Editors' Choice for March, 2019

Hyperdub
Powerful full-length debut from the South African experimental club producer, filled with self-assured vocals and disorienting rhythms.
- Paul Simpson
BMG
Thrilling fourth set from the AFI creative pair's '80s synth pop-indebted electronic side project.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Deutsche Grammophon
An impressive duet debut encompassing the vastly different styles of Debussy and Szymanowski.
- James Manheim
30th Century Records / BMG
The singer/songwriter's first album in five years is a sophisticated, sonically adventurous collaboration with Danger Mouse.
- Heather Phares
Liv
Mute
A far cry from his earlier, more conventional indie rock, Blumberg's second Hebronix album is harsh, harrowing, and utterly captivating.
- Paul Simpson
Omnivore
A 2006 date in Detroit showcases the guitarist and his quintet interpreting jazz, blues and soul standards -- and a revisioned "Scorpio."
- Thom Jurek
Soundway
The L.A.-based musical polymath and a host of international guests offer a brave new music that melds East African styles, jazz, funk, and soul.
- Thom Jurek
BMG / UK
Sparkling fifth album that updates the English singer's hybrid electro-folk/trip-hop sound with reinvigorated production.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Karaoke Kalk
The German duo's mesmerizing electro-organic songwriting expands into multilingual territory on their 13th LP.
- Timothy Monger
Bella Union
The Midlake frontman's solo debut builds on his flagship band's predilection toward pairing dusty indie folk with sunset 70's pop.
- James Christopher Monger
Grapefruit
This collection of the band's first three albums is compelling rock & roll, suitable for both historians and those who want to kick out the jams.
- Tim Sendra
Harmonia Mundi
Superb performance of the Mahler Third, carefully forged in both larger shape and small details.
- James Manheim
Real Gone Music
A double-disc compilation that focuses on the time when Gordon Lightfoot was an adult contemporary hitmaker.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
RVNG Intl.
The project's sixth album offers gently powerful songs that sustain a sense of identity, family, and love through difficult times.
- Heather Phares
Rad Cult
Chillwave with a slightly sinister edge from the Tobacco-approved electronic duo.
- Paul Simpson
Coastal Town Recordings
Working again with producer Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, the Norwegian quartet deliver a chiming modern jangle pop classic.
- Tim Sendra
Real Gone Music
A large collection of rarities by the banjo and fiddle master and iconic songwriter that includes demos, radio appearances, and his first three singles.
- Thom Jurek
Alia Vox
Another Savall tour de force, this one bringing to life in music the career of Moroccan Ibn Battuta's 14th-century "the traveler of Islam."
- James Manheim
Bar/None Records
The Elliott Smith disciple's Bar/None debut is an angsty, impulsive mix of grungy rock and yearning harmonies, all performed by Proffit.
- Marcy Donelson
BIS
Pleasing, highly accessible concertos from a contemporary Finn, brilliantly played.
- James Manheim
Now-Again
On their first album in five years, the German groove outfit channels Krautrock, prog, fractured funk, and trippy psychedelia.
- Thom Jurek
Big Machine Records
An invigorating debut that splits the difference between dusty Americana and bold mainstream pop.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Easy Eye Sound
Produced by Dan Auerbach, this is perhaps the final session from one of the last true Delta bluesmen, and it's simply a stunner.
- Thom Jurek
Requiem for a Twister
The Chicago quintet's second album mixes all different types of underground '60s psych and pop into a technicolor concoction.
- Tim Sendra
M83
Mute
Anthony Gonzalez's soundtrack to an erotic thriller set in Paris' late-'70s gay pornography industry is as transporting as his other albums.
- Heather Phares
Thrill Jockey
The duo celebrates their 25th anniversary with vibrantly creative and deeply disturbing explorations of plastic's ubiquity and dangers.
- Heather Phares
Deutsche Grammophon
Pollini's chronological approach yields fresh insights from the great Chopin interpreter.
- James Manheim
Burger Records
The Dutch indie rockers prove themselves again on this deceivingly smart and undeniably catchy third outing.
- Timothy Monger
Innovative Leisure
R&B
The vintage R&B scholar's fourth album contains some of his sharpest writing and most energizing performances.
- Andy Kellman
PGM Recordings / Thirty Tigers
A spare and deeply personal album from the talented singer/songwriter that contemplates mortality and survival.
- Mark Deming
Harmonia Mundi
Strong, even revelatory recording of the rarely heard Weber Piano Sonata No. 2, nicely paired with early Schubert.
- James Manheim
Alpha
Sweeping, dramatic interpretations of early Sibelius from a rising Finnish conducting star.
- James Manheim
Avie
Genuinely fresh interpretations of Brahms and Schumann.
- James Manheim
Domino
The ex-Cherry Glazerr synth player debuts with an album of adventurous dream pop with shoegaze and singer/songwriter influences.
- Tim Sendra
Island
Refreshing debut from the Norwegian pop singer/songwriter that appropriately captures the messiness of growing up.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Ground Up Records
A cinematic blend of funky grooves that marry '80s new age flow with earthy blues-rock riffage and contemporary jazz sophistication.
- Matt Collar
Hyperion
Excellent, Russian-spirited performances of 20th-century cello works, including an underrated sonata by Kabalevsky.
- James Manheim
Tough Love
For their first album, the Australian band traded home recording for a studio, tightened up their sound, and made a jangling, warm-hearted Flying Nun-styled classic.
- Tim Sendra
RCA
The U.K. combo catch up to their own ambitions on this imaginative and engaging sophomore set.
- Timothy Monger
Impulse!
On its Impulse! debut, the the U.K.'s futurist trio create an evolutionary new jazz music from traditions past and present.
- Thom Jurek
Geffen / UMe / Universal
An exceptional double-disc overview of Tom Petty's career.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Frontera Music
The veteran singer/songwriter shows no signs of slowing down with this poignant, savvy, and profound collection of new songs.
- Thom Jurek
Fat Possum Records / TVZ
A long-unheard collection of spare home demos made in 1973, directly following this Americana legend's most prolific run.
- Fred Thomas
Brilliant Classics
Splendid performances of rare chamber music by an underrated Russian composer.
- James Manheim
ECM
Two master improvisers/pianists come together in a breathtaking live duo performance.
- Thom Jurek
Run for Cover Records
The Swedish shoegaze band drop the dreamier aspects of the sound and ramp up the noise on their thrilling second album.
- Tim Sendra
Dais
The duo's sixth album delivers a set of lush, surreal songs that find glamour in unlikely places.
- Heather Phares