Listen to the 10 Best Songs of March 2023

Music Lists Best Songs
Listen to the 10 Best Songs of March 2023

When it came to new singles, March roared in like a lion with “Bang Bang” from L.A. indie-rock band Momma and never let up. It was tough narrowing this down to 10, and we have a feeling that several of these songs will make our Best Songs of 2023 list at the end of the year. You can listen below or to the full list on Spotify.

Durand Jones: “That Feeling”
The first single from Durand Jones without his backing band, The Indications, is a slow-burning soul ballad that serves as both a coming-out and coming-home song. Now based in San Antonio, his upcoming album is all about his relationship with his hometown of Hillaryville, La. The emotions build with screaming guitars as the cinematic video unveils a young, queer love in a rural, Black community on one of the final bends in the Mississippi River. Jones’ voice carries the weight of complications and contradictions as he digs into the past. The full album, Wait Til I Get Over comes out May 5. —Josh Jackson


Jenny Lewis: “Psychos”
Former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis is entering a new era. Joy’All, her first solo record in four years, is a turn towards a sound that is much more cosmic and mythical than anything else she’s put out since dropping Rabbit Fur Coat way back in 2006. Lead single “Psychos” is, easily, one of Lewis’ greatest creations. It’s a kaleidoscope of pop country and disco; Lewis’ vocals have never been sharper, and the instrumentals are so delicious you won’t be able to refrain from playing this track over and over and over again. “Psychos” is an odyssey in its own right, as Lewis is on the hunt for sex, romance and good vibes. “I’m not a psycho / I’m just trying to get laid / I’m a rock ’n’ roll disciple / In a video game,” she sings, before employing a cheeky “Namaste” at the end of the verse. There’s a special, newfound confidence that Lewis is working through here, making Joy’All poised to be her most daring project yet. —Matt Mitchell


Lori McKenna: “Girl Crush”
Lori McKenna has made plenty of fine albums of her own, but she’s also survived in the challenging world of modern country music by helping craft hits for stars like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Faith Hill. One of her biggest successes was “Girl Crush,” a tune written with collaborators Hillary Lindsay and Liz Rose that was taken to the top spot on the Country Radio charts by Little Big Town and netted the trio of co-writers a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 2016. Today, the song is back in McKenna’s capable hands as she recorded a nicely stripped down rendition for the second volume of The Songwriter Tapes. This collection lets the names in the credits—in this case, McKenna, Luke Laird and Barry Dean—take turns in the spotlight playing some of the songs they’ve helped craft. “Girl Crush” may be about being jealous of the gal that stole the singer’s man, but McKenna’s voice further opens up the sexual gray area hinted at in the lyrics. —Robert Ham


Meshell Ndegeocello: “Virgo”
Genre doesn’t really exist within the work of Meshell Ndegeocello. If she’s feeling the music, she’ll play it. That fluid mindset has kept the 52-year-old musician busy for many years and brought her work collaborating with Madonna, the Blind Boys of Alabama and John Cougar Mellencamp, to name just a few. It’s an approach that has left her wide open to experiment and explore, which she is continuing to do on her new album The Omnichord Real Book. The first single “Virgo” is a prime example of Ndegeocello’s wide open approach as she winds in the contributions of harpist Brandee Younger and keyboardist Julius Rodriguez into an extended track that rides a continually changing funk groove towards a closing segment that explodes into fireworks display of polyrhythms. —Robert Ham


Momma: “Bang Bang”
The indie-rock grunge band Momma released their most recent single “Bang Bang” since their first official LP Household Name with Polyvinyl Record. Momma was first formed by musicians Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten when they bonded over Alex G and the isolation of their small town Yerington-a town right outside of Los Angeles. The band had made incredible strides within the indie-rock scene with a clear sound that paved their way to a fast rise of success within the genre and industry. The band first got attention with their 2020 LP Two of Me with songs like “Double Dare” and “Biohazard” and their 90s rock guitar tones as well as their intoxicating vocals. Household Name allowed Momma to be fully indoctrinated into the scene, and cemented into the hearts of rock lovers alike. “Bang Bang” dabbles in electronica sounds with poppy synths harking back to the late 90s and early 2000s. Their crudeness gives the grunge band the edge they’ve exemplified with past singles, and make the record a fun listen. The raunchy and noisy tones make for a classic head banger to keep you rocking and rolling. —Rayne Antrim


