Monthly Music Recap – March 2023


March was yet another exciting month in music, with releases from artists across all genres, mainstream or otherwise. It was also yet another month when so many albums worth talking about were released that we couldn’t even fit all of them without this being twice as long-winded as it already is! Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy this month’s recap, including much-loved artists like Lana Del Rey, 100 gecs, and Tyler, the Creator, as well as breakout releases from indie musicians like boygenius, Yves Tumor, and a collaboration from Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA.


– Albums –

Morgan Wallen – One Thing At A Time

One Thing At A Time - Album by Morgan Wallen | Spotify
Popular country artist Morgan Wallen has released his 36-track album totaling almost 2 hours (1 hour 52 minutes). I sat through the entire album (I say I’m committed, others might say crazy) and was very disappointed. The first track, “Born With A Beer In My Hand” wasn’t a bad song and I thought it had some real meaning to it that listeners could relate to. Of course, it starts the entire album’s theme. Alcohol, many, many women (a lot who have dumped him it seems), and religion. Many of the songs on this album are incredibly forgettable and repetitive. Though every now and then you’d find a song that was a little refreshing. “One Thing At A Time” came forward with an enjoyable pop approach, and I was a big fan of the harmonics on the guitar. Or, towards the end of the album, “Last Drive Down Main” had some really fun drums that added some energy to the track, as opposed to the many other songs that just reused the same drums with a tiny difference. (No need to talk about the trap beat drums on songs like “Cowgirls,” “Sunrise,” or “180 (Lifestyle)” Those songs were horrible.) There are songs embedded within the album that do strike up some meaning like the last two songs “Outlook” and “Dying Man.” On “Outlook”, Wallen talks about his views on his life before finding hope in his religion. Prior to his epiphany, Wallen believed he never deserved any good that came his way, as spoken about in the lyric, “Always believed in God and angels in the sky / But never thought that I deserved an angel by my side.” This song flows well into “Dying Man” where Wallen talks about his dangerous nature and careless thoughts about his own life. Of course, this all changed when he found someone to love, someone to make him think twice. However, with the meaningful songs comes the confused “What is this??” moments on the album. The song “ ‘98 Braves” quite literally means nothing. Or even the song “Tennessee Fan” is just about Wallen dating some girl from Alabama. (The song, “180 (Lifestyle)” talks about Wallen dating a girl from New York and calling her a “red dirt wild child”…what?) Over 20 songs on this album talk about the same problem of Wallen drinking way too much and going through a breakup, but with different chords being played on the guitar each time. “Money On Me” sees Wallen admitting to being a bad man to date, which goes together with other songs where he sits in a puddle of self-pity like in “Me And All Your Reasons.” My main problem with this album is that it had the potential to be decent, but the lack of diversity in theme and instrumentation severely hinders it. An album with a central theme can be great, but not when it seems like each song on the album is talking about the exact same thing. – Reviewed by Amelia


100 gecs – 10,000 gecs

10,000 gecs - Album by 100 gecs | Spotify
American experimental pop duo 100 gecs have released their sophomore album, 10,000 gecs, serving as a sequel to their debut album from 2020, 1,000 gecs. This album has tastes of rock smothered all over it, along with their hyperpop and electronic flavor shoved into it. Songs jump from intense and heavy to cute and friendly in seconds, like on the transition from “Hollywood Baby” to “Frog On The Floor,” which sounds like the intro song to a children’s cartoon. Many of the melodies and songwriting on these songs are commendable, and are accompanied by a solid performance, like on “757.” Although I find a lot of the songs on here to be somewhat annoying, I believe I’m not fully accustomed to the genre of music, and I can definitely see the appeal. My personal favorite track is “Doritos & Fritos,” which is a rock-centered song with an odd out-of-tune beat that somehow works fairly well. As a new listener, especially based on this track, I can see how 100 gecs get the praise and support that they do. Though I’m not the largest fan of this album, I can still respect the art and work put into it, and it’s a very creative and unique project. – Reviewed by Nicolas


Yves Tumor – Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)

