Royal Trux – White Stuff
(March 1st on Fat Possum Records)
When a band comes back after twenty years to release a new album I expect them to play it safe but there’s such a thing as taking it too far. White Stuff is fine, especially if you were into the band Back In The Day, but it sounds like a rewrite of older, better stuff with no attempt at trying to move forward at all.
Hand Habits – Placeholder
(March 1st on Saddle Creek Records)
Meg Duffy, lately known as Kevin Morby’s star guitarist, takes a step back into her own project and presents devastation and intimacy in equal parts.
Little Simz – Grey Area
(March 1st on Age 101 Records)
Fierce, sleek, and enthusiastically alive, British MC Simbi Ajikawo has enough hooks to fish the Pacific dry.
Durand Jones & The Indications – American Love Call
(March 1st on Dead Oceans Records)
Old school R&B that moves beyond homages and imitations and stands toe to toe with Motown’s finest.
Weezer – Weezer (The Black Album)
(March 1st on Atlantic Records)
Literally the worst album Weezer has ever put out and this includes every other album they’ve released since 2001. Remember when Maladroit came out and we were like “hmm I don’t know if this is a good direction for Weezer to go in”? Those were halcyon days, as it turns out.
The Japanese House – Good At Falling
(March 1st on Dirty Hit Records)
A careful balancing act between modern pop sensibilities and Eighties pop sensibilities. Is this the ultimate ending point of chillwave? Probably.
TEEN – Good Fruit
(March 1st on Carpark Records)
Jenny Eliscu played “Little Fluffy Clouds” on XMU’s Old School show last night so I’m probably a little more receptive to this album than I otherwise would have been. Also, we really need to stop using New Wave as a reference point for this kind of music because we’ve been raiding it for ideas for a solid decade now and at some point it’s become self-replicating.
Snapped Ankles – Stunning Luxury
(March 1st on The Leaf Label)
DEVO, yelping spiky post-punk, and a great deal of caffeine make this album the perfect accompaniment to a very small set of culturally acceptable activities.
Hozier – Wasteland, Baby!
(March 1st on Sony Music)
The “Take Me To Church” dude, as it turns out, has literally no personality to speak of.
Solange – When I Get Home
Solange’s surprise new album takes R&B in her own particular direction. It may not always fire properly, but when it does it hits it’s target dead-on. Plus, every new listen seems to reveal subtle new parts that only come alive through familiarity – it’s definitely a grower. We’ll see where it’s at by the end of the year.
Pond – Tasmania
(March 1st on Interscope Records)
The convergence between Tame Impala and Pond seems to be picking up the pace – at the very least, this collection of Seventies-tinged psych-pop tracks occupies the same mutant-disco territory that Kevin Parker’s other band seems dead-set on conquering. It’s nice enough, but all it does is whet the appetite for the Tame Impala album that is assuredly around the corner.
Self Esteem – Compliments Please
(March 1st on Fiction Records)
Poptimism, but subversive, directing the listener’s attention to, you know, how awfully misogynist the indie scene can really be.