Ratboys: “Black Earth, Wi”
Chicago indie band Ratboys haven’t put out a new full-length LP since 2020’s Printer’s Devil, though it seems that something big is creeping along the horizon. In the band’s first single since 2021, “Black Earth, Wi” is an electric and ambitious eight-minute cut of heartland rock and roll. With an explosive solo, a saucy bassline and vocalist Julia Steiner’s perfect twang, Ratboys couldn’t have picked a cooler way to re-emerge. It’s not a stretch to call it the band’s best song yet; their 2017 breakthrough album GN feels like a lifetime of sounds ago. What Steiner and company have assembled is hypnotizing. When the quartet collapses into a sing-along harmony with the guitars around the six-minute mark, it’s ecstasy. “And if that mockingbird don’t sing / Watch her do the twist again / Does that Black Earth freak you out? / And if she’s twisted up too tight / Let the dawn cut through the night / Taken back, don’t leave me out,” Steiner sings, while the band takes us home. —Matt Mitchell


Strange Ranger: “Rain So Hard”
New York electronic quartet Strange Ranger return with their first new single of 2023, “Rain So Hard.” Clocking in at a hair under five minutes, the track is a beautiful depiction of relationship fallout and loneliness. Written as bandmates Isaac Eiger and Fiona Woodman were breaking up, “Rain So Hard” is a document of two people with immense chemistry falling out of each other’s orbit. “Any day there will be no more stars,” Eiger sings. “How do I get out of this movie now?” Woodman chimes in through a harmony. There are elements of vocal distortion, atmospheric shoegaze and grieving electronica bubbling into a sea of loss. But, most immensely, “Rain So Hard” is a striking, synthy haven. —Matt Mitchell


The Beths: “Watching the Credits”
“Watching the Credits” could just a one-off track, which seems likely, given that the Beths put out their best album, Expert in a Dying Field just last September. Nonetheless, the New Zealand rockers, yet again, are flaunting their power-pop prowess. “Watching the Credits” is a terrific, heat-seeking missile of glittering guitars and steadfast percussion work. Frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes delivers a hypnotic vocal performance, while guitarist Jonathan Pearce unleashes a riffing wall of prismatic, face-melting chords. There’s imagery of cinema and soundtracks, of doubts and how endings move the compass needles of our life’s direction. “It’s just a story I don’t quite believe / Full of plot holes and constant monotony / Who’s going to root for this unlikable lead? / Not them, not me, not likely,” Stokes proclaims. What makes the Beths so good is not just their chemistry, but the fact that they can make a standalone single rock so heavily. It speaks to how they endure as one of the most exciting rock bands in the world right now. —Matt Mitchell


The Lemon Twigs: “In My Head”
The Lemon Twigs’ forthcoming record, Everything Harmony, is their best—and most ambitious—offering of music yet. Gone are the days of amber-colored retro, as the D’Addario brothers—Brian and Michael—are enveloping themselves in a song cycle caked in their own unforgettable style. In turn, third single “In My Head” is an impossibly glamorous decadence of pop rock. When Michael gives a hypnotizing, McCartney-style “Ooo” that contorts and bends like a boa constrictor, it is immediately evident that this band, these brothers, have found their stride. When you spend your whole life growing up together, the chemistry is already in place. But somehow, Brian and Michael have transcended even that. —Matt Mitchell


Wednesday: “TV in the Gas Pump”
Frontwoman Karly Hartzman has always had a unique way of delivering poetic articulations of what beauty really lives within the off-kilter, grime-soaked parts of her environment, and “TV in the Gas Pump” is a perfect example of it. Through imagery of surreal rest stop pilgrimages and American iconography, Hartzman paints a portrait of her surroundings, all of which could be applicable to a streak of highways nestled anywhere between Middle America and the Deep South. “People standin’ with their arms crossed / In the line at the Panera Bread / At a rest stop / Violently came up / In a Dollar General / You took too much / Jake walked into a Starbucks / TV in the gas pump / Blares into the dark,” she sings. —Matt Mitchell


Listen to the Best Songs of March 2023 on Spotify.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin