The 15 Best Songs of March 2019

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The 15 Best Songs of March 2019

Whether it was powerhouse artists like Solange or Sky Ferreira, sprouting singer/songwriters like Christian Lee Hutson or Kate Teague or perpetual noise makers like Black Midi and FURY, musicians brought their A game when it came to March track releases. Check out our 15 favorite tracks of March 2019 below, listed by release date and as chosen by the Paste Music Staff. Click here to revisit the best songs of February.

1. Solange: “Almeda”
March 1

The magic of “Almeda,” a standout from Solange’s welcome March surprise, When I Get Home, is unshakable. Produced by Pharell and Solange and featuring Playboi Carti in a bouncing, tail-end rap sequence, “Almeda” is a celebration of steadfast black faith: “Black faith still can’t be washed away / Not even in that Florida water,” Solange sings, citing the unisex cologne she carried to the 2018 Met Gala that’s said to have healing effects—but nothing as potent as black resilience. In an exhilarating anthem honoring the chopped ’n’ screwed mixing style that originated in her hometown of Houston, the younger Knowles sister embraces “black-owned things.” With “Almeda,” perhaps more than any other song on the album, Solange gracefully re-entered music and cultural conversations in the assured, commanding way only she can. —Ellen Johnson

2. Christian Lee Hutson:Northsiders
March 6

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson shared a new single, “Northsiders,” from his forthcoming, currently untitled album. The LP was produced by none other than Phoebe Bridgers, a frequent collaborator of Hutson’s. “Northsiders” features Hutson’s kindhearted vocal melodies, light acoustic guitar plucks and rousing strings that linger in the background. In his lyrics, Hutson masterfully mixes witty, dark humor with observational sentimentality. Lyrical highlights include “We were so pretentious then / Didn’t trust the government / Said that we were communists / And thought that we invented it,” “Tried cocaine at my cousin’s house / I’m probably addicted now” and “Morrissey apologists / Amateur psychologists / Serial monogamists / We went to different colleges.” Underlying all the droll comedy is a sobering reality—the kind of realization that makes you pull over your car to shed a few tears before pulling yourself back together (“Nothing’s going to change it now”). Hutson is the kind of songwriter that you’ll want to root for—painfully relatable lyrics, comforting melodies and a sharp-witted personality that money can’t buy. —Lizzie Manno

3. Kate Teague:In Our Element
March 7

“In Our Element,” fittingly, finds Kate Teague inhabiting her twang-tinged indie-rock sweet spot, her rhythm guitar subdued and built upon by slow-burning, oft-bent lead notes. “It’s in my head, I’ll push it away / I’m glad to have you here anyway,” she sings. Teague explains that she “wrote this song in response to completely misinterpreting someone’s body language at a series of parties. I began falling in love with the idea that someone was falling in love with me, but I ultimately realized it was all in my head.” “In Our Element” is the latest in Teague’s aforementioned string of killer singles, following “Gilly,” “Good to You” and “Low Life,” all three of which were released in 2018. As for her debut album, all we know for now is that it’s coming sometime in early 2019. —Scott Russell

4. Bedouine:When You’re Gone
March 7

“When You’re Gone” continues the Aleppo-born, Saudi Arabia- and America-raised musician’s collaborative partnership with Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones, Michael Kiwanuka), who produced the single in his Los Angeles studio. “Drag my finger round the rim / drag around a phantom limb when you’re gone,” Bedouine sings, her delicate vocals and fingerpicked guitar flurries accompanied by orchestral flourishes that lend them a gentle grandeur befitting the video’s breathtaking natural imagery. “When I started ‘When You’re Gone,’ I was just messing around with pretty chords. Then the lyrics spontaneously came to me much later when I read something on Instagram, which is kind of hilarious. It triggered a line that eventually rolled out the entire song,” Bedouine explains. “In retrospect I think it reflects on the time since I’ve released my first record; in nondescript hotel rooms alone or getting dropped off a cliff after tour is over, not exactly sure what to do with myself. It also touches on what that can mean when it comes to the people you’re closest to.” —Scott Russell

