It is spring, and we have the most “spring” of new music coming this month. It’s light and dark and heavy all at once, given to us by some of the most lyrically incredible writers music has to offer. From female powerhouses to men who will make you cry (in the good ways), this will be a month to screw with and ease your mind.
Sara Bareilles – Amidst The Chaos
Release date: 4/5
From the second “Armor” was released a few months ago, we knew Sara was about to hit us with a strong and powerful album. Of course, she’d make us wait just enough time, but we’re so close now.
When your first single out is a female empowerment anthem, backed by incredible beats and poignant lines (“You bury me, but you didn’t know I was a goddamn seed”), your old fans are already ready to rally, and I’d bet the new fans are raising the flag too. This was on my personal list of best songs from 2018, and only helped propel the excitement for the album to come.
“Fire” followed shortly after, and if we’re looking for some musical themes in Sara’s new album, we’ve found it in these fantastic drum beats. Actually, I’m not sure I hear anything beyond the drums and vocals for the first minute. Then these harmonies launch in and you just want to dance with your sisters and show the world your power. Yes, bow down.
But she wasn’t done! “No Such Thing” came out and had that slight jazz feel we’ve come to know and love from Sarah, while maintaining that depth that the album seems to be harking for us. It’s a kind of heartbreaking acceptance of lost love, but lovely all in its own way.
Finally, leading up to the release itself, we got the blues song. “Saint Honesty” could be played in any smoky club late at night. It’s slow, methodical, and familiar in sound. Sara’s vocals take you on a downright journey and will pull at your soul.
Am I biased by my love of all her previous work? Maybe. But Sara Bareilles has yet to disappoint me, and I don’t believe she’ll start now.
Other 4/5 releases:
Reba McEntire – Stronger Than the Truth
Khalid – Free Spirit
Glen Hansard – This Wild Willing
Release date: 4/12
Glen Hansard has been one of those quiet influences beneath the surface of must. You know his music even if you don’t think you do, and Once will forever have a special place in the hearts of theatre kids (and move music buffs – this guy has won an Oscar!). He’s been known for “sonic inventiveness” (I didn’t coin that term) in The Frames, alongside an incredible lyrical career as a soloist, and this album promises to combine both specialties.
Now, the first single, “I’ll Be You, Be Me” is not at all the romantic and fascinating music that I expected here. It certainly leans more towards that inventive side, clearly using techniques in the studio to change up the sound. There’s orchestral elements that make what seems to be a quiet ballad into a very epic journey.
If I didn’t see it on my own screen, I wouldn’t believe “Fool’s Game” was the same artist. The recording technique sounds completely different, with the vocals much clearer and at an entirely different tone. The song moves slow, but there’s this steady tick in the background giving you promise that it’s going somewhere. ….and there. There it is. This explosion of sounds and music with barely any words needed to support why it’s there.
Glen Hansard has never made mainstream music, and I don’t think he’ll start now. However, if you want a musical experience? This is the album you’ll want to hear.
Other 4/12 releases:
Anderson.Paak – Ventura
Melissa Etheridge – The Medicine Show
Cage the Elephant – Social Cues
Release date: 4/19
“Ready to Let Go” has been coming up on my curated playlists from Spotify for weeks now, and I had no idea it was Cage the Elephant’s song until now! Y’all, I am losing my touch!
Real talk though, this is a band that you know you love but never remember you love them until you hear them. I didn’t know there was a new album coming, let alone get excited about it, until writing this. (Side note: I am so grateful Geekade lets me write this and get excited about new music again.)
Cage the Elephant continuously brings these lyrics into the game that you sing along without realizing you know the words, and then when you think about it, your heart feels something. Musically, the band is incredibly up-beat rock, with a great dancing feel, without having to be in a club. There’s nothing ‘electronic’ here, but you do want to move. This is a whole different feel to party music. This is concert partying.
“House of Glass” followed up that first single to really solidify that stance. They did something with those guitars that makes this work so well. I’m literally sitting in an airport dancing in my seat. And then, they threw Beck into the mix this past week with “Night Running.” I bet, like me, you never thought about this collaboration, but now that you are, you realize it works, right?
This will be an album to listen to several times over. I don’t think any of us will understand it on the first go-around well enough to appreciate it all, but that’s okay. This will come in layers. First, we’ll hear the music and move to it. Then we’ll sit back, exhausted from boogying, and hear the words. Then, we’ll feel it all. I’m telling you guys – this is going to be an experience.
Other 4/19 releases:
The O’Jays – The Last Word
Sad Planets – Akron, Ohio
P!nk – Hurts 2B Human
Release date: 4/26
Didn’t P!nk just put out an album? I feel like I just recently wrote about Beautiful Trauma, yet here she is with even more new music.
Not that I’m complaining!
“Walk Me Home” has an incredible beat and melody. I absolutely love singing along with it and keeping beat with my own walk. On first impression, it to be something about a romantic relationship, but it is so much more.
Last week, she gave us a follow-up single, “Hustle,” and this is going to be a female anthem for sure. You know what? No. It’s just going to be a straight up ANTHEM. It’s funky and fun and has everything you’ll want to dance and sing out loud to.
This is P!nk, the powerhouse, queen of song, who not only can belt like nobody’s business, but can incorporate these lyrics that have a worldwide impact, from small scale one-on-one relationships to large political implications. She can speak to every level of the human experience in one song, let alone an entire album. So, all that said, bring on more music P!nk. We may or may not be ready, but we need it either way.
Other 4/26 releases:
The Cranberries – In The End
Rob Thomas – Chip Tooth Smith