Parody - song and lyrics by Yves Tumor | Spotify
The gender- and genre-bending Yves Tumor came back with their first album since 2020’s critically-acclaimed Heaven to a Tortured Mind, which revolutionized the artist’s sound as they incorporated glam rock and psychedelic rock influences into their previously synthesizer-based sound. Praise a Lord (as I’m going to call it for brevity’s sake) continues in this direction while also taking on strong elements of post-punk. The album is equal parts moody post-punk and sprawling neo-psychedelia, interspersed with a diverse mix of influences. The opener, “God is a Circle,” is a rhythmic dance-punk anthem, establishing expectations for the album that Tumor shatters shortly after. Noise pop, dance, electronic, and industrial influences (among many others) can be found throughout the album, making it eclectic while also maintaining its consistency. No matter the genre, Tumor’s distinctive sound remains throughout, uniting the album into one cohesive whole. The album peaks at the breathtakingly psychedelic “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood,” a relatively short song at just under four minutes that will stay with the listener for long after. Other highlights include the new wave-tinged “Lovely Sewer” and the grandiose closer “Ebony Eye.” Praise a Lord proves that Yves Tumor just gets more and more interesting and original with every album. – Reviewed by Nico


Lana Del Rey – Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd

Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd - Album by Lana Del Rey | Spotify
Lana Del Rey released the highly-anticipated Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd to her dedicated fanbase this month. The album won over some of today’s most prominent tastemakers as well, with Pitchfork giving it a score of 8.3/10 and The Needle Drop scoring it a rare 9/10. Needless to say, I went into this album with high expectations but also still a bit of skepticism, as I have admittedly never been a Lana Del Rey fan. Del Rey’s vocals stand out from the beginning, her sultry voice the perfect fit for a classic ballad. The album starts out quiet and understated with “The Grants,” whose lyrics discuss the memories that last for generations in a family, particularly an American one; the title actually refers to her own family. Like much of Del Rey’s work, it views the consistent themes of sex, love, romance, religion, and womanhood through a distinctly all-American lens. Ocean Blvd arguably reaches its peak early on with the atmospheric seven-minute epic “A&W,” the album’s leading single. The quality of the album remains consistent throughout, though some tracks definitely stand out more than others. Overall, Ocean Blvd is a solid release from Del Rey that exemplifies her evolution from sad-girl indie pop star to even-sadder-girl art pop legend. – Reviewed by Nico



SCARING THE HOES - song and lyrics by JPEGMAFIA | Spotify
One of the most hyped-up releases in the hip hop scene so far this year, the debut collaboration from iconoclastic experimental hip hop artists JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown lived up to its expectations; exceeded them, even. SCARING THE H**S has all of what makes each of their music so great: it’s abrasive, intense, crass, and witty, not to mention its biting social commentary. JPEGMAFIA’s production seems to get better and better with every release (When he said “Steady hand Peggy, my production is a diamond” back on 2021’s triumph LP!, he was not lying!). The collaboration sees him incorporating elements of various new genres to his distinctive sample-based style, ranging from industrial rock on the bombastic “Steppa Pig” to neo-psychedelia and vaporwave on the mesmerizing “Kingdom Hearts Key.” The latter is arguably the best of the many highlights of the album, featuring young (and I do mean young—he’s less than a month older than me!) up-and-comer redveil, whose impressive flow is intense yet tempered. Fans noted, however, that Brown evidently took a back seat, which could reasonably be chalked up to the fact that he announced that he would be going to rehab for his substance abuse. Nevertheless, his presence on the album is more than felt; his distinctive vocal style and larger-than-life personality completes every track. He particularly shines on the title track, delivering an impeccable flow of lyrics with acerbic wit. Though some of its lyrics are questionable here and there, SCARING THE H**S is a memorable tour de force and arguably a work of high art in many ways; it might even be my album of the year. – Reviewed by Nico


