Review: Eight unmissable music releases in March

Pharrell - Girl Album

Pharrell - Girl Album - Credit: Archant

Reporter Alex Flood looks at the biggest new music releases coming up in March 2014.

• Eagulls - Eagulls (March 3, Partisan Records):

Following the hugely successful debut singles, 'Nerve Endings' and 'Tough luck', hype band Eagulls are set to release their eponymous first record on March 3 through Partisan Records. Producing a sound that combines the adolescent lunacy of Sex Pistols' primitive punk-rock, and the gloomy, sinister nature of Joy Division, this five-piece from Leeds is at the forefront of yet another 'rock 'n' roll revival', and hope to start their career off with a bang.

• Pharrell – G I R L (March 3, Colombia)

Perhaps the most anticipated release of 2014, former N.E.R.D man, Pharrell Williams, will release his second solo album, G I R L, on March 3. Pharrell is coming off the biggest year of his career in 2013, and if the sensational tracks 'Happy', Daft Punk collaboration 'Get Lucky' and the controversial joint effort with Robin Thicke, 'Blurred Lines', are any indication of the future, expect a record jam-packed with funky bass lines and delicious pop hooks, and to be hearing it on repeat every time you step into a chain-store in 2014.

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• Metronomy – Love Letters (March 10, Because Music)

New wave, electro-pop experimentalists, Metronomy, will release their long-awaited follow-up to the Mercury Prize nominated English Riviera, on March 10. Leading single, 'Love Letters', is a poppy, more accessible take on their usual brand of eclectic indietronica, and implies a more disco-funk direction for the band. Whatever happens, expect an upbeat and exciting collection from the West-country techno geeks.

• Elbow – The Take-Off and Landing of Everything (March 10, Fiction Records)

The perennial Glastonbury headline rumour, Elbow, haven't released an album since early 2011 effort Build a Rocket Boys, which gained huge critical praise, although failing to impress commercially, missing out on the number one spot in the UK albums chart to Adele's huge-selling 21. This time round, the indie-rockers from Bury, now in their late thirties, hope to progress their brand of emotional, atmospheric rock and overtake fellow band Muse as king of the stadium-rock genre.

• The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (March 18, Secretly Canadian)

Lost in the Dream will be The War on Drugs second effort since co-founder Kurt Vile left to focus on his solo work in 2008. Now being mostly lead vocalist Adam Granduciel's song-writing vehicle, the Philadelphia based four-piece seem to have built upon 2011's critically acclaimed Slave Ambient, and created a work of real resonance, if the mercurial lead single 'Red Eyes' is anything to go by.

• Howler – World of Joy (March 24, Rough Trade)

Manic, punk-rockers from Minneapolis, Howler, attempt the notoriously 'terrifficult' second album with World of Joy, out on 24 May in the UK. Citing influences on the record such as the Byrds and Husker Du, lead singer Jordan Gatesmith described the forthcoming album as having 'grindy Howler guitars' and 'plenty of bratty rock 'n' roll'. Known for their incendiary live show and frenzied offstage lifestyle, Howler's newest LP will certainly be a real pedal-to-the-metal, rock thrasher.

• Johnny Cash – Out Among the Stars (March 25, Legacy Recordings)

This posthumous release comes from lost recordings of the Man in Black from the 1980s, newly discovered and remastered by Cash's son John Carter Cash in 2012. Out Among the Stars has been named one of the most anticipated albums of 2014, and features vocals from Cash's soul mate, June Carter, on tracks 'Baby Ride Easy' and 'Don't You Think It's Come Our Time'. Recorded slap bang in Cash's infamous sales slump and drug troubles of the early eighties, the record promises to be a deeply emotional and melancholic affair, and a worthy addition to the country titan's back catalogue.

• Liars – Mess (March 24, Mute Records)

Experimental dance-punks, Liars, are due to release their seventh full length album on March 24, hoping to capitalise upon the greater success and subsequent publicity of latest record WIXIW. Newest single, 'Mess on a Mission', is an intriguing fusion of synth rock, bass-driven funk-pop and gritty urban hip hop, marking a distinct change in direction from the softly hypnotic indie-rock of WIXIW. Whatever has been said about the New York trio, each album has felt like a reincarnation of the band, and Mess will be no different.

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