5. Tierra Whack:Wasteland
March 12

In honor of Tierra Whack’s proclamation of #whackhistorymonth, the breakout rap artist has released a new standalone track titled “Wasteland.” “Wasteland” is the fourth new single from Whack in the span of as many weeks, following up “Only Child,” “CLONES” and “Gloria.” Last year, Paste ranked the rapper’s Whack World among 2018’s best hip-hop albums. —Montana Martin

6. Jenny Lewis: “Wasted Youth”
March 15

Jenny Lewis, like any good songwriter, has a knack for fiction. On “Wasted Youth,” she sings, “I wasted my youth on a poppy,” even though she did no such thing: In the ‘80s, Lewis began working as a child actress almost as soon as she could walk. Only later did she discover her mother, a heroin addict throughout Lewis’ childhood who recently passed away, was using her earnings to buy and sell drugs. But on that same song, before chirping a series of “doo doo doos” and offering the dark statement that “the cookie crumbles into dust,” Lewis pitches us her humor: “Why you lyin’?” she teases. “The Bourbon’s gone / Mercury hasn’t been in / Retrograde for that long.” Where in the past she faced sadness head-on, here Lewis views trauma through a wizened, witty lens. —Ellen Johnson

7. Weyes Blood:Movies
March 19

Weyes Blood, the experimental soft-rock enchantress known otherwise as Natalie Mering, released the third single from her forthcoming album, Titanic Rising. Titled “Movies,” the new track is accompanied by a self-directed music video, capturing Mering somersaulting about in swathes of rippling ivory before zooming out to reveal the audience watching her underwater dance with a trance-like gaze. The audience studies her, transfixed, before being swept along into Mering’s cinematic submersion. “Our generation is the most cinematically saturated of all time,” Mering says of the song’s message. “Videotapes, DVD’s, streaming … Spielberg … all of it has thrust us into an endless loop of consumption … I wanted to take a look into the emotionally manipulative powers of Movies—how have Movies succeeded in telling the myths of our time? How have they failed (miserably)? What is the consequent effect on a society of beings looking for themselves in the myths on the screen? It’s safe to say that they have failed us, but I can’t help it … I love Movies.” —Lindsay Thomaston

8. Sorry: “Jealous Guy”
March 21

After a string of impressive singles like “2 Down 2 Dance,” “Twinkle” and “Showgirl,” Domino Records signees Sorry (which Paste named one of 15 New British Acts You Need to Know in 2019), unveiled their first new music of the year, “Jealous Guy.” Sorry evade concise categorization, but their skewed sonics and sharp songwriting is evident in all their releases thus far. Led by principal songwriters and vocalists Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, “Jealous Guy” is the kind of slippery, tuneful lo-fi rock that projects a magnetic mystique while still emitting charming personality. Lorenz said of the accompanying video, “We played on the saxophone idea – I guess like a Madness or The Specials video, or like The Blues Brothers, sharply dressed and funny, with interesting shots of us about town. The theme of jealousy runs through the video and the last shot is me killing Louis due to jealousy, after the realization that Louis is too good at writing songs.” —Lizzie Manno

9. Lizzo feat. Missy Elliott:Tempo
March 21

“I’ve been waiting for this one,” quips rapidly rising star and body-posi queen Lizzo at the top of her new collab track alongside rap royalty Missy Elliott. Turns out we’ve been waiting for it all this time, too, and we didn’t even know it. In a pairing of hip-hop dreams come true, Lizzo and Missy Elliott get their freak on for the debut of their infectious new song “Tempo.” The release was accompanied by a slew of heartfelt posts from Lizzo, who gushed on Twitter that the rapper was her “hero” and “inspiration.” “Tempo,” a club banger saturated with ‘90s beats and self-loving Lizzoisms like “thick thighs save lives,” is another showstopper from the singer’s forthcoming major-label debut album, Cuz I Love You. —Lindsay Thomaston

