The Monthly Mixtape: Steven Hyden’s Favorite Songs From March 2018

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Every month Uproxx Cultural Critic Steven Hyden compiles a playlist of his favorite songs from new albums.

Amen Dunes, “Believe”

I’ve already written at length about why Freedom is one of my favorite albums of 2018. But “Believe” deserves a special mention for being the record’s most overpowering track. Writing songs about death and depression has become a cottage industry in indie rock, but few tunes in the sad-bastard subgenre manage to transcend the daily grind of loss and anxiety quite like this hypnotic beauty. Sometimes, all you need are some guitar arpeggios from Delicate Steve to lift you out of the muck.

Snail Mail, “Pristine”

Lindsey Jordan is set up to be a breakout star this year — not just because she’s barely out of high school, but rather because she’s barely out of high school and she’s already writing knockout rock songs that sound like wised-up meditations from someone twice her age. The excitement of “Pristine” — the first single from her debut LP Lush, due June 8 — lies in both Jordan’s assertive delivery and way with big guitar hooks, and what it portends for what she might possibly do next.

Goat Girl, “Throw Me A Bone”

This South London quartet glowers with deliciously gritty malevolence on its forthcoming self-titled debut, due April 6. Fans of PJ Harvey’s goth-blues To Bring You My Love period will find plenty of captivating murk to revel in here.

Spielbergs, “We Are All Going To Die”

Given that Steven Spielberg recently took a stand against Carl’s Jr. for appropriating his name, this Oslo trio might not want to get too attached to its moniker. But Japandroids might have even stronger case in court — “We Are All Going To Die” basically sounds like Celebration Rock plus a bass player. This is not a complaint; it is in fact a ringing endorsement.

Paddy Hanna, “Bad Boys”

Irish singer-songwriter Paddy Hanna works the “prince of darkness” vibe that derives from shadowy crooners like Scott Walker and Nick Cave on his strong sophomore release Frankly, I Mutate. But he also has the songs to support the atmosphere, as well as playful quality that comes across in the poppy delight “Bad Boys.”