New Music Playlist: March 2019

NM Playlist March 19
Top row left to right: SASAMI, CHAI, Solange, Leggy, Hand Habits; bottom row: Getting By, Nilüfer Yanya, Ex Hex, Bad Bad Hats, Stella Donnelly

With snow melting and buds sprouting, it’s finally starting to feel like spring. And along with a new season, March brought a surprise album from Solange, the first Sky Ferreira single in six years, new music videos, and more.

I’ve been hooked on CHAI since discovering their first full-length album Pink last year. The Japanese quartet are subverting traditional gender roles through “Neo-Kawaii,” a phrase that the band authored to reject oppressive beauty standards and embrace originality. CHAI’s unshakable confidence is visible in the track titles of their sophomore album PUNK. From “I’m Me” to “Great Job,” CHAI keep their message loud, to-the-point, and always fun.

Bad Bad Hats quietly dropped a new EP at the end of March, titled Wide Right. While their latest full-length Lightning Round departed from the band’s signature guitar-driven upbeat indie rock sound in favor of synthesizers and mellower production, the band is turning in another direction with Wide Right. The three songs lean into the crunch of distorted guitars, while maintaining their tight songwriting and singer/guitarist Kerry Alexander’s knack for capturing the intricacies and tensions of close relationships.

Ex Hex channels the arena rock of the ’80s into their latest album, It’s Real. The album is the band’s second full-length, following 2014’s Rips. Ex Hex start out with a punch in the opening track “Tough Enough,” which ends with a guitar solo so searing it could incinerate the lingering ice chunks still clinging to Minneapolis’s sidewalks.

We’re only three months into 2019 and vocalist/songwriter/producer K.Radiyo has already released three EP’s. 3:33 is the third EP in the “Sync” series, which compile previously unreleased demos written by K.Radiyo. (As if that wasn’t enough to keep busy, in February, K.Radio and producer Shrimpnose released the collaborative album …And the World Weeps.3:33‘s four songs reverberate with a sense of calm, as nylon guitar strings and sustained keyboards resonate on top of the soft thud of bass and drum beats. (3:33 isn’t on Spotify yet, but you can check out the EP on Bandcamp).

Also this month, Scrunchies announced a vinyl pressing of their album Stunner, ahead of their upcoming tour which kicks off on April 25 at Mortimer’s in Minneapolis.

The trio Double Grave released new video that is sure to get you in the mood for spring. The band can bee seen skateboarding, biking, and driving — while performing the song “Deadened” from their 2018 EP Empty Hands.

Check out all of this month’s new releases in the playlist below:

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