New Music for March 2019

Soundtrack spring with a powerhouse bluegrass troupe, pop’s next superstar, and previously unheard originals from Townes Van Zandt
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Della Mae | The Butcher Shoppe EP

Della Mae’s first new recording since 2015 is brief—The Butcher Shoppe EP clocks in at just twenty-one minutes—but it’s a welcome sign of life from one of most promising bluegrass groups of the last decade. Rollicking opener “Bourbon Hound” is clever rockabilly tribute to brown liquor, while instrumental track “No-See-Em Stomp,” which features Molly Tuttle, Alison Brown, and Avril Smith, strings together enough quick-picking solos to make one wonder just how much once-in-a-generation talent you can pack into one song.

Essential Tracks: “Bourbon Hound,” “No-See-Em Stomp”

Maren Morris | GIRL

Is 2019 the year of Maren Morris? It’s only March, but already we’ve seen the Texas singer-songwriter appear in a jaw-dropping Grammy tribute to Dolly Parton and a buzzed-about supergroup—and sophomore album GIRL seems set to propel the Texas singer-songwriter even further into country-pop-crossover superstardom. Anthems like “Girl” are balanced by slower-burning ballads like “Good Woman,” all showing off Morris’s forceful vocals and knack for down-to-earth lyrics. Prepare to see—and hear—a lot more from this emerging powerhouse.

Essential Tracks: “Girl,” “All My Favorite People” feat. Brothers Osborne

Townes Van Zandt | Sky Blue

Sky Blue pulls newly-unearthed recordings from a 1973 trip to journalist Bill Hedgepeth’s home studio in Georgia, where Townes Van Zandt cut a few transcendent covers, like Richard Dobson’s “Forever, for Always, for Certain,” and two previously unheard originals, ”All I Need” and “Sky Blue.” Fans will appreciate versions of familiar compositions, too—the session included a fresh take on “Pancho and Lefty” alongside numbers like “Rex’s Blues” and “Snake Song,” which wouldn’t see release until almost twenty years later.

Essential Tracks: “All I Need,” “Forever, for Always, for Certain”

Patty Griffin | Patty Griffin

With thirteen songs written during a period of immense struggle with—and ultimately triumph over—breast cancer, Patty Griffin returns with her first album since 2015. Lead single “River” focuses on strength in the face of adversity—“Be careful where you send her/’Cause you can’t hold her back for long/A river is just too strong/And she’s a river,” Griffin sings, while album standout “Hourglass” touches on the cyclical nature of life. “When I sing it, it feels fun,” Griffin told G&G last month. “It brings humor to the feeling that all we do is start over, over and over again—try stuff out, get lost, and start all over again.”

Essential Tracks: “River,” “Hourglass”


Solange | When I Get Home

When I Get Home, Solange Knowles’s fourth album, fuses psychedelia, hip-hop, R&B, and funk in an homage to the Houston native’s hometown. It’s best consumed whole—as an album—as it guides listeners on a journey through Houston’s city streets with track titles like “S. McGregor (interlude),” “Binz,” and “Beltway.” Slowed-down tempos and audio samples from rapper Scarface, actresses Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, and writer-activist Pat Parker—all Space City locals—take inspiration from the chopped-and-screwed sound pioneered by late Houstonian DJ Screw. The result is forty minutes of experimental songcraft that champions black art, creativity, and one of the South’s coolest cities.

Essential Tracks: “Stay Flo,” “Binz”


Caleb Elliott | Forever to Fade

Louisiana-born cellist Caleb Elliott spent the last five years playing back-up for Americana’s best of what’s next, from Dylan LeBlanc to Lera Lynn, but his debut as a frontman proves he’s one to watch, too. Recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, mellow lead single “Get Me Out of Here” harnesses his powerful strings and trippy vocals for a 70s-soul sound, while “Burns Like Hell” is a lilting, orchestral-sounding number sure to land on plenty of summer playlists.

Essential Tracks: “Get Me Out of Here,” “Burns Like Hell”

Get a taste of these March releases—along with last month’s favorite albums and the latest singles from the Black Keys, Mountain Man, The Cactus Blossoms, and more—by following our New Music playlist on Spotify.