Music Wrap: The must-listen to tracks from March


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Howdy, all. Happy end of March. I spent a lot of this month thinking about The Grammys. There’s plenty of extremely-deserved criticism surrounding the validity and racial biases that mar these award shows. But, whether I like it or not, I enjoy these kinds of industry events.

More often than not, my favourite kind of Grammys coverage comes from the pop music reporters at The New York Times. Usually, they do a podcast episode about their predictions, but this year, for whatever reason, they didn’t release one. Instead, I have enjoyed the written criticism via this nifty sub-page.

Looking for more music-centric content? Try our Music section.

I encourage the culturally inclined among you (or those keen to be) to take a read of some articles; these are some of the best musical commentators in the world, and reading their articulations really gave me some food for thought. Some of my favourites this year were Debating the Grammys’ Biggest, Oddest Category’ by Joe Coscarelli and ‘Kanye West’s Stormy Relationship With The Grammys Erupts Again’ by Ben Sisario. Enjoy. 

P.S. This month, I started a new job. Omg. In the interest of reflection, I genuinely like to think that my new full-time music gig has a few teeny things to do with the tangibles I have learned by writing this column. So if you’re reading it, thanks for the support. 

Mossy – N2KY

My best friend – who has a listening kink for alt Australian musicians – got me onto Mossy at a stage I don’t specifically remember. I say this because he is so omnipresent that I can’t actually recall a time that he wasn’t part of my ether. 

AKA Jamie Timony, Mossy’s DIY solo project comes in the wake of a busy few years. When not starring alongside Adrian Grenier on a Netflix thriller, he fronts These New South Whales; a music, comedy and podcasting collective that NME dubbed “the punk Flight of the Conchords”.

N2KY (short for Nice To Know Ya) gives plenty of electropop. It’s a smooth little selection that bounces effortlessly to the next track; the way in which you might not even notice it has transitioned until you find yourself missing it. 

Benee – Lychee

Fun fact, I conducted one of Benee’s first interviews for this very publication. It was so early on that the article has since been cited as a foundational piece for her career thereafter. I mention that for no other reason than to flex so I hope you enjoy it. She was an angel.

This project, titled Lychee, comes after twelve months of music-making for the New-Zealand based queen. And doesn’t she deserve it – I think ninety per cent of the population’s first COVID lockdown was soundtracked by her first EP. After I first heard the follow-up album, Hey U X, I was disappointed.

I had grown so accustomed to her fantastic breed of hyperpop that the tech-heavy, autotuned rebrand left me trepidatious. Lychee, however, is an ecstatic return to form. ‘Beach Boy’ and ‘Marry Myself’ have my headphones dancing just like old times, alongside other short, punchy tracks that affirm my excitement for (IMHO) the next big thing.

Smino – Blkswn

In March, one of my favourite albums turned five. Happy birthday to this delightful collection of no-skips, rapped by the St Louis proud Smino and produced by the otherworldly Monte Booker. 

Although the duo met in 2013 (“It was instant,” says Smino), this album marked a turning point for their collaboration style and now, they are almost synonymous with the sound they have dually created. I could cry every time I hear every song on this project, but some non-negotiables include ‘Glass Flows,’ ‘Innamission’ and ‘Amphetamine’.  

Rex Orange CountyWho Cares?

Recorded in Amsterdam over just 12 days, Who Cares? is the latest album release from Instagram’s favourite ambiguously-accented boyfriend. What began as a series of unexpectedly productive sessions, turned into a “playful” album that is a true return to form for the musician.

Featuring a nostalgic collaboration à la Tyler, The Creator, Who Cares? is a predictable step forward, but still houses the same consistency that his fans will know and love. Make up your own mind and listen to it before it soundtracks every TikTok in your feed. Also, while you’re at it, watch his Chicken Shop Date interview. Amelia rocks. 

Rosalia – Motomami

Rosalía describes Motomami as “an energy” – an idea that seems like a prerequisite for female musicians releasing memorable music over the last few years. Cardi B with W.A.P, Meg Thee Stallion with Savage, Doja Cat with any of her songs: creating a culturally relevant ‘moment’ around releases is a sure-fire way to generate bucketloads of interest and subsequent engagement.

Thinking about music releases as a campaign strategy satisfies my capitalist kink. Sue me. The ‘energy’ of Motomami is signature Rosalía. Plenty of reggaeton-lite sounds, paired with staccato rhythms and flamenco influences, all doing well to cement her place as America’s favourite Latin export. 

Kae TempestThe Line Is A Curve

For many, music is a constant lifeline in their most confusing moments. This is the case for Kae Tempest, an English spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright. In an August 2020 Instagram post, Tempest came out as non-binary. They announced their name is now Kae (pronounced like the letter K) and affirmed their preference for they/them pronouns. 

Their latest release, The Line Is A Curve, is out on April 8. And while I haven’t heard the release in its entirety, what I have heard serves as a mirror to this turbulent personal time. Lyrically, the subjects fluctuate between completely letting go of all control and the anxieties that arise when we allow ourselves to do so. I urge you to check it out. 

Honourable mentions: 

‘Smoke’ – The Wattles 

‘Feel’ – Clews

‘Planet’ – Franko Gonzo 

‘Gifted’ – Koffee

‘Oysters In My Pocket’ – Royel Otis

‘Porto Song’ – Nick Griffith 

‘Sweetest Pie’ – Meg Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa

‘Iced Tea’ – Joyce Wrice and Kaytranada 

‘Romance In Great Britain’ – Mustbejohn

‘Alien’ – Nick Ward 

Not new but good for your playlists:

‘Pep Talk’ – Bahamadia

‘Underground Sound’ – Joey Valence and Brae

‘Mr. Sun’ – Greentea Peng 

‘Ice Cream’ – Teenage Joans

‘Without U’ – Royel Otis 

‘Wit’ Da Team’ – Genesis Owusu 

‘Speak in Truth’ – Allysha Joy and Close Counters

‘Water Me’ – Lizzo

‘Telly’ – Amindi

‘Adwoa’– Gyedu-Blay Ambolley

You can follow Eliza here.

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