by Leilani Polk
The first batch of new releases for March is a fatty one! Info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, plus some other ones you may not have heard of (but should know), with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to see releases from the past several weeks…
Ashanti, Braveheart (Written Entertainment/eOne Music)
ASAP Mob, L.O.R.D. EP (March 4, ASAP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA Music)
Ava Luna, Electric Balloon (Western Vinyl)
Axxa/Abraxas, Axxa/Abraxas (Captured Tracks)
Diane Cluck, Boneset (on Important Records)
Her vocals are rather evocative of Joni Mitchell but she has a more odd way of phrasing, sort of tribal/Native American/Celtic something. This is neo-folk songstress Diane Cluck's first album in nearly eight years and seventh overall. Video for "Sara" after the jump along with the rest of this week's new releases...
Comeback Kid, Die Knowing (Victory Records)
Bart Davenport, Physical World (Lovemonk/Burger Records)
Destrage, Are You Kidding Me? No. (Metal Blade Records)
Drive-By Truckers, English Oceans (ATO)
Georgia's alt country behemoths issue their much-anticipated 12th full-length. “It can go from this chainsaw rock ‘n’ roll to this very delicate, pretty-sounding stuff,” Mike Cooley has said of DBT's latest, recorded with a re-tooled lineup featuring Cooley, Patterson Hood, Jay Gonzalez and Matt Patton. "Made Up English Oceans" below.
Each Other, Being Elastic (Lefse Records)
A new psych-math pop band from Canada. This is their debut full-length. Listen to "Send Your Signals" below.
Eagulls, Eagulls (Partisan)
A UK (Leeds) post-punk band with a cute punny name (it's two birds mashed together - one distinguished, one dirty, get it?). According to frontman George Mitchell, first single "Tough Luck" was inspired by a poem he wrote about his grandad's webbed feet. "The original poem was written from a child's 'pondering' point of view. Intrigued by difference as a child, I asked why my grandad's dissimilar feet were so unlike mine and I was told it was due to a tablet which was used 'in the olden days' to help mothers get through morning sickness during pregnancy. I later found out that this tablet was the drug Thalidomide, which caused numerous birth defects. The song is portraying the gamble of trusting in something without knowing the true consequences." Check out the track in question below.
Eternal Summers, The Drop Beneath (Kanine)
Fenster, The Pink Caves (Morr Music)
Ghost Beach, Blonde (Nettwerk)
I can't help but be charmed by the retrofied synth pop of Brooklyn-based duo Ghost Beach (Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn). Watch the video for "Been There Before" and tell me you aren't charmed, too.
Imogen Heap, Sparks (RCA)
Kimono Kult, Hiding In The Light EP (Neurotic Yell)
The new LA-based project led by Red Hot Chili Pepper former guitarist John Frusciante & Omar Rodríguez-López (The Mars Volta, At the Drive In), with firm support from Swahili Blonde/Bosnian Rainbows collaborators Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), Nicole Turley and Laena Geronimo, along with Dante White (Dante Vs. Zombies). If you aren't intrigued yet, here's some more info: The bi-lingual debut EP was recorded/produced/helmed by Neurotic Yell CEO Turley, and mixes electro, dub, Afro-beat, avant-freak, jazz and Latin aesthetics. "La Canción De Alejandra" below.
Martina McBride, Everlasting (Alliance)
The Men, Tomorrow's Hits (Sacred Bones)
Lea Michele, Louder (Columbia)
Nothing, Guilty Of Everything (Relapse)
Pink Martini & The Von Trapps, Dream a Little Dream (Heinz Records)
The new collaborative album from classy pop-jazz orchestra Pink Martini and sibling vocalist group The von Trapps, marking the first major international release by Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp — the actual great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp (ages 19-25). Other guest spots by Wayne Newton, Jack Hanna, The Chieftains and Charmian Carr (the original Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music). In other news, both acts unite for a worldwide tour that stops at the Straz Center for Performing Arts on Sun., March 23.
In addition to renditions of some classic songs (“Dream a Little Dream,” “Fernando,” “Lonely Goatherd,” “Edelweiss,” and others.), the 15-track album includes three original compositions from August von Trapp — "Friend," "Storm," and "Thunder" — as well as cuts from Sweden, Rwanda, China, Japan and Bavaria. Listen to the title track below.
RAC, Strangers (Part 1) (Cherrytree/Interscope)
Real Estate, Atlas (Domino)
The third long player from the New Jersey indie rock band, recorded at Wilco's studio in Chicago. "Talking Backwards" video below.
Roman Remains, Zeal (H.O.T Records Ltd.)
The Duke Spirit's North London natives Liela Moss and Toby Butler deliver a debut full-length as Roman Remains, who've been described as "Bjork meets Zola Jesus meets early Nine Inch Nails" with their mix of electro, industrial and dance music sounds.
Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, So Happy, It’s Sad (self-release)
Sally Seltmann, Hey Daydreamer (Arts & Crafts)
Stepdad, Strange Tonight EP (Quite Scientific Records)
Trust, Joyland (Arts & Crafts)
Ume, Monuments (Dangerbird)
The Unsemble, The Unsemble (Ipecac Recordings)
Rufus Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den (Artists Den Records/UMe)
Wake Owl, The Private World of Paradise (Vagrant)
You know when you hear something, and you know within 30 seconds that you'll like it? That's pretty much how I felt about "Candy," the first single from Wake Owl's new album, which was recorded with Swift (Tennis, Foxygen) in his National Freedom studios in Oregon. The sound is grooving, lightly vintage indie rock with falsetto-reaching vocals, kind of reminiscent of MGMT, at least in "Candy"; listen below.
Weeknight, Post-Everything (Artificial Records)
Wild Throne, Blood Maker EP (Brutal Panda Records)
Pharrell Williams, G I R L (Columbia)
N.E.R.D.'s producer, velvety-voiced singer, multi-instrumentalist and overall golden child has been all over the airwaves, what with his appearances on Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (and hit single "Get Lucky") and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," and an across-the-boards chart-topper with first single/Despicable Me 2 Oscar-nominated track, "Happy." Can't fault a dude for being talented, that's for sure, and Pharrell has proven his worth a thousandfold. Now, his sophomore LP finally sees its U.S. release; Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake both show up for duets and Timbaland, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, JoJo, Tori Kelly and Leah LaBelle also show up for guest spots.