about how his music is for everybody.
11. Honey Oat – “A Stranger Spring”
Electric piano vamps and jazz drums should be the recipe for a Holiday Inn lounge set, but Honey Oat uses them as the base ingredients of an effervescent, experimental stew.
12. Brutus – “War”
The lead single from this Belgian post-metal trio’s forthcoming LP has a lot in common with Metallica’s “One” – a simple title; martial lyrics; an extended dramatic intro; a thrilling, headbanging flashpoint. But Stefanie Mannaerts is a better singer than James Hetfield, and a better drummer than Lars Ulrich. “One” was a ground battle. This is an airstrike.