10. JW Ridley:Homesick (Out The Blue)
March 21

South London-based singer/songwriter JW Ridley dropped another stellar single, “Homesick (Out The Blue),” following the release of last month’s “Glass Eyes.” On “Homesick (Out The Blue),” Ridley contemplates life’s external changes—the seasons, locations, people entering and leaving our lives—and contrasts them with our internal components that may never change. Ridley says of the psychological contrast behind the song, “It’s about the things we hold on to or the things that never really leave us.” It’s the kind of soaring, melancholy alt-pop that makes both the unforgettable nights out with friends and moments of crying yourself to sleep last an eternity. Ridley’s music contains an atmospheric, almost krautrock-like pulse with his spiraling, rhythmic guitar lines and rousing keyboards—and his voice contains the warm, earnest trustworthiness of a best friend or close relative. —Lizzie Manno

11. Rose Hotel:10 K
March 26

Rose Hotel, aka Atlanta-based Jordan Reynolds and her all-star band made up of other local musicians, have announced their debut LP I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes, out May 31. The news arrived with a bubbly new single, “10 K,” and an accompanying video produced by Jayme Powell. It follows Reynolds as she visits familiar sites in both her old home, Bowling Green, Ky., and her new home, Atlanta, Ga. “10 K” is more gussied-up than Reynolds’ initial lo-fi recordings under the Rose Hotel moniker, though the vintage-inspired video still maintains a DIY spirit. Reynolds, shown strolling by popular ATL spots like The Earl and 529, finds herself pondering the future and the past as tight electric guitar chords tumble on. “Nearly old enough but too young to understand,” she sings over sunny guitar. “Time isn’t slowing down and I see wrinkles in my hands.” Reynolds is a natural storyteller, and her roomy indie-rock fits right in alongside that of artists like Hazel English and Jay Som. —Ellen Johnson

12. Black Midi:Crow’s Perch
March 26

Breakout U.K. act Black Midi have upped their overall song count to a grand total of three with their newest single, “Crow’s Perch.” The standalone track follows up the releases of their previous tracks titled “BmBmBm” and “Speedway” from Rough Trade. Only a year into their career, the freshest faces in the underground scene—Geordie Greep (vocals/guitar), Cameron Picton (bass/vocals), Matt Kelvin (guitar/vocals) and Morgan Simpson (drums)—have rapidly garnered attention for their sublime live performances (which we noted as one of the best shows we saw this year at SXSW). —Montana Martin

13. Sky Ferreira:Downhill Lullaby
March 27

The nearly six-minute “Downhill Lullaby,” Sky Ferreira’s first new single solo single since 2013, begins dark and spare before building to a noisy, orchestral conclusion. Ferreira’s voice, usually so big and forward in the mix, hangs back here, eventually blending into a cacophony of strings while crooning about her subject “going downhill soon.” “Downhill Lullaby” is the first single from Ferreira’s forthcoming album Masochism, due out on Capitol Records later this year. The track was produced by Ferreira and Dean Hurley, with co-production from Jorge Elbrecht. Ferreira arranged and recorded the new album in Los Angeles, Calif., and Copenhagen, Denmark. Masochism will be Ferreira’s first full-length solo record since 2013’s Night Time, My Time. —Adam Weddle

14. FURY:Vacation
March 27

Orange County hardcore five-piece FURY shared the second single from their album Failed Entertainment, out on May 3 via Run For Cover Records. The band’s fiery, existential new song grapples with free will and the inevitable passage of time as frontman Jeremy Stith’s seething musings hinge on both the depressing and witty (“Buried are the ones I’ve failed to entertain”). The song’s video is a collision between the hectic and the mundane as the band’s hefty riffs boil over and Stith’s deranged, mutant vocals emerge thirsty for more. “Vacation” references Harry Dean Stanton’s discussion of “predestination and each humans’ capabilities and their place in the world.” —Lizzie Manno

15. Laura Stevenson: “Dermatillomania”
March 29

Laura Stevenson lets the natural sweetness of her voice bubble up in the catchy melody of “Dermatillomania,” the most up-tempo song on her new album The Big Freeze. Up-tempo, yes, but not upbeat: the title of the song is another name for excoriation disorder, which is the compulsion to pick at one’s own skin to the point of causing physical harm. Stevenson wrote about her own experiences with dermatillomania in February for Talkhouse, and the subject hovers in the background of many of the songs on The Big Freeze. —Eric R. Danton