A wise man once told me “If the music makes my head bob, then I like it.”
And with that I welcome you to the CBC’s monthly music review, where the ratings are made up and the opinions don’t matter. I’m Ben, your host, and I will bringing you a smattering of the past months releases in music.
I’m going to shy away from the more popular artists, not to be “one a’ them durn hipsters” but because you don’t need me to tell you that Drake’s “More Life” is one of the best-produced displays of lyrical mediocrity in the hip-hop community, or that Khalid has the smoothest voice on the radio, or that Ed Sheeran still hasn’t decided what kind of music he wants to make. This is just me bringing some tight tracks you may or may not have ever heard before and expanding your musical horizons. So you’re welcome, I guess.
Without further ado, let's jump into a few singles that were released in March that have me pretty hyped for their respective upcoming projects.
You can find this month's playlist here:
"Feel It Still" (March 3rd) - Portugal. The Man
Next Release: Woodstock, expected June 16th, 2017
Full disclosure, before starting this, I had not heard of several of these artists/bands. This was one of those bands. Portugal. The Man (PTM) is a indie-rock band from Alaska and has been kicking out the jams since 2006. They had been working on a new album since 2013 and then decided to scrap three years worth of music and start fresh. The result is this groove-driven, socially conscious track that is guaranteed to have you moving side to side in you office desk chair.
"Samaritan" (March 10th) - ionnalee
Genre: Electronic Audiovisual(really I have no clue. Any fans can feel free to set me straight)
Rating: B, B+ with the visual accompaniment
ionnalee is the solo debut of Swedish singer Jonna Lee, the creator of the electronic musical and visual project Iamamiwhoami. Lyrically provocative with poignant visuals created with help from the fashion label COMME des GARÇONS, this track is electric, exciting, and consistently engaging.
"Bobby" (March 2nd) - Alex G
Next Release: Rocket, confirmed May 19th, 2017
Alexander Giannascoli goes by Alex G and is the same age as me, which forces me to question my talents and lack of accomplishments. The new single released at the beginning of the month is soulful and raw with a white-noise aesthetic and well performed acoustic accompaniment. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Ahem, ah, back to the music
Before I Shine*(March 15th) - Wale
Next Release: SHiNe, expected later 2017
When someone says Wale (Pronounced ‘Wah-Lay’) you probably think about the 2010 Waka Flocka club hit "No Hands." Which is unfortunate because his actual discography aligns itself more with conscious rappers like Lupe Fiasco, Kdot, and Joey Bada$$. Before I shine is a collection of singles that have been previously released over the last year or so, designed to whet the listeners appetite in anticipation for his next EP SHine set to come out later this year. If you are unfamiliar with his works, this is a great introduction to his sound and style.
Can You Deal? (March 3rd) - Bleached
Bleached is an LA-based group that has been bringing its own brand of American rock’n’roll to the public since 2011. Their latest EP, Can You Deal? is just plain, flat-out fun. A throwback to the punk attitude of their Los Angeles predecessors The Runaways, this EP is bound to have you banging your head and sticking it to the man.
Hot Thoughts (March 17th) - Spoon
Hot Thoughts is the ninth studio album from Austin, TX-based American rock group Spoon. Top-to-bottom this is just a good album. Britt Daniel’s vocal range kept me entertained and engaged while the other members of this ensemble turned in solid musical performances, making Hot Thoughts a truly enjoyable experience.
VOIDS (March 3rd) - Minus The Bear
Having never heard of Minus The Bear prior to listening to this album, I was impressed to say the least. VOIDS is very broad sonically and offers some really great ballads and unrelenting jams. I am looking forward to going back though their discography and waiting expectantly for more projects from them in the future.
The Order of Time (March 10th) - Valerie June
In her sophomore album, Jackson, TN native Valerie June continues to bring beautifully soulful vocals to bear in this 12 track ode to a bygone era. Honestly there isn’t a single thing I don’t like about this album. Its haunting, its uplifting, and its nostalgic in the best way.
Snow Tha Product
About mid march the San Jose rapper uploaded to YouTube a remix of Tdot illdude’s "I Don’t Wanna Leave"*, and absolutely bodied the track. It isn’t actually a single unfortunately, otherwise she would have gotten an A+ from me. Snow has been in the game for quite a while now, but is slept on by pretty much everyone. I had hopes she would make the XXL freshmen list for 2016, but they decided to go for far less capable artists. Which is unfortunate cause a Dave East/Snow cypher would have been pretty lit.
Other artists you should be listening to
Sorority Noise - You’re Not As ___ As You Think
Khalid - American Teen*
Craig Finn - We All Want The Same Things
Betty Who - The Valley*
*Contains Explicit Language
So that’s it, that concludes my Monthly Music Review for March of 2017. Check out the MMR Spotify playlist to listen to this month's artists. If you know of an artist that is releasing something in April, comment or send us a message so I can check it out, and if you like something you hear, be sure to show the artist some love!