boygenius – the record

the record - EP by boygenius | Spotify
On October 26, 2018, the music scene got a taste of supergroup boygenius. The self-titled EP featured 6 songs of emotional turmoil, and whether it be related to religion, a past romance, or themselves, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus never failed to make listeners feel every word they sang, even if they couldn’t relate. After their first and (seemingly) final tour as a band, they went radio silent on their project, each taking time to focus on their individual careers. While fans of boygenius hoped they would release another project within at least two years of their first one, it was looking as if the trio were treating it as a one-off, leaving avid listeners with nothing but the Brooklyn Steel performance that was uploaded to YouTube. And then… it vanished. The boygenius fan communities went wild online with many rumors of a new album spreading like wildfire. Surprisingly, these rumors weren’t wrong. On March 31, 2023, the supergroup released their full length album, the record. With the long break in between projects, the average listener might be scared that the album wouldn’t live up to their expectations, and they’d be left with disappointment. Now, fans of boygenius wouldn’t necessarily be thinking this way. Personally, before I even pressed play on the first song, I was extremely anxious that the album would be everything I wanted it to be. Considering how their last release was emotionally heavy, I wasn’t very excited to get my heart broken again. I began listening to the album in order, the way that they intended it, and was greeted by the notable harmonies of the boys on “Without You Without Them.” Based on the title, I was expecting a heavy rock song about some sort of relationship, but I wasn’t disappointed with what I heard. Following that first track are the list of singles that were released in January (“$20” was the best thing to come out that month). Up next came “Cool About It.” As a Julien Baker stan, I went absolutely crazy for that delicately plucked guitar, and of course the best instrument known to man, the banjo! Each member takes a verse in the song, which usually could be very messy, but not for them. Each verse felt like their own with vocal stylization and themes they each embody. The boys have the ability to each write separate parts of songs and still somehow not make it seem like three people desperately trying to write about one theme that they all couldn’t possibly understand with the same depth. Amping up the production and volume, “Not Strong Enough” cuts in. The song was previously released as a single, but still gives listeners the same feeling when they played the track for the first time. Then, the slow ballad sung by Phoebe Bridgers washes in. “Revolution 0” had been a hot topic since photos of the band’s writing process surfaced on social media, with fans rumoring that the song was about (ex?) boyfriend Paul Mescal. After listening to such a depressing track, the boys feed listeners a little treat with the Lucy Dacus-fronted song “Leonard Cohen.” Although not my absolute favorite song on the album, you can’t deny how fun it is to listen to. The song is said to be about a shared moment between the three musicians when Bridgers got distracted and added almost an hour on to their drive. The rigid, dark guitar tones of Baker seeps in with the next track titled “Satanist.” Arguably one of the best songs on the album, each member of the band sings a verse about anarchism. The whole song feels like having a night out in town with your friends, absolutely trashing everything in sight. While riled up and feeling that beloved teenage angst, the boys serve up a crushing blow with “We’re In Love.” The low-key song sees Dacus gently singing a love song to what listeners can only imagine to be Baker. I must say, I definitely wasn’t ready to hear Dacus singing “If you rewrite your life, may I still play a part?” Ouch. You might want to take a break from the record after that one. “Anti-Curse” sung by Baker is a lot like something you might hear on her third studio album Little Oblivions. Detailing her near-death experience being taken out by waves at the beach with fellow band members, the crashing drums and generally dark sounding tones come clattering in. “Letter To An Old Poet” takes large inspiration from “Me & My Dog” found on their self titled album, which many fans freaked out over. As the song progresses, the melody starts sounding more and more like the previously mentioned song, and at some point starts to take the most screamable lyrics from “Me & My Dog” (“I wanna be emaciated / I wanna hear one song without thinking of you / I wish I was on a spaceship /  Just me and my dog and an impossible view”) and switches it up a bit. (“I wanna be happy / I’m ready to walk into my room without lookin’ for you / I’ll go up to the top of our building / And remember my dog when I see the full moon.”) And with those lyrics, the record concludes. AOTY. – Reviewed by Amelia


Tyler The Creator – Call Me If You Get Lost: The Estate Sale

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale - Album by Tyler, The Creator | Spotify

As an addition to Tyler, The Creator’s 2021 album Call Me If You Get Lost, he released a new version of the album, The Estate Sale. With seven new tracks that missed the initial release, including the introduction, these new songs are all at least decent, and at most amazing, including some of my favorite songs from Tyler to date. This deluxe edition includes many emotions and directions in its short tracklist, ranging from hard rap and bass on “STUNTMAN” with Vince Staples, to more relaxing and Flower Boy-esque songs like “WHARF TALK” featuring A$AP Rocky. What’s great about Tyler’s music is that fans seem to have a different favorite song on each of his releases, and this trend continues with The Estate Sale. Getting into my favorites, starting with “WHAT A DAY,”which  includes a Madlib beat, as Tyler boasts about his current life and talks his trash. Another one of my favorites is “HEAVEN TO ME,” where he reminisces about his childhood and raps about what his current and past perfect life are. These two tracks are especially enjoyable to me, though there’s so many more songs on here that could be favorites for others. The Estate Sale is definitely a must-listen, and it’s made clear in the first few seconds. – Reviewed by Nicolas


