The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in March

Music Lists Most Anticipated
The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in March

If this March roars in like a lion, it’ll go out like some hybird shark-tiger-dragon. March 31 boasts new releases from boygenius, Deerhoof and the New Pornographers, as well as more than a dozen other notable releases. With five Friday release dates, it was hard to narrow this list down to 10, but keep checking back with Paste Music to keep up with all the best music coming out this month. Here are the 10 albums we’re most looking forward to in March.

March 3

Kate NV: Wow
On WOW, Kate Shilonosova’s latest album as Kate NV, she assembles a panoply of curious sounds and visions to delight beyond what typical music can do. WOW isn’t fun like a class clown, per se, but more like a clown with class. Over the years, Shilonosova’s toying with busted instruments, manipulated vocals and everyday objects has led her to amass a treasure trove of recordings of all things spontaneous. Drawing on the boundless curiosity of her hero Nobukazu Takemura, Shilonosova’s own love for all things fun and vibrant has her eschewing traditional structures in order to construct pop songs so stimulating and multifaceted that they can be hard to keep track of. Her songs ask a lot of listeners not because they are overdetermined works of art but because they require dropping all pretense and submitting oneself to forbidden levels of whimsy. It’s a difficult exercise, but oh so rewarding. —Devon Chodzin

More notable March 3 releases: Constant Smiles: Kenneth Anger, Daisy Jones & The Six: Aurora, Ella Vos: Superglue, Elvis Costello: The Songs of Bacharach & Costello, Fake Names: Expendables, Kate NV: Wow, Macklemore: Ben, Marc Broussard: S.O.S. 4: Blues for Your Soul, Ron Gallo:Foreground Music, Sharp Pins: Turtle Rock, slowthai: Ugly, Steve Mason: Brothers & Sisters, Tanukichan: GIZMO, The Minks: Creatures of Culture, The National Parks: 8th Wonder, Whitney Walker: A Dog Staring Into a Mirror, Willie Nelson: I Don’t Know a Thing About Love, Xiu Xiu: Ignore Grief

 

March 10

Lonnie Holley: Oh Me Oh My
Alabama visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley has a new album on the way. Oh Me Oh My comes out March 10th on Jagjaguwar, and the first single “Oh Me Oh My,” featuring R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe is already out. Following his 2018 debut MITH—one of Paste’s best albums of that year—Oh Me Oh My features several collaborators beyond Stipe, including Sharon Van Etten on “None of Us Have But a Little While,” Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on “Kindness Will Follow Your Tears,” Moor Mother on two tracks and Rokia Koné on “If We Get Lost They Will Find Us.” Produced by Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., The Cure, Modest Mouse), Oh Me Oh My focuses Holley’s stream-of-consciousness lyrics over gorgeously layered droning instrumentation. “The deeper we go,” he sings on the title track, “the more chances there are, for us to understand the oh-me’s and understand the oh-my’s.” —Josh Jackson

 

Manchester Orchestra: The Valley of Vision
When Manchester Orchestra released their last LP, The Million Masks of God, it felt like the proper culmination of everything they’d been working toward: spacious arrangements, vocal layering, immense articulations of grief. What did the band have left to prove? On their new record, the six-song, 26-minute The Valley of Vision, Manchester Orchestra, led by Andy Hull, Rob McDowell, Andy Prince and Tim Very, have a few more things to say. The record is short in length, but that’s it. There’s no shortage of distinctive, emotional lyrics or sonic moments. The band takes what we’ve come to expect from them (guitars, guitars and more, loud, ferocious guitars) and stripped everything away, revealing an ecosystem of synths, bass lines and strings. A song like “Rear View” finds Hull testing the dynamic elasticity of his own falsetto vocals, while “Letting Go” plays around with distortion. Every track is patient and delicate. The Valley of Vision is the band’s most ambitious record yet. And, when we look back on it 10 years from now, it’s likely we’ll consider it their best. —Matt Mitchell

