The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in March


We’ve spent most of the week trawling the depths of our record collection, but now it’s time to direct our attention to the albums we might be adding to said collection in the next few weeks — March is looking pretty decent for new releases, and as ever, we’ve selected the ten albums we reckon will be most worth listening to over the course of the month (along with all the other notable albums scheduled for release, good and bad.) We’re always interested to know what our readers are going to be listening to, too, so do let us know in the comments section.

Julianna Barwick — Pacing (March 5)

Only an EP, sadly, but still, any new music from the wonderful Julianna Barwick is cause for celebration. Her debut album The Magic Place was one of our very favorite records of 2011, and by the sound of the title track (above), this EP will take us back to said magic place very quickly indeed. Bravo.

How to Destroy Angels — Welcome Oblivion (March 5)

As we’ve discussed, this is actually pretty good. We won’t go extensively into the whys and wherefors of the whole thing again here, but suffice it to say that if you’re one of those people who was put off by the whole idea of Trent Reznor making an album with his wife, you should probably at least give this a spin, and listen without prejudice.

Autechre — Exai (March 5)

Word is that this is the best thing that the cerebral UK electronic pioneers have done in ages, which is cause for celebration indeed. Meanwhile, if you’re short on things to do this weekend, you could do worse than tuning in to the nine-hour radio show that they’re doing, details of which you can find right here.

David Bowie — The Next Day (March 12)

You may have heard of him. (And yes, you can stream this right now.)

Suede — Bloodsports (March 19)

Why, yes, we are probably unreasonably excited about this. But then again, maybe not — “Barriers” (above) was a classic Suede track par excellence, and now that we’ve actually heard the record, we’re excited all over again. Brett Anderson told the NME a while back that the album was “a cross between bits of Dog Man Star and bits of Coming Up,” and while that sounds rather too good to be true, it’s not entirely inaccurate — the album has hints of the former’s sense of grandeur (if not its epic paranoiac derangement), along with the latter’s pop savvy. It’s pretty ace, in other words.

Low — The Invisible Way (March 19)

There’s a certain sense of comfort to be taken in the fact that you know pretty much exactly what a new album from Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker is gonna sound like, and The Invisible Way certainly doesn’t disappoint — it’s full of the duo’s signature country-tinged melancholia, which is going down a treat on a long Friday afternoon. (We were also really rather amused by the album’s trailer video, which you can see here.)

Justin Timberlake — The 20/20 Experience (March 19)

You may have heard of him, too.

Marnie Stern — The Chronicles of Marnia (March 19)

We’ll be honest — this could be Stern singing her shopping list while she plays the kazoo, and the gloriously puntastic title would still be enough to get us listening. Happily, though, it’s substantially better than the kazoo/list combo — it features Stern’s requisite fretboard pyrotechnics, as well as some of her best songwriting yet. And lead single “Year of the Glad” seems to reference Infinite Jest. What more could we ask for?

Ellen Allien — LISm (March 19)

A 45-minute one-track record? Oh, if only we hadn’t already made the definitive list of great one-track records, eh? This is based on a soundtrack for a conceptual dance performance that Allien composed in 2011, and it’s a pretty fascinating, immersive listen.

Depeche Mode — Delta Machine (March 26)

It seems to be a month for comeback albums from artists of venerable awesomeness, eh? Just like Suede and Bowie, we’re very much looking forward to hearing this. All we’ve heard so far is lead single “Heaven” (above), which bodes pretty well as far as we’re concerned, all minor- chord, piano-led melancholy and Gahan sounding as good as ever.

Also out this month:

Chelsea Light Moving — Chelsea Light Moving (March 5) Thurston’s midlife crisis continues. (See also: this.) The album’s pretty good, mind you.

The Men — New Moon (March 5) Streaming right here.

Rilo Kiley — RKives (March 5) Puntastically titled b-sides/rarities compilation.

Javelin — Hi Beams (March 5) If we were to use the “h” word, which we don’t, then this might be one of the contexts in which we’d use it.

Kate Nash — Girl Talk (March 5) File under: things people in the UK care about.

Ólöf Arnalds — Sudden Elevation (March 5) RIYL Joanna Newsom, because by god, she really sounds like Joanna Newsom.

Youth Lagoon — Wondrous Bughouse (March 5) Does it amaze anyone else that this dude has ended up supporting The National at Barclays Center?

Devendra Banhart — Mala (March 12) No es mala, we hope.

Major Lazer — Free the Universe (March 12) Free the universe… from Diplo? We can but hope.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — Specter at the Feast (March 19) Rumors that this was inspired by a visit to Sleep No More remain unconfirmed. — #willpower (March 19) Conclusive proof: hashtags are officially over.

The Strokes — The Comedown Machine (March 26) Remember when Casablancas et al were the standard-bearers for the New Rock Revolution? It all seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?

Wavves — Afraid of Heights (March 26) And then, like, I was like, y’know, I’m like, bored, and I thought, like, maybe I’ll, like, make another record, and then, like, get, like, stoned.

Lil Wayne — I Am Not a Human Being (March 26) Is he human? Or is he, too, a stoner?

The Cyclist — Bones in Motion (March 26) Stones Throw-approved experimental hip hop. Is good.