Well, another month has come and gone. We’re well into 2018 now. The good news is that means there’s been more music to listen to. I’d say I had a pretty good month musically. From albums to singles to artists, I’ve discovered many new favorites during March. But enough preamble, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the music I’ve been loving (fair warning—it will be incredibly heavy on Demi):
- “I Believe (feat. Demi Lovato)” by DJ Khaled: A collaboration done for the new A Wrinkle in Time movie, this song is a revelation. It’s the perfect balance of pop and R&B, Khaled’s production at its peak. But the true star of this song is Demi. She takes an average self-love song and turns it into a masterpiece. Her vocals are better than they’ve ever been, the notes she hits stratospheric. It’s a song I can never listen to just once, Khaled’s call of “another one” a compulsion. I truly cannot sing the praises of this gorgeous song enough. If you pick anything on this list to listen to, make it this.
- “Pink Lemonade” by James Bay: This song came as a surprise to me because I wasn’t a huge fan of James Bay’s debut. It was alright, but not my cup of tea. But one physical and musical makeover later, and suddenly I’m hooked. This track is the exact kind of pop rock that’s been missing from the charts in recent years. It’s instrument-based and catchy as hell. James puts his heart and soul into this track, both lyrically and vocally. It is, in short, what the kids call a “bop.” And you should check it out.
- “Tell Me You Love Me (Spanish Version)” by Demi Lovato: Basically, everything I said when I first reviewed the song in August 2017 still applies. But now the song is in Spanish. And I love it just as much. I really like seeing Demi embrace that part of her heritage and hope she continues to do so. If any Demi fans out there haven’t heard this one yet, change that immediately.
- “Tie Dye Dragon” by The Front Bottoms: When I saw a new The Front Bottoms EP was available for pre-order, I got so excited. I love this band. So far, this is the only song from the EP that’s out. And it’s so good. Brian Sella is disenfranchised, having seen and been a part of the ugliest aspects of life. It’s hard to buy into the hype when you know what’s really behind the curtain. Brian has also lost sight of who he is, stuck in a weird, in-between place in life. It’s something I connect deeply to as a twenty-something living in America. I highly, highly recommend this song.
- “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (feat. Demi Lovato)” by Q-Tip: I actually talked about this one already last month, but that version was a leak that had been edited. For the most part, my commentary is the same; however, the production on the official version is miles better. While before I was lukewarm on the track, now I’m in love with it. Definitely give it a listen if you haven’t.
- LONER by Caroline Rose: A new discovery in March, I love this album because of how alternative it is. This is an album full of biting commentary, delivered by a fed-up queer woman. Her lyrics are descriptive and her vocals are emotive, the perfect package for an alternative star. If you didn’t give her album a shot after my review, let this post serve as a reminder.
- Fine But Dying by Liza Anne: Liza Anne is another artist whose music I just discovered in March. While I don’t think her older stuff is necessarily for me, this album emphatically is. The lyrical content splits its attention between a relationship gone sour and Liza’s anxiety. It’s deeply relatable, Liza’s light, emotive voice fluttering over each track. Whether it’s because of my review or because of this post, you’ll want to check out this album.
- Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko: Expectations was one of my most anticipated albums this year and boy did it exceed my (excuse the upcoming unintentional pun) expectations. This is the best pop album I’ve heard in a long time. Not only that, but it’s so unapologetically gay. Hayley’s sweet vocals curl over tracks about love and frustration, the tale of a lesbian and her not-quite-girlfriend who won’t commit. The album title works on multiple levels, all of which I’ll get to when I review the album later this week. If you haven’t heard it yet, drop everything you’re doing and listen to it right now.
- Heathers Cast Recording: I’ll be honest… I don’t really love the musical version of Heathers. Plot-wise, the changes were fine. Character-wise? I hated them. The movie is far superior. That said, I still like the soundtrack. It’s got some great songs like “Dead Girl Walking,” “Candy Store,” and “Beautiful.” So, I guess if you like Heathers and/or musicals, give this soundtrack a try.
- Airplane Man: I discovered Airplane Man while listening to one of Spoitfy’s countless indie/alt. pop playlists. The song was “Focus” and it’s as deep as it is atmospheric. Since I loved this song, I went and downloaded all their singles (they doesn’t have an album or EP yet) and really love this duo’s sound. Favorites include the aforementioned “Focus,” “New Supplier,” and “We’re on Fire.” Please check them out, if you haven’t!
- Kehlani: I’d liked Kehlani’s music in passing before (I liked a couple old singles, a few songs from her mixtape, and her Suicide Squad anthem “Gangsta”), but I’d never really been a fan. Her performance at Demi’s Tell Me You Love Me tour changed that. I went home and instantly downloaded her debut album. SweetSexySavage is pop/R&B perfection. Her vocals are slick, yet rich, her lyrics sassy, yet vulnerable. This, of course, carries over to her singles. My favorite songs of hers include “CRZY,” “Undercover,” “Honey,” Gangsta,” “Bright,” and “Did I.” If you haven’t bored the Kehlani train yet, what are you waiting for?
What music have you been listening to lately? Tell me about it in the comments!