Features

Songs We’re Vibing With – (March and April 2021)

Do you love discovering new music, but have the slightest idea of where to begin? Then look no further — we have curated 35 of our favorites from March and April of ‘21 to help you jumpstart your search.

We hope this eclectic mix helps you discover new tracks that you may have missed from the previous two months. Additionally, here are 20 of the team’s favorites from January and February.

March

Safe Passage” – Laura Mvula
Release Date – March 3

One of my favorite serendipitous things is hearing an artist’s music that you THINK you’re unfamiliar with, until you realize you once knew one of their random one-off songs years ago. That’s my relationship with British musician Laura Mvula, who’s set to release her next album, Pink Noise, set to drop on July 2. This track has incredible vocals and big production that rival Adele’s next unreleased single. Trust me! – Kristin 

Spinning” – The 1975, Charli XCX, No Rome
Release Date – March 4

This collaboration is one I never thought I needed, but since its release, I can’t imagine not having it in my life. “Spinning” definitely feels like a Charli XCX track on its own, but features hints of The 1975 (Matt Healy doesn’t sing on his own until the bridge, but you hear their stamp in the piano riff reminiscent of one famously heard in their song “The Sound,”) and No Rome’s production style sprinkled throughout. If we don’t get to hear this at a festival this summer, I will reach my breaking point. – Kristin

Toast With the Butter” – Blu DeTiger
Release Date – March 5

One of my new musical obsessions is 23-year-old Blu DeTiger, incredible bass player and certified badass. I had heard a few of her songs previously, but really fell in love with her music earlier this year when her EP How Did We Get Here? was released. “Toast With The Butter” is a song that is so catchy I find myself singing it to myself at least once a day. Over the last year, she’s found immense success on TikTok, like many other musicians, and her expertise as a bassist (she’s been playing since she was seven), are emulated brilliantly in her music. She recently announced a few tour dates for the US later this year (which I hope to be attending if we play our cards right with this COVID stuff), check them out here. – Kristin 

High Diving” – A Day to Remember
Release Date – March 5

I’m not a huge fan of A Day to Remember’s latest album You’re Welcome, but “High Diving” is a welcomed change of pace. This track breaks the mold of this album, almost suggesting it belongs on another project. The plentiful and relatable lyrics detail a memo: try not to freak out when things are looking down (paraphrased). It seems countless artists are pressing the “relatable content” button, a la COVID. – Sean

Problems” – Don Diablo, JLV, John K
Release Date – March 5

If you’re in the mood for a stadium dance anthem that immediately teleports you to a (appropriately capacity) music festival, then please do yourself a favor and listen to this absolute summer banger. Easily one of my favorite songs released this year so far, I have a great feeling you’ll enjoy it, too. – Kristin

Hey, Goodbye” – Quinn XCII
Release Date – March 5

“Hey, Goodbye” latches on to the same vein as Verzache’s “Think About It,” as Quinn also lofts about a fallen relationship. Change of Scenery II is a personal anecdote by Quinn, detailing the goods and the bads that took place in his life. Naturally, tainted relationships fit the mold, but this is one of the few somber or melancholy tracks on the project. CSII is easily one of my favorite albums of the year thus far, and “Hey, Goodbye” is one of my favorite tracks. – Sean

Think About It” – Verzache
Release Date – March 5

Verzache dances with his demons on “Think About It” as he tries to avoid thinking about an ex: “why do I get these old problems / These old problems / Words in my dreams, I see them often / And I try not to think about it.” While the message seems muddled and soured, Verzache’s uplifting beats provide a sense of hope and security. This track will certainly become an anthem for fallen lovers. – Sean

Before” – Punchlove
Release Date – March 6

“Before” is the fourth song on Punchlove’s debut EP Terminal. Singer Ethan Williams takes root and lofts his voice in a beachy daydream. This song is best matched with a long coastal drive at sunset. Allow yourself to be swept away by Punchlove’s raw talent and emotion. – Sean

Cowboy” – Allison Ponthier
Release Date – March 8

“It took New York to make me a cowboy,” Allison Ponthier muses on her debut single in which she explores how her Bible Belt roots impacted her coming out journey. Queerness blending with Wild West aesthetics has been a blooming trend the last few years (Kacey Musgraves, Orville Peck),  and “Cowboy” capitalizes on these merging universes in the form of a twangy yet cinematic pop song. Unexpected key changes and a hazy outro keep it all from feeling too calculated. – Emma M.

