Again, we turn to Lacey for the latest and greatest from the big music world:
Need a little pick-me-up to pull you through March? Your ears are going to be pleasantly surprised by a handful of new albums out this month.
This week, many fans who waited more than two years were rewarded with Arcade Fire’s new album “Neon Bible.” This band has become increasingly popular in the years that followed their debut album, “Funeral,” which is considered by many to be the decade’s best rock album.
Soon Arcade Fire tunes landed on the “Six Feet Under” soundtrack, the band recorded a live iTunes session with rock legend David Bowie, and more recently, they appeared on “Saturday Night Live” as the musical guest. (Even showing up in a skit with Rainn Wilson.)
Arcade Fire’s newest feat seems to have been worth the wait, as it’s already getting top ratings from music critics and fans, alike. Listen here.
Also out this week is Bright Eyes’ “Four Winds” CD single featuring six new tracks. It seems that frontman Conor Oberst always has something passionate to say, and this album is no exception. He receives help from guest performers M. Ward, Gillian Welch and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney. Listen here.
Or, if you’re looking for something entirely different, RJD2′s new album, “The Third Hand,” might be your best bet. A fusion of electronic beats and vocals create a hip hop-reminiscent sound. The mastermind behind the album—who is a former DJ—recorded, performed, arranged and introduced the entire album. For someone who can only hip hop in small doses, this album is one I could listen to by the heaping spoonful. Listen here.
I was also delighted to see that Maria Taylor released another solo album, “Lynn Teeter Flower,” (named after a family friend). Her voice takes me back to my “Felicity” viewing days, where I first heard her band Azure Ray. She’s got an incredible harmonizing voice, but you’ll see that it’s strong enough to stand on its own. (This is a good album to listen to when you’re up for locking yourself in your bedroom and scribbling furiously in your journal.) Listen here.
Other albums released this week include:
Son Volt’s “Search”: Listen here.
Air’s “Pocket Symphony”: Listen here.
Albert Hammond Jr.’s (Strokes guitarist) self-titled album: Listen here.
And on to next week. Kerin Peris, with her angelic voice, returns with the Innocence Mission’s tenth(!) full-length album, “We Walked in Song.” Their reputable sound continues as expected. Track titles include “Brotherhood of Man,” “Into Brooklyn Early in the Morning,” and “My Sister’s Return From Ireland.”
If you haven’t fallen for Innocence Mission yet, (I have a feeling you might), start with “Now the Day is Over,” which is a beautiful compilation of lullabies like “Moon RIver,” “Edelweiss,” and “Over the Rainbow.” It also makes a great gift for a baby shower. Listen here.
If you like Innocence Mission, you’ll definitely enjoy Rosie Thomas’ new album, “These Friends of Mine.” I’ll admit, I usually plug in a little Rosie when I need a boost in the creative department; she’s very inspiring.
Her newest album features a slower-paced cover of REM’s “The One I Love.” Like previous works, the sound is stripped down, relying mainly on piano and guitar. “These Friends of Mine” also features a duet with Sufjan Stevens. I’ve only heard one snippet of this track, but I can’t wait to buy it. Although Thomas’ albums tend to be on the mellow side, they’re still enjoyable. Listen here.
Last but certainly not least is Modest Mouse’s new album: “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank,” which lands on shelves March 20. Naturally, a lot of buzz has surrounded the album since legendary John Marr (the former Smiths’ guitarist) became the band’s newest member. On the newest single, “Dashboard,” you can definitely hear Marr’s influence, as the song is pretty much popping with pop. Hopefully this album will live up to the pre-album hype. Listen here.
Also worth noting is Joss Stone’s untitled album out March 13. Listen here.
And finally, for your listening pleasure, turn to AOL’s feature of new releases you can preview in full length each and every week. Listen here. (Unfortunately, none of the albums I mentioned are featured this week.)
Click the above links, sample the songs, and hopefully you’ll find something to keep you humming all month long.