Best Songs of March 2013 – Atoms For Peace, Shout Out Louds, Youth Lagoon, Bowie, The Strokes, Wavves, Little Green Cars

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Thom Yorke's side project Atoms For Peace had a hit single on IRC in March with "Default" - Photo by Spin

March was a fantastic month for new album releases, and for the singles from those albums, which makes this preview of the top three songs from each week of March’s Top 10 Songs playlists, a real treat, not only because there is so much terrific music, but also because the playlists reflect which songs – out of nearly a couple hundred singles altogether – were the favorites of IRC listeners.

It turns out that there are actually five weeks (the first playlist starting on Feb. 26th and the last ending on April 1st) of Top 10 Songs for the month of March. This unusual outcome happens a few times a year because of overlapping weeks that include days from the previous month and from the following month (since Tuesdays are when most albums are officially released). That said, March started off with a bang. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke‘s musical side project, Atoms for Peace, produced the first No. 1 song of the month, “Default,” according to which songs were streamed and downloaded the most by IRC listeners.

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Trailing close behind “Default,” the new single, “Blue Ice,” from Shout Out Louds‘ new LP, was only two ‘votes’ behind to finish in the No. 2 slot for the week. Also, The Smiths‘ guitarist Johnny Marr dropped his debut solo album – easily one of the best debut solo albums of the year – and captured the No. 3 position with the catchy pop rock single, “Upstarts.”

1. “Default”Atoms For Peace from AMOK on XL Recordings (CD)

2. “Blue Ice”Shout Out Louds from Optica (MP3 album)

3. “Upstarts”Johnny Marr from The Messenger (CD)

View, listen to and download the other seven Top 10 singles for the week of Feb. 26th – March 4th, featuring more great songs from The Mavericks, Ivan & Alyosha, Deathfix, Gold Fields, and another from Johnny Marr.

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Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, released his new LP in March - Photo by Amanda Hatfield

March 5th – March 11th

The first full week of March, but technically the second week for March 2013 Top 10 Songs playlists – March 5th through March 11th – was dominated by one of our favorite artists of recent years, Treavor Powers, known by many as simply Youth Lagoon. The lead single, “Dropla,” from his swirling synth-centric sophomore album, Wondorous Bughouse, was, by far, the No. 1 song of the week. At quite a distant No. 2 was the magnificent single, “Good Friend,” from Cloud Cult‘s fresh release, Love, released by Earthology Records. Coming in at No. 3 was the terrific track, “See Me On My Way,” by the new-to-us indie band Superhuman Happiness. The Top 10 Songs for this week also include singles by artists and bands named after the artist (or a moniker that looks like a person’s name), as well as short, easy-to-remember band names like Hey Marseilles, Hollis Brown, Bill Baird, Helado Negro, Cy Dune, John Murry, and Water Liars.

1. “Dropla”Youth Lagoon from Wondrous Bughouse on Fat Possum

2. “Good Friend”Cloud Cult from Love on Earthology Records

3. “See Me On My Way”Superhuman Happiness from Hands on The Royal Potato Family

Stream or download the rest of the Top 10 Songs for the week of March 5th – March 11th.

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March 12th – March 18th

The return of David Bowie was the big news in music this week. This is also where the dilemma came in for us. Bowie is a commercial artist with extraordinary name recognition, so one can’t call him indie. However, one could equate him with being alternative. There are quite a few younger music lovers that are all into the alt. and indie rock thing, but don’t know who Bowie is. And yet his influence on today’s indie artists is enormous. He is one of the most cited names in music that bands who submit to IRC write down as a major influence on their music. On March 12th, Bowie released his first album in a decade, and the lead single, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” immediately shot up to the top of the list to become the No. 1 song of the week, beating out by far the No. 2 song, “Window Sill” by Pickwick. Swedish indie pop band, The Mary Onettes, scored the No. 3 song of the week with their single, “Hit The Waves.”

1. “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”David Bowie from The Next Day (deluxe CD edition)

2. “Window Sill” – Pickwick from Can’t Talk Medicine

3. “Hit the Waves”The Mary Onettes from Hit the Waves on Labrador Records

Listen to the full Top 10 Songs playlist for the week of March 12th to March 18th.

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March 19th – March 25th

This week’s Top 10 Songs playlist highlights tracks from the Best New Music Releases post for the week, as well as the latest installment of the 5 DIY Bands to Watch, the Album of the Week from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Suede’s first album in more than a decade.

The newest single, “Let The Day Begin,” from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, was by far the No. 1 song for the third week of March, beating out the No. 2 song of the week, “Just Make It Stop,” from Low‘s latest album, The Invisible Way, released by Sub Pop Records. After more than a decade without a new single, Suede demonstrated they’re still loved, capturing the No. 3 spot of the week with their new single, “It Starts and Ends With You.”

1. “Let The Day Begin” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club from Specter At The Feast on Vagrant Records

2. “Just Make It Stop”Low from The Invisible Way on Sub Pop

3. “It Starts And Ends With You” Suede from Bloodsports on Ingrooves/Fontana

View and listen to the rest of the most popular singles for the week of March 19th to March 25th via the Top 10 Songs page.

TheStrokesComedownMachine

March 26th – April 1st

Even though we wrote a lukewarm review of The Strokes‘ new album, Comedown Machine (the raw, initial reaction to a band we’ve followed for over a decade), we’ve actually started to warm up to it more after repeated spins during the past week. That said, we still prefer the ‘old’ Strokes near perfect pop rock songs of yesteryear, and are therefore happy to see that one of the more traditional sounding tracks – “All The Time” – from Comedown Machine came out on top, by a huge margin, to become the No. 1 song of the week, bypassing Wavves‘ terrific new single, “Demon to Lean On,” which finished the week at No. 2.

Even more pleasing, simply because they were a new-to-us band, and their new album is amazing, was the fact that the band Little Green Cars‘ new single, “The John Wayne,” scored the No. 3 slot for the week to round out the top three songs for the last week of March 2013. While that trio of tracks is a great start, you’ll definitely want to listen to all of the Top 10 Songs of the week by clicking through to the Top 10 page, which now has all of the most popular singles for each week of March ready to stream and download. Plus, don’t forget to check out the original Best New Music Releases post playlist for the week, and in case you missed them, the latest installment of 5 DIY Bands to Watch (which was a hit with IRC listeners), as well as the Artist of the Week, Nathan Xander, and

1. “All the Time”The Strokes from Comedown Machine (CD)

2. “Demon to Lean On”Wavves from Afraid of Heights on Mom+Pop/Warner Bros.

3. “The John Wayne”Little Green Cars from Absolute Zero on Glassnote Records

View and listen to the remaining songs for the last weekly Top 10 Songs playlist for the month of March 2013.

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