April kicked off this week with more new songs, albums, studio guests and features. We wrote about the records we loved the most from March, as well as the ones we’re most looking forward to this month. We spun new tunes from bands like Mourn and Dumb, and launched a brand new column, the sarcastic “Guilty Non-Pleasures.” Check out all the best stuff we covered this week below.
Kali Uchis: Isolation
“There’s no tracking where I’m going/There’s no me for them to find.” The riddle-like words drift in covered in mist. The sounds of Tropicalia and bossa nova surround your ears with humidity. Are you dreaming? Are you flying? This is “Body Language,” the lush intro that transports you to the world of Kali Uchis, a world the Colombian-American songstress invites you deeply into her world, as she compellingly keeps herself a mystery. —Madison Desler
Ashley McBryde: Girl Going Nowhere
To some ears, Girl Going Nowhere could sound like raw material to be crafted into some major hits for some major country stars. According to Ashley McBryde, that was potentially the case with the marvelous nose thumbing title track as apparently Garth Brooks had taken a shine to it. But luckily someone with her label or management team stepped in and put the brakes on him recording his own version of it before hers came out. These songs don’t need to be messed with or tarted up or given a 21st century shine. They work perfectly in their current roughshod, if gently polished, form. The needle may keep moving for female country artists, but that’s of little concern to McBryde. She’s on a journey toward career longevity and Nowhere is her confident and solid first step.—Robert Ham
Wye Oak: The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs
The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs finds a balance between guitars and keyboards on songs that toggle from bold and complex to subtle and contemplative. Sometimes they intersect: Jenn Wasner sounds reflective on “Lifer,” singing over an atmospheric musical arrangement interrupted midway through by a volatile guitar break that serves as an excellent reminder that she’s a powerhouse player. She and Andy Stack have also become more adept over the years at deploying synthesizers. A deep, resonant synth sound opens “Symmetry,” and bubbles into a brief electronic maelstrom in the middle of the song before receding back into Stack’s busy, propulsive rhythm. There’s a keening synth on “It Was Not Natural,” and electronics shudder in the background behind a wash of guitar on “You of All People,” leaving plenty of room for Wasner’s sad, soulful vocals. —Eric R. Danton
Vancouver’s Dumb make whimsical slack rock that’s anything but. The band’s cool, campy outlook is both anxious and chill, enveloped in jittery rhythms and bright, fervent riffs. When Dumb settle down a bit, like on the driving “Mint,” they are no less biting. The sprightly single has dual meaning, playfully referencing both money and the Dumb’s new label, Mint Records.—Loren DiBlasi
Mourn: ‘Barcelona City Tour’
“Barcelona City Tour” is a dynamic, minimalistic punk tune with angular guitar riffs, battle cry screams and handclaps, and lyrics of teenage resentment and rebellion. Mourn said of the track, “This song is the result of a lot of things we got to endure from people who prefer to remain quiet and live exploited, in exchange to be part of something they consider exclusive.” —Lizzie Mano
Hatchie: ‘Sugar & Spice’
Hatchie’s latest single continues her straightforward indie-pop sound while adding some power pop to the mix. In a music climate dominated by streaming, Hatchie’s catchy hook and shimmering guitar could turn the song into a summer hit. Hatchie evokes Liz Phair-meets-Shirley Mason with her biting lyrical content as she sings, “Maybe you should take a lesson / From the moon on how to handle / all eyes on you.” She follows it up with the first chorus, singing, “But you don’t call me baby anymore / No, you don’t call me baby anymore.” —Adreon Patterson
Radio Jarocho are a New York-based band bringing traditional rural Mexican folk music to city audiences. Their new album, Rios de Norte y Sur, is full of unique and gorgeous melodies and arrangements that utilize a wide variety of folk music styles.
pronoun, the indie pop project of Alyse Vellturo, stopped by the studio to perform a brand new song, “run.” Alyse also shared scoop on her forthcoming debut album.
Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor from veteran British rock band Bush played songs from their 2017 album, Black & White Rainbows. Their set included the anti-war song “This is War,” and old favorite “Come Down.”
A Son of Country Music Is Exposing Its Hidden History One Amazing Story at a Time
“Cocaine & Rhinestones” is now the top music podcast on iTunes, and no wonder: The episodes are packed with colorful stories and, often, competing versions of the truth, which Tyler Mahan Coe narrates with clear affection for his material coupled with a bone-dry wit that cuts through the myth-making and cover-your-ass revisionism. But there’s so much more going on. “Cocaine & Rhinestones” offers a glimpse inside the machinery of country music, and the entertainment industry as a whole: how the money is made, the dark side of fame, what it means to be a woman in music, and a plethora of show-biz gimmicks. There’s really nothing else like it, which is what motivated Coe in the first place. —Eric R. Danton
Guilty Non-Pleasures: Pavement
I may not like Pavement very much, but it’s hard to escape them. I like a lot of contemporary bands that borrow from their sound, including Ovlov, Pile, and Spit. In 2012, when Parquet Courts hit the scene with Light Up Gold, some critics called them second coming of Pavement, and that album remains one of my all-time favorites. “Cut Your Hair,” the lead single from Crooked Rain and the band’s only radio hit, is the first song I learned to play on bass, because it’s easy: four notes, over and over and over again. That’s not a dig—if I had to choose a favorite Pavement song, “Cut Your Hair” would be it. I’ve never been a believer in using more notes than you need, which is why I tend to gravitate toward music that is clean, precise and intentional. I love dark, sleek post-punk—basically the exact opposite of Pavement. But when it comes to “Cut Your Hair,” you can’t deny a sick hook. —Loren DiBlasi
The 15 Albums We’re Most Excited About in April
April is looking so fresh on the new music front, we had to expand our monthly list from 10 to 15 anticipated albums. Appropriately, the records we’re most looking forward span the globe, from Spain to South Korea, England to New Zealand. From buzzy debuts and side projects to the return of old favorites, spring has most definitely sprung. Check out our full list below, and revisit our best albums of March list right here.—Paste Staff