Shalom: Sublimation
Keep Shalom, the Brooklyn-based, South Africa-raised musician on your radar for 2023 and beyond. Her emotional powerhouse of a debut, Sublimation, is a heart-stopper. At 13 tracks long, Shalom has crafted a project of urgency, openness and plainspoken vulnerability. Done in collaboration with producer Ryan Hemsworth, Sublimation is soft yet danceable, a manifesto thrown into the wind. A song like “Concrete” laments a relationship that fell alway, while lead single “Happenstance” builds a groove-soaked bridge toward getting away from negativity. Shalom work is a progeny of Lucy Dacus, Vagabon and Indigo De Souza that she has formed into a sound that is wholly her own – and unequivocally cool as all get-out. Her self-released 2020 EP the first snowstorm of the year helped land her on Hemsworth’s, and label Saddle Creek’s, radar. Few debuts on the docket this year are as exciting, heartbreaking and needed as Shalom’s Sublimation. —Matt Mitchell

More notable March 10 releases: Ane Brun: Portrayals, Death Cab for Cutie: Asphalt Meadows Acoustic, Fever Ray: Radical Romantics, Frankie Rose: Love As Projection, Godcaster: Godcaster, H. Hawkline: Milk for Flowers, Lana Del Rey: Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Meet Me @ the Alter: Past/Present/Future, Miley Cyrus: Endless Summer Vacation, MSPAINT: Post-American, Rival Sons: Darkfighter, Scree: Jasmine on a Night in July, Shana Cleveland: Manzanita, Sleaford Mods: UK Grim, The Nude Party: Rides On, The War and Treaty: Lover’s Game, Van Morrison: Moving On Skiffle

 

March 17

M83: Fantasy
French electronic legends M83 are back for their first full-length album since 2019’s DSVII. Fantasy was recorded over the past two years by Anthony Gonzalez, Joe Berry and Justin Meldal-Johnsen after wanting to make a record that felt like a room of musicians jamming. Lead single “Oceans Niagara” is atmospheric, gentle and sprawling. “I wanted to create this sense of friendship. Listening to that song, I imagine people running, driving fast, or riding spaceships together,” Gonzalez said about the single. “It’s this sense of going forward, like a magic potion that you take to discover new worlds.” The fusion of synthesizers and guitars serves as a callback to the band’s great 2005 album Before the Dawn Heals Us. After celebrating the 10th anniversary of their seminal album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming in 2021, M83 aims to further solidify their places among the echelons of dream pop on Fantasy. —Matt Mitchell

More notable March 17 releases: 100 Gecs: 10,000 Gecs, All Time Low: Tell ‘Em I’m Alive, Black Honey: A Fistful of Peaches, C M Talkington: Texas Radio, Doug Paisley: Say What You Like, Say Hi: Elecrocution Prattle, Sonny Rollins: Go West!: The Contemporary Records Albums, T-Pain: On Top of the Covers, The Cash Box Kings: Oscar’s Motel, The Lost Days: In the Store, U2: Songs of Surrender, Unknown Mortal Orchestra: V, Yves Tumor: Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)

 

March 24

Caroline Rose: The Art of Forgetting
Nearly three years after the release of Superstar, Caroline Rose returns with a confessional honesty that’s only been glimpsed in previous works—though the cheeky humor is still there. Rose announced The Art of Forgetting, out March 24 on New West Records, with a new single, “Miami.” After an acoustic opening, the song finds a near gear with a war-like drumbeat and deep growls of an electric guitar for the chorus. Rose explains: “I’m not one to shy away from drama, and so this was a perfect opportunity to really bring out every ounce of desperation and anger and all those confusing emotions that happen after a big heartbreak.” The song ends kindly, hinting at what The Art of Forgetting means—healing. —Rayne Antrim

 

Nickel Creek: Celebrants
After an extended hiatus that saw all three of its members reaching new heights of acclaim in the music industry, Americana/bluegrass supergroup Nickel Creek has reunited to release and tour on their first new album in nine years. The group announced the release of Celebrants, out “March 24 via Thirty Tigers.”:https://orcd.co/celebrants. Since releasing their last album, 2014’s A Dotted Line, each member of Nickel Creek has been constantly busy. Thile hosted American radio variety show Live From Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) from 2016-2020, until the show concluded. Sean Watkins released solo material and recorded with fellow Nickel Creek member Sara Watkins in the sibling project Watkins Family Hour. And Sara may have been the most dizzyingly active of all, working on the aforementioned sibling duo, along with Grammy-winning roots trio supergroup I’m With Her, alongside Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz. She’s likewise recorded in recent years with everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to The Killers. Celebrants, meanwhile, apparently “explores the inherent dynamics of human connection,” according to the band, across a surprisingly lush 18 tracks that “address love, friendship and time with lyrics both poetic and plain-spoken, as they see bridges built, crossed, burned and rebuilt.” The album was recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A, where the band will return to debut the new material with three “very special” sold-out shows at the historic Ryman Auditorium on April 27, 28 and 29. Additional tour dates will be announced soon. —Jim Vorel

