March wrapped: The best new releases of March 2021

Emily Beatty highlights the best in music every month.

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Happy April and happy spring my lovelies! A new month means tons of new music, and March had a good number of popular drops. Pop is always a big category, but R&B and up-and-coming indie and lo-fi artists used this time to drop their singles before they can hopefully catch the wave of popular summer bops. 

Click here to listen along to the playlist of what I’ve been listening to this month. 

“Show U Off” by Brent Faiyaz

Twenty-five-year-old American singer Christopher Brent Woods, who professionally goes by Brent Faiyaz, dropped his single “Show U Off” on March 12. This is his second single this year so far, his first being a collaboration with DJ Dahi and alternative hip-hop powerhouse Tyler the Creator. 

“Show U Off” is a slower number, with heavy strings and solid lo-fi undertones. Faiyaz’s vocals are the star of this ballad, and the love-inspired lyrics are positioned to show his particular capability of beautiful runs. The second half of the song brings in some light drums, and ups the tempo to give the single an extra kick that doesn’t leave the listener bored. Faiyaz is someone I had never listened to, aside from his popular hit “Dead Man Walking,” but I will definitely be keeping the Grammy-nominated artist in my rotation.

Justin Bieber released his sixth album “Justice” on March 19. (Joe Bielawa / Flickr)

“bored&blind” by ella jane

Viral sensation ella jane has dropped her most recent single. Titled “bored&blind,” jane dropped the track in early March and it has been all over the indie-pop playlists on Spotify – the superior music streaming platform – ever since. 

The song has a fun dance beat, but much darker lyrics than the instrumental suggests. Jane writes about giving her heart to the wrong person and uses her budding writing skills to personify the iconic Mona Lisa painting. The description and linguistic devices used are advanced for an artist so new to the scene, and I am personally excited to see what else she has to offer the underground indie scene before she is snatched up by the more pop-based producers.

“You All Over Me (feat. Marren Morris) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” by Taylor Swift

In the next few months, it’ll be rare to see one of these articles without a Taylor Swift single or album on here. Released on March 26, Swift is building anticipation for the re-release of the updated version of her second album “Fearless.” Swift is currently in the process of re-recording her first six albums, which were produced and released under Big Machine Records, after finding out they were sold without her knowledge to music manager Scooter Braun. In order to reclaim her masters, the pop sensation has spent much of quarantine re-recording the fan favorites, and the first album is set to drop on April 9. 

“You All Over Me” is one of “6 never before released songs from the vault” that fans have anxiously been awaiting. The song is incredibly reminiscent of Swift’s older music, as it was written back in 2008, so if you haven’t been a fan since her switch over to the pop genre it’s worth a listen. Her storytelling is as prominent as ever, and the near spoken-word verses are beautiful to hear in Swift’s 31-year-old voice. 

Country star Marren Morris, who recently performed with Swift’s ex-boyfriend John Mayer at the Grammys, doesn’t have a verse or chorus to herself, but her country tones are an amazing compliment to Swift’s. 

“Scary Hours 2” EP by Drake

Drake released “Scary Hours 2,” a three-track EP on March 5. (Wikimedia Commons)

Despite disappointing fans by letting them know his sixth studio album “Certified Lover Boy” has been delayed to later in 2021, Drake has dropped his first music of the year. The rapper released “Scary Hours 2,” a three-track EP on March 5. The extended play is a sequel to “Scary Hours,” which Drake released in 2018. 

The lead single, “What’s Next,” is a classic Drake rap song, and has a nostalgic track underneath the singer’s vocals. The beat is solid, but Drake raps at a much faster pace than the instrumental suggests. He pulls it off well and proves to his haters and his fans that he still has what it takes to make killer music. The other two songs, “Wants and Needs (feat. Lil Baby)” and “Lemon Pepper Freestyle (feat. Rick Ross),” are both very different: the former being closer to the lead single, while the latter has Ross carrying the majority of the six-and-a-half-minute number. “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” was my personal favorite track off the EP. 

“Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)” by Justin Bieber

After teasing a handful of tracks through single releases over the last few months, Justin Bieber  has finally dropped his sixth studio album titled “Justice.” Released on March 19, the original version has 16 tracks, and the deluxe has 22. The album is also jam-packed with features and collaborators including Khalid, Chance the Rapper, Lil Uzi Vert and DaBaby. 

The lead single off the drop, titled “Peaches,” features Daniel Caesar and Giveon and has already gone viral on the popular video app TikTok. The album has received stellar reviews and has already hit the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The tracklist has not been without controversy, as we’ve seen with many of Bieber’s drops, and many were upset and confused by the use of soundbites from various Martin Luther King Jr. speeches. 

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilyhbeatty.