Don’t press skip: March music highlights you may have missed

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With spring break over and the preemptive summer countdown already beginning, this March went by in a flash. Between carefree days in the sun and accumulating midterm exams came a versatile array of musical releases, from Rosalía’s acclaimed MOTOMAMI to Machine Gun Kelly’s punk pastiche Mainstream Sellout. While some notable releases may have flown beneath your radar, there’s no need to fear — music beats Lauren Harvey and Ian Fredrickson are here to guide you through the March music you won’t want to skip.

“Selfish Girl,” Charli XCX

Only a week after releasing her long-anticipated, chart-topping album CRASH, Charli XCX granted her fans the gift of even more music. The deluxe version of the instantly beloved record features four bonus tracks, each of which lives up to the caliber set by the original LP. However, out of the bonuses, the song “Selfish Girl” stands above the rest.

Originally teased in Jan. 2020 on XCX’s Instagram story, the upbeat, hypnotic track has been a long time coming. Embracing the extremely poppy production of the album, the song is incredibly easy to listen and sing along to. However, XCX’s cerebral approach to the genre makes the track not even slightly vapid –– a feat very few pop artists have conquered.

Backed by house synths and a trance drum machine, the interactive lyrics “Hands up if you’re selfish (What?)/ Put your hands up if you’re selfish, selfish” are sure to make fans ecstatic for her upcoming live performances. The song is one of the best tracks, if not the best track to come out of the current era of Charli, and will be put on repeat by fans around the world.

–– Ian Fredrickson

“Anxieties (Out of Time),” The Regrettes

Released only a week before their highly anticipated LP Further Joy, The Regrettes glimmer with honest introspection on “Anxieties (Out of Time).” Similar to their hit “Monday,” the single addresses the ever-present weight of existential dread, yet its delivery is more understated, allowing optimism to pierce through the darkness.

“Are we just forever runnin’ out of time? Missin’ how it feels to really be alive,” Lydia Night sings, her voice smoothly ascending through the upper octaves. In the accompanying music video, she and bandmates Genessa Gariano, Drew Thomsen and Brooke Dickson awkwardly dance in campy costumes, with Night’s deadpan face humorously complementing her geometric ensemble. Through it all, however, the desire to persevere prevails: “Knock me down, I won’t back down,” Night repeats throughout the song.

Weaving together candid lyricism with absurd visuals, The Regrettes truly hit at the heart of young adulthood. Together with “Monday,” “You’re So Fucking Pretty” and “That’s What Makes Me Love You,” the track serves as a promising look at what is to come for the band.

Lauren Harvey

Lost Track,” HAIM

After the debut of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza,” starring HAIM band member Alana Haim, the folk rock sister trio has experienced a well deserved wave of recognition. Initially released as a quasi-short film to be played before screenings of “Licorice Pizza,” “Lost Track” and its accompanying PTA-directed music video were officially released on March 1.

With an intro consisting of a children’s bell-piano, the song is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning.” Danielle, the group’s lead singer, gives an astounding performance, with layered vocal tracks affording the song an entrancing depth. The imagery-heavy lyrics “Deepest cut that I can’t feel/ Find my grip on the steering wheel” evoke a painful repetitiveness that is easy for listeners to sympathize with.

The song’s music video is similarly impressive, featuring Danielle losing her mind at a small-town “fashion bazaar.” Filmed in what seems to be a rundown community center, the setting’s mundaneness is contrasted with beautiful dresses and a clearly distressed protagonist.

Both the song and its music video succeed as imposing artistic experiences, bound to grow HAIM’s dedicated fanbase.

–– Ian Fredrickson

“Pool,” Still Woozy and Remi Wolf

Opening with a series of homestyle shots, the music video for Still Woozy (Sven Gamsky) and Remi Wolf’s “Pool” has an air of playful DIY. Following the artists as they stand in green fields and dance in front of carnival rides, the visuals are imbued with colorful idiosyncrasy, remaining true to each singer’s distinctive style.

Though not necessarily expected, a collaboration between Gamsky and Wolf feels natural. Gamsky’s world subsists on indie soundscapes and abstract art, cultivating an irresistible brand of bedroom pop. When accompanied by Wolf’s flamboyant energy and unbounded vocals, this style meets its exuberant match. However, even as the track revels in fun-loving oddity, it possesses a vulnerable undertone, bringing it into new depths.

“I don’t really know where my head’s at/ I just know my heart’s not there yet,” Gemsky and Wolf sing, their vocals mixing with breezy softness. Reflecting on transience, change and uncertainty, the two offer a tenderness that enhances the track’s dynamic fluidity. Melodically, lyrically and visually complex, the collaboration is nothing short of a success. 

Lauren Harvey

Other notable releases: “Heaven Is Hers,” Florence + the Machine; “Sirens,” Flume feat. Caroline Polachek

Lauren Harvey and Ian Fredrickson cover music. Contact Lauren at [email protected]. Contact Ian at [email protected].