Oh indie, how I adore and hate you at the same time. You provide me a grand listening experience, but sometimes breed fans who glorify your artists for being unknown. Taylor Swift said it best when she said that thing about indie records in “We are never getting back together.” Actually, that’s a completely different situation than this one, but I’m not here to debate the minutiae of T-Swizzy; I’m here to tell you about some March album releases that are mostly indie that I’m super psyched for.
First is a folk artist from across the pond. I love Laura Marling more than I can really explain. Her vocals are haunting, but at the same time familiar and comforting. This is best exemplified in the song “Breathe” from her fourth full-length LP, “Once I Was an Eagle.” Juxtaposed against her guitar, tuned down to an unusual open C tuning, Marling produces music that sounds like it might fit in just as well had it been written during the late 19th century in England as it does in the 21st century. Marling’s fifth full-length, “Short Movie,” is out Monday, March 23, in the U.K. and Tuesday, March 24, in the U.S. on Virgin EMI Records.
Will Butler is the brother of Win Butler, both of whom along with Win Butler’s wife, Régine Chassagne, are key members of the prolific indie rock band Arcade Fire. Will Butler has been making music with Arcade Fire for more than a decade, writing albums alongside his brother that would go on to be named high on album of the decade lists by respected publications like Pitchfork and NME. Check out “Take my Side” from Butler’s first solo record “Policy,” out Tuesday, March 10, on Merge Records.
Now we’re going to talk about Queens rapper, Action Bronson. You probably thought I was going to jump on the Modest Mouse bandwagon and talk about how much I couldn’t wait for “Strangers to Ourselves.” Well, you thought wrong, because Bronsolini’s “Mr. Wonderful,” is out Tuesday, March 24, on Atlantic Records. Action Bronson is one of the most intense rappers in the industry right now. Vocally the doppelganger of Ghostface Killah, Bronson is not only a rapper, but also an accomplished chef who hosts a TV show in the style of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” called “F*** that’s delicious.” Bronson is not only one of the most interesting characters in hip-hop because he’s a giant white Albanian chef with a beard, but also because he raps real good. Bronson has released a slew of mixtapes over the past few years, from the Alchemist-produced “Rare Chandliers” to the critically-acclaimed “Blue Chips” series. Bronson has released a few singles from the soon-to-be released “Mr. Wonderful,” most notably “Easy Rider.”
OK, so maybe I listened to the new Modest Mouse single, “Lampshades on Fire.” And maybe — just maybe — I liked it.
Other releases from March include Cannibal Ox with “Blade of the Ronin” and Kelly Clarkson with “Piece by Piece” both on March 3, Luke Bryan with “Spring Break…Checkin’ Out” on March 10, AWOLNATION with “Run,” Modest Mouse with “Strangers to Ourselves” and Twin Shadow with “Eclipse” all on March 17, Jeff the Brotherhood with “Wasted on the Dream” on March 24 and Death Cab for Cutie with “Kintsugi,” Sufjan Stevens with “Carrie & Lowell” and Wale with “The Album About Nothing” all on March 31.
Have a fantastic Tuesday.
Sean McCully is The All State assistant news editor. He’s probably admitting he likes Modest Mouse on Twitter.