Storm in Summer” – Skullcrusher
Release Date – March 8

Singer-songwriter Helen Ballentine‘s (Skullcrusher) newest EP is an airy yet incisive collection of warm-weather folk songs, and “Storm in Summer” is the most delightful of the bunch. It’s one of those songs that feels like an instant classic; it’s wistful and wandering yet self-assured. Reminiscent of Waxahatchee and even Phoebe Bridgers, Skullcrusher is poised to be one of indie’s leading women this year. – Emma M.

Thumbs” – Lucy Dacus
Release Date – March 9

“Thumbs” is a long-awaited Lucy Dacus song that has spawned its own fandom. This sparse, almost-ambient track is in no way as catchy as Dacus’ newest single from her upcoming Home Video album, “Hot & Heavy,” or her past hit “Night Shift,” but the lyrics on “Thumbs” are gut-punching—or, more accurately…eye-squishing. “Thumbs” details how it feels to watch someone go through the crushing anxiety and guilt of feeling like they still owe something to their abusive dad: “I would kill him if you let me / I would kill him, quick and easy / Your nails are digging into my knee / I don’t know how you keep smiling.” Dacus wrote the song based on the story of a day she had with a college friend, but everyone has someone they think of when they hear this song. – Brittany

Stacking Chairs” – Middle Kids
Release Date – March 12

Australian phenoms Middle Kids released one of my top albums of the year so far with Today We’re The Greatest, which Kristin persuaded me to listen to through her glowing album review. My favorite song off the record is “Stacking Chairs,” where singer Hannah Joy blows me away with her ability to express the same sentiment as Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day,” but in a totally new way: “When the wheels come off, I’ll be your spare / When the party’s over, I’ll be stacking the chairs / When the world turns on you, I will be there.” If you want to hear a female-fronted Killers version of “New Year’s Day,” look no further than Middle Kids’ “Stacking Chairs.” – Brittany

In the Spaces” – Really From
Release Date – March 12

Really From deals with being mixed-race, second-generation, and generally in-between in ways I haven’t heard since Mitski’s “Your Best American Girl.” On “In the Spaces,” singer Chris Lee-Rodriguez lists several items on the immigrant to-do list: “Clock it in, clock it out / Be a wife, stick it out…Learn the tongue, just enough / Teach the kids, let them switch,” but it’s his inclusion of “Cook some rice, cheap enough,” that really gets me. The track delves into some of the improvisational trumpet jazz that weaves in and out of the heavy guitar licks and synths on the rest of the record. Really From is one of my favorite albums of the year, and if you like the jazz – math rock fusion on this track, it’s worth playing from top to bottom. – Brittany

On the Floor – Initial Talk Remix” – Perfume Genius, Initial Talk
Release Date – March 12

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately was one of my favorite albums of 2020, and the recently released remix of “On the Floor” reignited my love for it all over again. Initial Talk injected the already-excellent track with retro synths that border on the edge of video game sound effect territory. While some might find it grating, I think it’s incredibly fun. Perfume Genius airs on the cerebral side, and it’s invigorating to hear him experience his 80s sensibilities in a lighter way. – Emma M.

“Evergreen” – Bendigo Fletcher
Release Date – March 17

When an indie rock band you’ve never heard of completely blows you away when you hear them for the first time, you know it’s something special! The Kentucky-based band recently signed with Elektra Records, and “Evergreen” is the first single ahead of their new project, though the song was written what feels like decades ago back in 2015. “Evergreen” was produced by Wilco and Uncle Tupelo drummer Ken Coomer, and we have a feeling this is only the very beginning of what’s to come for Bendigo Fletcher. If you like The Beatles, Cage The Elephant, and/or Greta Van Fleet, be sure to take a listen. – Kristin

Broken Bells” – Greta Van Fleet
Release Date – March 19

Although lyricism is not one of GVF’s strengths, I admittedly felt chills while reading the lyrics to “Broken Bells.” Josh’s proficiency as a vocalist is that impressionable, leaving me with goosebumps after merely reading his words. Battle at the Garden’s Gate is a masterpiece for some, including myself, while others will sell the band short and call their latest attempt a Led Zep replica – Sean

“Sticky” – The Maine
Release Date – March 19

For most millennials, The Maine is one of those bands that you remember adoring as a middle and high schooler during your pop punk phase. But for the fans who have stuck with the band post-punk days, The Maine has been making really great music. “Sticky” is all about someone you’re into constantly being on your mind, sticky like a song in your head. Get it? This track has immense radio appeal and I’ll be curious to see if the rest of the album (out on July 9) sounds similar. – Kristin 

“Better” – Michigander
Release Date – March 19

“Better” is the first song off of Michigander’s excellent EP Everything Will Be Ok Eventually. “Better” lives up to the EP’s title, with Jason Singer promising, “Well I’m sorry / That things didn’t go your way / But if everything goes sideways / I’ll be there to carry you / Face your fears / It’s okay if you’re feeling scared / Just know that I will be there / And you’re gonna make it through.” Somehow, even with its inspirational lyrics and soaring pop-rock production as big as any Killers or Coldplay arena anthem, “Better” escapes being cheesy and is just satisfyingly good—or even, dare I say, better than you could expect. – Brittany

Keep Moving” – Jungle
Release Date – March 23

“Keep Moving” is an immaculate interpretation of a disco summer anthem. With breezy strings, chanting vocals, and lyrics that champion the joy in persistence and rebirth, “Keep Moving” electrified me on first listen and it’ll remain a staple in my playlist all summer. The UK producer duo is slated to release a summer album packed with songs tailor-made for dance floors, and I can’t wait for more of where this came from. – Emma M.

Last Day on Earth” – beabadoobee
Release Date – March 25

Co-written with and produced by Matty Healy, “Last Day on Earth” is the 90s-movie-roll-the-credits anthem that dreams are made of. Written shortly after the first COVID-19 lockdown, Bea Kristi reflects on what she would have done if she knew it was the last day of “normal” life. The 1975 influence on the track is heavy, especially on the cheeky, chanting vocals of the second verse. Bea and Matty are a powerful duo and access their trademark wistfulness in a special way on this song. – Emma M.

Neutrogena Spektor” – Origami Angel
Release Date – March 26

If you, like me, grew up on Relient K and Paradise Fears, and then grew up some more, you will love emo-pop band Origami Angel’s penchant for puns, gimmicks, and fun song subjects (infused with some profanity). Leave it to Origami Angel to write a Regina Spektor pun into the title of a song where they compare themselves to a guy with “clear f—ing skin” and then conclude, “I’m never gonna look that way / And I think that that’s okay / This cystic acne doesn’t look so good when it’s on me / But I don’t care, it really doesn’t matter to me.” “Neutrogena Spektor” is one of the singles off of Origami Angel’s new album GAMI GANG, out April 30 on Counter Intuitive Records. – Brittany

Set It On Fire” – Blood Cultures
Release Date – March 29

The wonderfully weird, enigmatic Blood Culture’s are back with a new single ahead of their upcoming album LUNO, out May 28th. The repetitive, anti-pop “Set It On Fire” is ideal background music for any kind of monotonous task – biking, running, walking to the grocery store – with little moments of deviation, characterized by odd instrumentation and drawn-out melodies. No one else sounds quite like Blood Cultures, and if you’re willing to try out something new, this song might just be for you. – Mitch 

What’s Wrong” – half alive
Release Date – March 31

Long Beach-born band Half Alive was one of my best discoveries of 2019, along with their debut album Now, Not Yet. To be completely honest, they sort of fell off my radar after that album cycle, but I was happy to see that they released a new track in March. The song is all about facing something you want to fix and how it’s always the right time to make a change. Who doesn’t love that message?! Half Alive’s next album is still unannounced, but I hope to see it drop sooner rather than later. – Kristin

April

One More Time” – Nick Leng
Release Date – April 1

The swagger is palpable on “One More Time,” Nick Leng’s first release since 2020’s LEMONS. Laced with twisted religious imagery, the track is an ode to a seductress with a slinky, retro flavor. But at its core, it’s a pop song; though the track is centered on its maximalist production, it’s also a subtle earworm that will burrow its way into your head for days. Take a listen; you’ll never want it to leave. – Emma M.

April 7th” – The Maine
Release Date – April 7th

I love The Maine – they’ve been one of my favorite bands for nearly a decade, so it’s only right that their newest single, “April 7th,” is a song I’m vibing with. A beautiful song about the maddening attractions of love (or the “seven stages of love” if you watch the music video), it’s a great song for spring, as we’re all re-emerging from a long and difficult year. It’s a song about love, yes, but also hope. – Mitch

The Cause” – Tommy Lefroy
Release Date – April 8

I stumbled across Canadian indie pop duo Tommy Lefroy on TikTok and fell in love with their lyrical sensibility and soft-rock influence. “We wrote ’The Cause’ about falling for someone who’s too caught up in their own world to make room for you in it. It was a moment of realization – the people we put on pedestals are always going to make us feel small,” the duo told Music Crowns. It’s a feeling I haven’t heard captured quite so well; fans of Samia, Phoebe Bridgers, and Jensen McRae will feel right at home in this track. – Emma M.

