March 2014: The Best New Music Tracks

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Every week there are about a thousand new albums released on CD, and countless more released on digital downloads, streaming, free with your phone or any other way people can think to market their music to you in an astonishingly over-crowded marketplace. Each week we highlight some we are interested in hearing, and at the end of the following month we will be publishing what wound up as our favorites. 

In March, I listened to over 70 new albums. These are my five favorite tracks. Because this is already 3 weeks late, I’ll be brief.

1. Seasons (Waiting For You) by Future Islands (from Singles)

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After three albums on Chicago-based Thrill Jockey, Future Islands released their newest album, Singles. They have a synth-heavy, somewhat danceable sound, buoyed by very strong, forceful vocals.

While the album, and this song, are quite good in their studio versions, this live performance on Letterman is a compelling sight to behold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ee4bfu_t3c

2. Body Butter by Kevin Drew (from Darlings)

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I never followed Broken Social Scene much, so I didn’t know what I was going to get when I checked this out, but I was surprised at how smooth and sexy this album is.

3. When He’s Gone by Drive-By Truckers (from English Oceans)

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It is hard to believe these guys have TEN albums under their belts now. Not really any surprises on this one, but a solid album with a couple standout tracks.

4. Show ‘Em Good by Cocktail Slippers (from People Talk)

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It is apparently a good year for girl groups that I like. This punky pop band is heavily championed by Steven Van Zandt, who regularly features them on his radio program, Little Steven’s Underground Garage, as well as his TV show, Netflix’s Lilyhammer.

5. Holed Up In Mason City by John Gorka (from Bright Side of Down)

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Near the beginning of the year, a thread was started on a message board I read about the best way to travel from Florida to Oregon during the winter months. Should the poster go across to California and up, or head north around the center of the country (up I-35) and head across Montana. The northern route saved a lot of time, but many people pointed out that the original poster might encounter snowstorms that wound hinder his trip.  At that time I thought about how great roadtrips are, and how I don’t mind at all being delayed or sidetracked during a trip.

A few months later, I was listening to Bright Side of Down by John Gorka which opens with this little ode to roadtrip delays.

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