Listen 2022: March Highlights

March certainly was busy one! A visit to Southampton, catching up with local friends, and moving house – all this while being in a slight funk all month. The one constant was music, serving as the soundtrack, the remedy and simply pure delight.

We may as well call it a hat trick and talk about yet another Fontaines D.C. number. With March came the release of the title track for the band’s upcoming album, Skinty Fia. The sound they have crafted thus far is timeless, perhaps in its nod to many variations of 90s vibes, which as a listener in her late 20’s, I really feel familiar and at home with. It is not recycled old rubbish either, less doing it all over, more taking the inspiration and running forward with it. ‘Skinty Fia’ comes across a little more gritty than the two previous singles, with somewhat of an industrial club tone to it. The droning vocals and alluring guitar come together in a deep, dark underworld of poetry that I just can’t get enough of.

One of my most played tracks of the month is Wet Leg’s ‘Angelica’. This duo are dominating the scene, and as we get closer to their debut self titled album, the anticipation only grows with each new single. Just when I thought I had overdone them, in came the hypnotic ‘Angelica’. For all their talk of wanting to leave the party, Wet Leg certainly conjure up their own, with exhilarating energy. A relatable story with an infectious rhythm, building up to a delicious shredding of guitar, what is not to love? They are very much the sound of now, but not without moments that hark back to classic moments across the decades that have come before.

Another big favourite of mine had to be the humungous return from Florence + The Machine. An indie hero, a pure dream, Florence + The Machine has it all. An absolute classic in the making, ‘My Love’ comes in with all those old tones we know and love, with a huge force behind it. It courses up through the body and bursts out through the soul, a powerful new release of sweet indie pop infused with a slight club beat. I am absolutely over the moon to hear new Florence + The Machine, especially when it sounds as big as this.

I have always got time for a new James Humphrys track, so you best believe I was straight on to ‘Worst Way’ as soon as it came out early last month. It has all the pop, funk and soul, right in time for sunnier days. What I have found with Humphrys is that he can take pretty much any subject matter, and turn it into an absolute belter of a feel good tune. Always uplifting, yet at the same time so grounded, just right for having a boogie to shake off any feelings of despair.

The last single that I kept going back to last month was Youth Sector’s ‘Always Always Always’. A proper indie banger in the making, this track reaches back to my fifteen year old self, all the while delivering a message that only the current me could fully understand. Questioning desire and life satisfaction, there is a certain frantic energy to this track, almost like the overbearing sense of what am I even getting out of life right now? Existential crisis aside, ‘Always Always Always’ is a sure fire hit and the contradictory “never, never, never” lyrics are particularly pleasing for me.

It is safe to say that there is one big album that really flipping did it for me this month. There is absolutely no need for introduction when it comes to Charli XCX but I can’t not talk about how much I adore CRASH. Somehow even more so after listening to her interview with Zane Lowe – a deep, frank and honest chat about everything that has lead to and come out of this latest album. It has been really interesting to hear Charli talk about the authenticity of pop music, particularly as I think of the dissertation I wrote many years ago – if only this album and the Charli’s campaign leading up to it had been around back then! It was just so great to see her lean in to pop for the masses, and use her voice on social media to back this decision up – not that she should have to. Still, it rings true of her character and also the narrative of CRASH. This is an album that comes across very self assured, more and more the further you get through it. I mean, after five albums you would hope she would be pretty confident in herself after all, and of course it shows.

Everything down to the use of samples is absolute perfection. Some days songs like ‘Yuck’ and ‘Constant Repeat’ are my favourites, other days it is ‘Baby’ and then there are the days that I just take it slow with ‘Every Rule’. Having been my go to album the mood strikes different not only each time, but also throughout and the joy is that it suits every damn moment. CRASH lets you feel like a boss, but also allows a moment to just plain feel. The ultimate in pop music for sure.

As we now get in to April, I am very much looking forward to albums from Fontaines D.C. (shocker) and Wet Leg (and again), but there have already been some early releases that I am absolutely loving right now. One of them being the latest from Confidence Man. As for singles, I’m looking forward to really digging in and finding many more. We’ll see where we are this time next month!

All of the songs above and many more can be found on my Listen 2022 playlist, available on Apple Music and Spotify. Happy listening!


Author: Samantha Mae

Hi! I am a music and lifestyle blogger based near Margate, UK. Forever keeping an ear out for new music, particularly anything of the indie persuasion and always willing to spout on about life in general. Open to collaboration and new ideas, get in touch!

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