THE LIGHT” – BROCKHAMPTON
Release Date – April 9

Words cannot describe Joba’s maturity and passion on “THE LIGHT.” You have to listen to this masterpiece; it’s as simple as that. – Sean

WHAT’S THE OCCASION?” – BROCKHAMPTON
Release Date – April 9

After a two-year hiatus, BROCKHAMPTON recently released a new album, which you can read more about from Sean here. One song – “WHAT’S THE OCCASION?” – is nestled in the middle of the album, and unfortunately, will likely be overlooked, because it’s one of the few songs lacking a feature. But “WHAT’S THE OCCASION?” is a great song by BROCKHAMPTON’s standards. Joba quite literally carries this song, crooning on the hook and lending a verse. It’s a slower song, consisting of grunge-y guitar and a lighthearted piano on the outro – worth listening to.
– Mitch

Hurricane” – BUNT, HON, SMBDY
Release Date – April 9

I have two EDM songs on this – who have I become?! But honestly, this song is more of an indie-dance track rather than something you may hear on the radio by Calvin Harris, and the opening synths sound so much like m83’s “Midnight City” that it got me hooked on it instantly. After a bit of Googling, I found out that BUNT is a German dance duo that describes their music as “electronic folk,” so I guess it’s more up my alley than I initially realized. – Kristin 

Zombie!” – Orla Gartland
Release Date – April 13

UK-based indie pop singer Orla Gartland has been one of my favorite discoveries of the last couple months. Her latest track “Zombie” is borne directly from the sonic universe of Maggie Rogers’ Heard It In a Past Life. An electric indie pop song driven by insistent harmonies, “Zombie”, captures the sheer adrenaline of human confusion. It’s an acidic, glowing, and unforgettable track. – Emma M.

Dover Beach” – Baby Queen 
Release Date – April 14

In case you’ve missed me being on my soapbox for nearly the last year about Baby Queen (what have you been doing?!) here’s another tidbit on the South African-born, London-based musician named Baby Queen (real name Arabella Latham). BQ recently signed with Polydor Records, and the latest single is all about being at one of your favorite places alone, only to be flooded by the memories of the person who once shared that space with you. Very Lorde-esque lyrics with The 1975 melodies. More from Baby Queen, PLEASE! – Kristin 

Go Down Together” – Foxing
Release Date – April 15

Foxing released one of the most acclaimed indie-emo records of 2018 with Nearer My God. Recently, they’ve been teasing their fourth record, presumably called Draw Down The Moon, based on the cryptic website they made for a Twenty One Pilots-style mysterious-puzzle-filled album rollout where fans can unlock “Rituals” to find new songs and videos. Foxing even invited pre-covers of “Go Down Together” by sharing the lyrics and chords before dropping the song, but no pre-cover could capture how poppy and catchy GDT is. Others have remarked that Foxing’s LP4 is “emo entering its indie rock era,” which I am extremely here for. Listen to GDT to get a sense of how Foxing’s emo stylings fit into a new indie rock sound. – Brittany

Mindful Moments” – Alexa Tarantino
Release Date – April 16

Apparently, people are pretty torn on jazz? Some think the genre is a mindless cacophony of saxophone and trumpet; I, on the other hand, adore how creative and free-spirited jazz can become. Alexa Tarantino’s Firefly quickly found its way into my background noise playlist. I can listen to this album, especially “Mindful Moments” on perpetual repeat. – Sean

I Can See” – ELHAE
Release Date – April 16

ELHAE’s voice is magnificent and “I Can See” harnesses his charisma tenfold. As a recent find, I definitely need to delve deeper into ELHAE’s discography; thankfully, Aura III’s warm embrace invites fans, both old and new, into the fray. “I Can See” allows ELHAE’s flow to flourish. Let’s cut to the chase — you have to give ELHAE a go. Plain and simple. – Sean

Dermot (See Yourself In My Eyes)” – fred again..
Release Date – April 16

Successful British Producer Fred Again (real name Fred Gibson)’s debut album,  Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020), dropped just a couple weeks ago and I’m certain that it’s going to be an album I continue to visit this year and find something new that I love with each re-listen. The album, which features vocals from YouTube videos, FaceTime calls and more, puts Gibson’s creativity at the forefront of every song, with vocals and production choices similarly to James Blake’s Assume Form. – Kristin

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