– Singles & EPs –

Donald J. Trump & the J6 Prison Choir – “Justice for All”

Justice for All - song and lyrics by Donald J. Trump | Spotify
Two surprising new acts have made their debut in the music scene this month: former United States President Donald J. Trump and the apparent prison choir formed by those incarcerated for their actions on January 6, 2021. Their debut single “Justice for All” is unexpectedly experimental; it kind of sounds like something that Godspeed You! Black Emperor would use as a sample, which is…interesting. The track features the J6 Prison Choir solemnly singing the national anthem, recorded in a (very) lo-fi fashion, like something off of a long-lost ambient/noise cassette tape. The 45th President himself speaks over the choir track, reciting the pledge of allegiance. The track has an eerie, solemn atmosphere that, depending on your political alignment, could either be interpreted as respectfully and gravely mourning American nationalism or blatant jingoist propaganda. Either way, the track itself doesn’t sound all that bad. It’s not anything too special, really, either, but sonically, it’s inoffensive and even kind of interesting at times. We really are living in the weirdest timeline. – Reviewed by Nico


ericdoa – “>one”

ericdoa | Spotify

In a collaboration with Riot Games and their videogame VALORANT, ericdoa has released a new single titled “>one – greater than one.” This song has received great feedback from standard ericdoa enjoyers to new fans coming from the VALORANT community. The track isn’t too different from his others, including his signature high-processed layered vocals and his catchy hooks. His video game-inspired take on pop music makes ericdoa a great fit for the song, along with his liking for the game ever since its early release. Besides its collaboration, this song was nothing crazy or too different from the rest of his music, though it’s definitely a solid track. It’s great to see ericdoa get the recognition he deserves. – Reviewed by Nicolas


Panchiko – “Failed at Math(s)”

Failed at Math(s) - Single by Panchiko | Spotify
British indie band Panchiko released the first single and title track for their debut LP Failed at Math(s). The story of Panchiko is essential to know when discussing the band. For the uninitiated, Panchiko first released two EPs, D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L and Kicking Cars in 2000 and 2001, respectively, back when the band’s members were just finishing up secondary school. They faded into obscurity after that, until 2016 when a CD copy of D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L was found in a thrift shop by a 4chan user, who then posted about it requesting information. Extensive investigation was done with difficulty, as the CD had extensive disc rot due to its age, making the audio heavily distorted. Finally, the band had a resurgence in popularity in 2020 when a Discord user found lead singer Owain Davies’ facebook page and contacted him regarding Panchiko, who had long been separated. Davies was only then made aware of the band’s success, and this was followed by the band reuniting and reissuing their back catalog and later recording new music. “Failed at Math(s)” garnered a lot of excitement from the band’s cult following, and it seems to have met their expectations. The band’s musical style remains consistent with the early 2000s Panchiko fans know and love, but they also incorporate more neo-psychedelia elements, like the layering of lush guitars and synthesizers, reminiscent of the Flaming Lips’ neo-psych classic Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. The track is lush and dreamy, with sparkling synthesizers, trip hop drums, and reverberating guitars, which are topped off by whispery layered vocal melodies. Every element of the track works together, complementing and completing each other. “Failed at Math(s)” is an exciting introduction to what will hopefully be a strong debut for Panchiko. – Reviewed by Nico


quinn – “four leaf clover”

four leaf clover - Single by quinn | Spotify

Rapper, singer, producer, DJ, or whatever you want to call her, quinn, has released yet another song in her newer style, titled “four leaf clover.” Continuing the theme of her previous EP, from the cover to the music, it’s not a surprise that big fans, including me, have really enjoyed this new track. Her new style often includes a pitched up sample, loud kicks and hi-hats, and video game-ish sounds to top it off. Along with her trademark autotune vocals, it makes for a really unique way of portraying hip-hop. Plus, as her vocals may sound a bit out of place, it adds more to her distinct and intriguing sound. I really enjoy this song as it’s a traditional hip-hop track, but with all of quinn’s creativity sprinkled into it. With the single being bundled with the instrumental, this tops it off to be a quick and simple release, but a really solid one from quinn. Seeing her redefine herself in the industry is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. – Reviewed by Nicolas