Is March over already? What a month! The music found on the chart this month is emotional and refreshing, yet full of swagger. This is dancefloor friendly rock at a high level, and I'm excited to present it to you here. This is a list that had been paired down from hundreds of contenders, each song worth every moment. Some of these bands you'll already know, already having hundreds of thousands of listeners, but others are newcomers to the scene with listeners in only the hundreds. Explore and enjoy the best indie tracks of March!
1. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Leave a Light On
This song is a journey. Musically, it is reminiscent of UNKLE's "Rabbit In Your Headlights," a real Thom Yorke atmosphere, but still uniquely T-E-E-D in every way possible. The song is an emotional wave that pulls at the heartstrings. Opening with his voice bare and exposed, backed only by a piano, he pleads with his lover to leave a light on for him.
The percussion is acoustic. The piano is emotional, with a haunted backing falsetto, echoing like a howl of pain, pleading, "leave the light on for me." We're hit with a wall of sound, disoriented, the twinkling of the synthesizer in our ears, circling our skull like stars around an animated victim of a head injury.
The height, the weight, the size of it all is almost too much to bear, one of those monster moments in musical space, while we are reminded again, in a final plea, "leave the light on for me." Space ahead of us is vast, its open. That light is there. Perhaps not from our lost lover, but from another. We're not dead, we've been given new life. Let's head there and make the most of it.
2. The Knocks - Ride or Die feat. Foster the People
What a feelgood tune. The Knocks are already masters of disco, so it brings a completely fresh perspective to their work when they work with a notable "indie" band like Foster the People. Mark Foster raises the question posed to a lot of us, "Are you going to grow up someday?" We rush to grow up, but I'd argue, like Mr. Foster, that you can live a lifestyle without skirting your responsibilities. Why does growing up have to be no fun at all? Go ahead and play! "We can live this way every day, be my Ride or Die."
3. Saltwater Sun - The Wire
To many, a song that sounds like 'The Wire' is a song that is basic, but what's wrong with that? This is a really catchy rock song, which means Saltwater Sun is doing it right. Jen Stearnes sings with a swagger and clarity that really gets you hooked, making a real statement about the obsession so many have to get the last word in, to twist the knife, and hurt others through calculated response.
4. Me Not You - Chemical Cure
I was immediately drawn to this song because it reminds me so much of the great alternative sounds I enjoyed in the 90s. The beat is clear, the vocals are passionate, the mood is depressing. It's a song for laying flat on the floor of your room, palms up, candles burning, speakers surrounding you, soaking in every guitar strum and lyric on repeat.
5. Eckhardt and the House - If You Cannot Talk
This is a song that has strut and swagger. This is a song that makes me want to get out a plate, a fork, and slowly eat a piece of cake. I hear the story of this girl. She's 16, she doesn't say much, and she's on the greatest journey. She only has fifty bucks and she's taking a bus across the country. But things go wrong. Her phone is stolen. What is she to do?
6. Wallows - Pictures of Girls
A life without personal interaction is no life at all. Why look at pictures of girls when you can have a meaningful relationship? But listen to me - you still can't cling to the past when there is a future ahead. That girl you spent time with? That girl in the suburbs way back when? She isn't the one for you. She's gone. So get up and out, meet someone who isn't as dramatic as her. She belongs in Hollywood.
7. Twin Shadow - Saturdays feat. Haim
Bruce Springsteen is cool and all but I don't think I expected Twin Shadow to do his best impression. Haim really brings the song to a satisfying close; it wasn't really going anywhere before their verse. Is this the last time? Lifting up your hair like that. Your eyes. Dancing in the moonlight. Fault lines slipping away. It's nice to listen to and all, but it's not quite enough for high praise.
8. Kios - Be Loved
Say you want to be loved? Kios has our attention with this one! The complexities of love, to be loved. Sometimes you just have to be upfront and ask for it. This is a song that really lifts your spirits. The guitar strum at the start is so satisfying, and the vocal style is so light and clean. The drums are just enough to make you want to dance, and it's all structured in a way that makes you want to sing along.
9. Gang of Four - Lucky
I can't ever get enough Gang of Four. One of the pioneers of dance-punk, the band is back with their new track, 'Lucky.' Sometimes you do everything right but it still all goes wrong in the end. Why must this happen? You only deserve the best! The grit of the guitar really brings out the mood of the vocal, there is a satisfying but minimal use of electronics, and the howling at the end is a great close.
10. The Eiffels - Body Like That
This is about as great as bubblegum pop can get, and I term that lightly, because it's really just a well crafted, bright song about a girl who is popular, always on the go, always on the phone. She's the girl who gets stuck in your head, a naive lust, an obsession, the girl you want to pay attention to you.
11. Morgxn - Translucent
Morgxn finds Hallelujia and takes the crooner to another level with the drive and danceability of the song, 'Translucent.'
12. The Night Game - Bad Girls Don't Cry
The girl in this song is a liar, but she is confident and demands respect. He really wants to be with her. It's a repetitive dancefloor filler that could use a few verses to give it a bit more substance. The production is crisp and satisfying. The falsetto vocal gives this an advantage that other falsetto vocals seem to miss.
13. Luster - New Pleasure
Do you really want it? That's the question Luster is asking here. We're posed with the dilemma of how much to open up, when, do you trust the other? Are you willing to let loose, risk being hurt, or perhaps find the truth in you're the life you've been seeking. Maybe you just need to smile for a while. Luster brings us a smile with their song, 'New Pleasure.' Open up your mind to this, it's a satisfyingly bouncy song.
14. Soft Science - Undone
Oh, Soft Science, you have me hooked. I love music that is ethereal, and the wall of sound you provide is instant and fully encompassing. I'm instantly reminded of those times when I've had the dancefloor all to myself, able to twist and spin without a single care. This is dreamy to the highest level, and I'll be listening for more.
15. The Years - Stranger
The opening of the song sets the mood of this song well, it has that creep to it that tells you this guy is a stranger. Shadows within shadows, searching for ways to thrill in the unknown. The music is a nod to garage rock, with all of its darkness and grit. You really get the mood of a dimly lit, dirty dancehall.