Alright, commence obligatory introduction post to my new monthly music-based recommendation series! This, from here on out, will be my spot for albums I’ve been digging throughout the month as well as some other notable music-related bits and bops. As I continue to practice this whole music writing thing, this will be a place that’s a little less researched, less stylistically edited, and more for friends than anything.
March has been a decently productive music month with spring break coming just in time to save me from what had been, so far, a year with very little live music and several incredible new releases coming in to spoil us music lovers. Read on for some of my favorite releases and moments of the month.
Jay Som | Everybody Works
After my vinyl arrived (see below!), I immediately put my record player to work spinning this and only this for the next few days as I got ready in the morning. Just like on her debut, Turn Into, Jay Som recorded and produced the whole shebang on her own. Everybody Works isn’t a quaint little bedroom pop project though, and its expansiveness reaches out towards the far corners of R&B on “Baybee,” sludgy shoegaze on “1 Billion Dogs,” and indie rock balladry on “For Light.” Jay Som always sounds a little different on every track, like she’s constantly experimenting and finding new places to take her sound by pushing a little bit at the edges. But it’s always her and it’s always spectacular. I will carry Jay Som all the way to indie legend status on my own if I have to, but with all the praise surrounding this release, I have a feeling that I won’t be alone.
Fave Track: “One More Time, Please”
Charli XCX | Number 1 Angel
10 tracks of pure pop perfection. And I don’t say that lightly – Number 1 Angel is genuinely one of my favorite releases of 2017 thus far. And it’s just a mixtape. I appreciate Charli XCX’s willingness to eschew a safer, more traditional pop sound to lean into the fun, upbeat weirdness on this release and the Vroom Vroom EP. Recent ‘grams of Charli hitting the studio with Carly Rae Jepsen have me holding out hope that 2017 will only continue to get better and better…music-wise that is.
Fave Track: “Babygirl” feat. Uffie
Tennis | Yours Conditionally
I already wrote up a full review of Tennis’ latest for the Radio UTD blog, so I won’t go into too much depth here. Yours Conditionally ended up being a pleasant surprise. I went in fully expecting to write a dispassionate review of a middle-of-the-road album, but Tennis completely dazzled me with how much their sound has matured over the years. I truly like maybe a handful of tracks from each of their previous works, but Yours Conditionally is consistent throughout in its vision and execution. Warm, summery ’70s pop just in time for spring. What more could you want?
Fave Track: “My Emotions Are Blinding”
Nicotine’s Famous Honey | An Open Letter
I have to be honest, I had no idea this group was from Texas when I saw their name floating around. I just dove right into An Open Letter on the promise that it would be right in my smooth and soulful niche. Only later when my friend posted about them on Facebook did I learn that they’re fellow Texans – two out of three of them are from Dallas no less and actually make up the jazz duo Herrick and Hooley, who I’ll have to check out soon. I’m simply in love with everything about An Open Letter, from the spoken word into and outro to the relaxed flow of the tracks, and will definitely be coming back to this throughout the year. I can’t wait to see where this trio grows from here.
Fave Track: “Running”
- Polyvinyl Records – I ordered Jay Som’s Everybody Works and her debut, Turn Into, on vinyl at the beginning of the month in a moment of “treat yourself” weakness. There was a bundle deal for both and they’re on gorgeous 180 gram, colored vinyl and I had just gotten paid, so why not? Best decision ever. Not only do I now own special pressings of two albums I love, but the Polyvinyl peeps threw in a Jay Som/_ single and some candy. It was just a small gesture of customer appreciation, but it’s the little touches that matter and I definitely won’t hesitate to order from them again when something catches my eye. Maybe the new PWR BTTM album?
- Spring Break – Yeah, I gotta talk about it, sorry. I finally made it down to Austin for the legendary festival and it didn’t disappoint. I kept my expectations extremely low though because, going in, I knew this wouldn’t be like the typical, consolidated fest where you can fill your day with a whole schedule of bands to see. My friends and I focused on having a good time in a cool city and that tactic paid off immensely. We caught some old faves like Jay Som and PWR BTTM as well as some newer ones like Priests and 808INK. We also dipped down to San Antonio for the Burger Records Hangover Fest which, while not really my thing at all (I’m sorry but psych rock just gives me a headache 95% of the time), was still an enjoyable time. All in all, spring break was a perfect adventure away from the mundanity of school and life.
For more fun songs I liked in the month of March, check out the playlist below. Happy music hunting, and I’ll talk to you soon. <3