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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Best New Music: March 2017

The best in new music from March 2017
Photo by Graphic by Ben Schnuck
The best in new music from March 2017

(A spotify playlist for all these songs can be found at the bottom of this article. Hope you had a great march!)

As the ice begins to melt (unless you’re in Texas like me, where there was never any ice to begin with) and spring returns, music releases are finally beginning to speed up. This month saw big names like Drake and Lorde return as well as legendary indie artists like Slowdive and Sufjan Stevens. Let’s dive into the best releases from this month:

CHANEL – FRANK OCEAN
Frank Ocean is no stranger to letting the audience know about his sexual preference. In “Chanel,” Frank starts the song singing, “My guy pretty like a girl/and he’s got fight stories to tell/I see both sides like Chanel,” showing how his bisexuality has two sides like the Chanel logo. “Chanel” also has Ocean venture closer into hip-hop territory (especially the remix with rapper A$AP Rocky) while still retaining the R&B sound that made him one of the most talented singers in music today. If you’re looking for an early song-of-the-year candidate, look no further.



TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT FOREVER – FATHER JOHN MISTY

Fleet Foxes drummer-turned narcissistic rock star Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, released another song from his new album, Pure Comedy, during Saturday Night Live. Although the album has already leaked last month (it releases April 7), I’m going to pretend that the SNL performance was the first time I heard it, because I need to talk about Father John Misty. In 2014, he made I Love You Honeybear. It’s amazing. With Pure Comedy, FJM turns up the nihilism and the social commentary, talking about the rise of technology (“Now the future’s definition is so much higher than it was last year, It’s like the images have all become real and someone’s living my life for me out in the mirror”). It’s like the instrumentation of Elton John mixed with the vocal cadences of John Lennon with a dash of Kanye West’s ego and self-loathing, and it’s great.



ANDROMEDA – GORILLAZ (Feat. D.R.A.M.)

Gorillaz, the innovative and critically acclaimed pet-project of Blur lead singer Damon Albarn, are back from a six year hiatus with four new singles. The strongest of these singles, “Andromeda,” is one of the only songs that was able to retain the signature Gorillaz sound and not let the featured artist take control of the song. The song has a funky, disco-influence, as singer D.R.A.M. brought backing vocals that perfectly complimented the song. The best part of any of the four songs was the amazing VR Music Video for “Saturnz Barz” that came out of it. Hopefully, I’ll have even more Gorillaz songs to talk about, when their new album, Humanz releases on April 28.

PASSIONFRUIT – DRAKE
I talked about how great this song is in my review of Drake’s new playlist More Life, so I’ll be brief. “Passionfruit” brings yet another great dancehall track to Drake’s discography with its breezy instrumentation and great singing. If you haven’t heard it already, take a drive with the windows down and enjoy the highlight of More Life.

SUGAR FOR THE PILL – SLOWDIVE
Slowdive, the pioneers of the shoegaze genre, have announced their first new album in 22 years with their new single, “Sugar for the Pill.” The UK band still sounds great after all this time, proving they can hang with popular bands today they inspired like Beach House, Alvvays and Deerhunter. For anyone who enjoys those bands, or the shoegaze/dream-pop genre, give “Sugar for the Pill” a listen, as well as their 1993 album Souvlaki.

THE HEART PART 4 – KENDRICK LAMAR

As far as talent goes, Kendrick Lamar is the best rapper in the world, and “The Heart Part 4” really does nothing to change that. The song bounces from instrumental to instrumental as Lamar goes from aggressive lyrics to supposedly taking shots at Drake. It’s an absolute gem, and it hints at something coming April 7, whether it be a new album or another single. Either way, I’ll be excited for whatever Kendrick does.

HUMBLE. – KENDRICK LAMAR

The day before this list was posted, Kendrick dropped yet ANOTHER song. “Humble” is another amazing track from Lamar, and I couldn’t bring myself to choose between this and “The Heart Part 4.” His barrage of quotable lyrics (“Pull up on your block, then we break it down: we playin’ Tetris”) over a simple beat produced by Mike WiLL Made-It makes for an unsurprisingly great track. When the single for “Backseat Freestyle” released ahead of 2012s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and when “i” released ahead of 2015s To Pimp a Butterfly, many had questions on how the song will fit into the concept of the album. Come April 7, I have a feeling “Humble” will be even better in the context of the new album.
Watch the fairly NSFW, but amazing video here:


SATURN – SUFJAN STEVENS

Getting new Sufjan Stevens music is one of life’s greatest gifts. At first, the indie legend attempted to make 50 albums for the 50 states, but only made it two (kind of three considering Carrie and Lowell talks about Oregon often) albums deep. Now, Sufjan is making Planetarium, an album featuring songs inspired after planets in the solar system. The first single of the collaboration between Stevens, Bryce Dessner of The National, composer Nico Muhly and drummer James McAlister has the group performing a spacy (go figure), electronic song called “Saturn.” The song features Sufjan’s trademark vaguely-sad, vaguely-religious lyrics that made him one of the best indie artists of all time. Planetarium releases June 9, and that date cannot get here soon enough.

About the Contributor
Grant Baker
Grant Baker, The Rider Editor-in-Chief
I'm Grant Baker and I write for this website. I love serving God, watching football and listening to 2000s southern hip hop. Maybe not all of those at the same time. I don't know. Okay you know how hard it is to write one of these things? Pretty hard.
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    Ben SchnuckMar 31, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I looked up the definition of ‘noice’ in the dictionary and it just had a link to this article??