Music Mondays: Mid-March Edition

Happy almost St. Patrick's Day, collegiettes! Ready for spring break? Ready for some new music? Let's check out the music that came out this past weekend, and what we can look forward to this upcoming Friday. 

Alternative

American Utopia / David Byrne

Anyone who's familiar with Talking Heads knows David Byrne has a propensity for strange lyrics. Take his band's 1977 song "Psycho Killer," a song with the chorus "Psycho killer / Qu'est-ce que c'est / Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa / Better run run run run / Run run run away / Oh oh oh oh / Ay yi yi yi yi yi yi." Relative to that, "Everybody's Coming to My House" (above) is pretty normal: "Now everybody's coming to my house / And I'm never gonna be alone / And everybody's coming to my house / And they're never gonna go back home." But seriously, check out the jazzy sax and horns playing the riff throughout. American Utopia was out March 9.

Violence / Editors

Editors remind me of Coldplay mixed with Bastille, and "Magazine" above is a dark-but-catchy bop with a chorus featuring our generation's signature Millennial Whoop. Listen to Violence wherever you get your music—it came out March 9.

In Your Own Sweet Time / The Fratellis

All my casual alt-rockers and Chicago Blackhawks fans probably remember the Fratellis for their 2006 stadium rock hit "Chelsea Dagger." Since then, the band has released a few more albums and has moved toward a more electronic sound. "Stand Up Tragedy" (above) is a sort of generational crossover, with the vocals and chord progression of a Walk the Moon hit, but the background instrumentation of a Cars single. In Your Own Sweet Time comes out this Friday, March 16.

There's a Riot Going On / Yo La Tengo

Before I started writing this article, I had never listened to Yo La Tengo before. It's time for me to start, to say the least. The song that hooked me was "Shades of Blue" (above), which NPR Music's Lars Gotrich called a "bouncing Pet Sounds reverie." Indeed, Yo La Tengo draws on countless influences for There's a Riot Going On in order to achieve an all-new, fragmented-but-whole sound. The album comes out March 16 on Matador Records.

 

Country

Seasons Change / Scotty McCreery

American Idol winner Scotty McCreery is back this week with his fourth studio album, Seasons Change, which comes out Friday, March 16. Country fans might recognize "Five More Minutes" (above), a bittersweet tune McCreery wrote after the death of his grandfather in 2015. The music video, which features camcorder clips from the singer's childhood, is as adorable and heartfelt as the song itself.

 

Metal

Firepower / Judas Priest

Judas Priest doesn't waste any time. This OG metal band has been around since 1969 and knows what their audience wants. The first time I listened to "Lightning Strike" (above) I was jamming out within the first five seconds. Seriously. Rob Halford and company go hard. Firepower has been out since March 9.

 

Pop

Only Human / Calum Scott

Calum Scott rose to fame as a contestant on the variety show Britain's Got Talent, so it's fitting that he would team up with X Factor winner Leona Lewis ("Bleeding Love," "Better in Time") for "You Are the Reason" (above) from his debut album Only Human. Scott's full album is confessional and sweet and is already receiving rave reviews from such varied outlets as Billboard and Gay Times Magazine. Check out his cover of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" for another glimpse of this Brit's talent. Only Human was released worldwide on March 9.

You Are Someone Else / Fickle Friends

Fickle Friends are pure pop. "Glue" (above) is a peppy, poppy tune that has the potential to be a summer hit (or a spring break hit, for Hofstra students—only one more week to go!). Take a listen, preferably while driving down the California highway in an open convertible with two or three of your girlfriends. You Are Someone Else and all of Fickle Friends' other hits can be found everywhere starting March 16.

Fatti sentire  / Laura Pausini

Laura Pausini is an Italian pop star who has found a great deal of success in Spanish-speaking countries as well, since she records all of her songs in both Italian and Spanish. "Fantastico (Fai quello che sei)" (above), called "Fantástico (Haz lo que eres)" in the Spanish version, is an empowering pop tune that encourages listeners, "Do what you are." Fatti sentire (which roughly translates to "let your voice be heard") comes out March 16, and the Spanish version Hazte sentir comes out the same day.

 

Rock

Both Sides of the Sky / Jimi Hendrix

If Jimi Hendrix were alive today, he would be 75 years old— and probably still rocking. But even though this year marks the 48th anniversary of the virtuoso's untimely death, we can still hear some new Hendrix on Both Sides of the Sky, a new compilation that includes never-before-heard tracks recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Check out the guitar solo around one minute into "Hear My Train a Comin'" (above), and go listen to Both Sides of the Sky, out since March 9.

Year of the Tiger / Myles Kennedy

Myles Kennedy, the lead vocalist for former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash's band, released his first solo album last Friday, March 9. Year of the Tiger is much more folksy than one might expect from someone who toured with both Alter Bridge and of course the legendary Slash, but the title track (above), addressing his father's death when Kennedy was only four years old, reveals a four-octave vocal range characteristic of all the best heavy metal bands' lead singers.

28 Days in the Valley / Dorothy

Dorothy Martin, the lead singer of Dorothy, teamed up with Linda Perry (formerly of Four Non Blondes) to write most of the songs on 28 Days in the Valley, Dorothy's second studio album. According to Martin, 28 Days has "less metal influence [than previous album Rockisdead] and more Stones." Check out the Rolling Stones-esque "Flawless" and Martin's Grace Slick-emulating vocals on "Who Do You Love." 28 Days in the Valley comes out on March 16.

Stone Temple Pilots (2018) / Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots rock hard on "Meadow" (above) on Stone Temple Pilots, their first studio album since 2010's Stone Temple Pilots (yes, they released two self-titled albums back to back). This album, however, marks a sad milestone for the band: since 2015, the world has lost two former STP vocalists, founding singer Scott Weiland (1967-2015) and Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington (1976-2017). "The Art of Letting Go" can be seen as a tribute to these bandmates who passed away. The album comes out March 16.

P.S. For all you busy readers, here's everything on a Spotify playlist. Enjoy!