Pinch, punch... first of the month!
April is here, but March will live long in the memory, bringing with it surprise releases, superb genre pieces, sound re-defining experimentation, and the odd banger or two.
We've collected our favourite releases from March 2019 - dive in below...
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Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? // REVIEW
She champions the strange, the misfits, the misunderstood and offers an alternative to the oversaturation of vapid, plastic pop stars and reality TV ghouls. You might not get her but she embraces it and will thrive, but quite frankly she probably couldn’t give a damn.
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Edwyn Collins - Badbea // REVIEW
‘Badbea’ is a key part in Edwyn Collins’ remarkable solo career, one that has defied critics and doctors to wilfully do its own thing. A rich, vastly creative experience, it’s a further sign that Edwyn’s work remains something to treasure.
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Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe // REVIEW
The singer-songwriter has created an astoundingly original piece of work; every track sends shivers down the spine, but hitting different vertebrae - sometimes the impact is measured and controlled, others it’s shocking and bold. Using her otherworldly, but very human, backdrop Yanya tackles the modern collective experience from an individual perspective - ‘Miss Universe’ is an intimate record full of personal fears and emotions, but these are of wider, universal relevance. They should resonate with us all.
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The Cinematic Orchestra - To Believe // REVIEW
There’s an elegance to their music that marks them out, a gracefulness that has grown in their 11-year absence. Where previous albums soared high, ‘To Believe’ glides low. Jason Swinscoe and co. revel in restraint, eschewing big statements in favour of weaving intricate patterns.
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Sigrid - Sucker Punch // REVIEW
Sigrid’s ruthless ambition has taken her right to the top. The Norwegian star won the BBC Sound Of 2018 poll, and set about demolishing the rulebook, releasing bop after bop as she racked up more than 400 million global streams. But she’s not just about numbers. What’s carried Sigrid so far is her electrifying pop touch, those searing vocals and a lyrical touch that translates the everyday into something truly magical.
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Julia Jacklin - Crushing // REVIEW
Throughout, Jacklin’s lyrics are intimate, confessional and endearing, often capturing those moments in relationships that end up preserved in memory forever. 'Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You' delicately captures the frustration felt when everything that was once exciting and attractive about a lover becomes predictable and tired.
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Murlo - Dolos // REVIEW
The combination of both score and visual results in an imaginative odyssey. 'Evaporate' and 'Fauna' (the first two tracks on the record) literally feel like a man trying to escape - the high velocity tones (which have become a staple of Murlo's productions) paint a picture of a furious longing to swap concrete claustrophobia for tropical relief. Ambient territory is encountered on tracks such as 'Watching The Sun Through Eyelids' and 'Ferment', both of which offer experiences of escape and elation. It's utterly engrossing from start to finish.
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Little Simz - Grey Area // REVIEW
When her flow sounds more instinctive and lively, his arrangement s and instrumentation are matched to add more punch and drama, as can be felt on ‘Offence’, ‘Boss’ – “I’m a boss in a f***ing dress!” she near-screams – and ‘Venom’. However she's more reflective, the production leaves room and space for listeners to experience and take it, such as on ‘Selfish’, ‘Wounds (Ft Chronixx)’, and 'Flowers'.
This newly three dimensional Little Simz – vulnerable and reflective, while spiky and hard – has produced a crafted project, and it’s one of her best to date.
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Foals - Everything Not Lost Will Be Saved Part 1 // REVIEW
An album of stunning ambition and outright defiance, ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’ rips apart everything you know about Foals, a bold transformative work, as inspiring as it is urgent. Part Two drops in the Autumn. Truly, the only competition Foals have is themselves.
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Solange - When I Get Home // REVIEW
Sound is the most important part of ‘When I Get Home’, as it flits between different genres with an ease that goes unnoticed. But messages conveyed are just as important as in the impactful spoken word interludes ‘Can I Hold The Mic’ and ‘We Deal With The Freak’n’, where she celebrates female empowerment.
But the highlight of the album is ‘Dreams’, a slow-build track that seems to focus on her heavenly vocals before taking a surprising twist with robotic, psychedelic glitching. Other stand-outs are ‘Jerrod’ - which combines simplistic instrumentals with clear vocals - and final track ‘I’m A Witness’, that crescendos to a brilliant end.
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