More notable March 24 releases: Darren Jesse: Central Bridge, Debby Friday: GOOD LUCK, Depeche Mode: Memento Mori, Fall Out Boy: So Much (For) Stardust, Kate Davis: Fish Bowl, Katie Melua: Love & Money, Kele: The Flames Pt. 2, Matt Corby: Everything’s Fine, Wilder Woods: FEVER / SKY, Yours Are the Only Ears: We Know the Sky

 

March 31

boygenius: The Record
Back in 2018 a trio of beloved singer/songwriters announced a new supergroup. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus had united to become boygenius, releasing a self-titled six-song collection that Paste named that year’s best EP. If we complained that it’s only (forgivable) flaw was that it was too short, the trio has just announced it’ll be righting that wrong with a full-length album, the record, coming out on Interscope Records. The album was produced by Baker, Bridgers and Dacus, along with Catherine Marks, and recorded at Shangri-la Studios in Malibu, Calif., over a month of 10-hour days of writing and re-writing and recording an unfathomable number of guitar parts. The album announcement comes with the release of the first three singles: Baker wrote “$20,” the hardest-hitting of the trio of new tracks. “In another life we were arsonists,” she sings, as they all seem to set virtual fire to their instruments. It’s a joy to hear boygenius turn it up to 11 as the song crescendos with a chorus of singing and shouting and shredding and beating holes into the drums. “Emily I’m Sorry,” on the other hand is a lovely Bridgers-penned ballad. The harmonies and counter-singing on the chorus are a wonderful reminder of why we loved this particular supergroup. The three friends complement each other so well, adding a musical complexity to the most straight-forward songs. Dacus wrote and takes lead on “True Blue.” “I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself,” she sings. “I remember who I am when I’m with you / Your love is tough, your love is tried and true blue.” The care and craft of a month in the studio comes through beautifully in this soaring anthem built on top of atmospheric guitar that gives weight to the sisterly love she celebrates. —Josh Jackson

 

Deerhoof: Miracle-Level
The news of any fresh music from the irrepressible art-rock quartet Deerhoof should be shouted from every rooftop, balcony and street corner in the world. But something about the details regarding the group’s 18th full-length feels particularly significant. For the first time, Deerhoof recorded their music entirely in a recording studio. As well, it’s the band’s first record where every song was written and sung by bassist / vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki’s native Japanese. Those may not be the most groundbreaking creative decisions on paper but for a group that has built a reputation for blending cultural influences and capturing the raw sound of their basement jam sessions, these moves could make or break the tone of Miracle-Level. — Robert Ham

 

The New Pornographers: Continue As Guest
The Canadian indie-rock band The New Pornographers have graced the new year with a new single, “Really Really Light,” the first from their upcoming album Continue as a Guest, set to release on March 31 with Merge Records. A.C. Newman began work on Continue as a Guest over the course of a year after the band had just finished touring behind 2019’s In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. The album covers themes of isolation, mundane feelings of everyday life and being chronically online amidst the pandemic. The 10-track record is produced by Newman and features fellow bandmates Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey and Joe Seiders as well as contributions from saxophonist Zach Djanikian. —Rayne Antrim

More notable March 31 releases: Alberta Cross: Sinking Ships, Barrie: 5K, City and Colour: The Love Still Held Me Near, Eddie Chacon: Sundown, James Holden: Imagine This Is a High Dimensional Space of All Possibilities, Michigander: It Will Never Be the Same (EP), Murray A. Lightburn: Once Upon a Time in Montreal, Nick Waterhouse: The Fooler, PACKS: Crispy Crunchy Nothing, Peter Case: Doctor Moan, Samiam: Stowaway, Scott McMicken: SHABANG, Sondre Lerche: Avatars of the Night, The Hold Steady: The Price of Progress, The Zombies: Different Game, Wild Child: End of the World

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