Sometimes the rock world can get noisy, and we don’t just mean in decibels or fuzz. Often the signal-to-noise ratio is more noise than signal. But no worries: We read, listen to and watch everything so we can sort it for you. Here are some of our favorite new songs and videos of March 2015.
TOM DELONGE - “New World”
This one's complicated. “New World” is the first single from Tom DeLonge’s upcoming album, To The Stars, a collection of “demos, odds and ends.” There’s a subtle hint there that some of these “demos” were originally going to be Blink-182 songs, but it’s not exactly clear if “New World” was, in fact, intended to be. The low guitars and melancholy chorus fit in with some of Blink’s more emo material, but there’s no way to be sure—and, believe me, the ever-vague and elusive Tom DeLonge will not be giving us any hints any time soon. After all, he’s too busy working on the other three albums (and three novels!) he plans on releasing in 2015, none of which are the Blink LP everyone wants. — Matt Crane
EMERY - "Rock, Pebble, Stone"
Emery are not the same band that quickly climbed the Tooth & Nail popularity ranks in the mid '00s - and that's okay. In fact, "Rock, Pebble, Stone," is one of the most gratifying cases of progression I've seen in some time. The track, void of any out-of-place breakdowns or even so much as a distant yelp, is proof that the Emery boys are poised for so much more than the dad screamo-core they had been thrusted into throughout the course of their past few releases. (Sorry, guys.) Complete with soaring melodies, a raw, genuine sound and a chorus that will be stuck in your head from now 'til Christmas, "Rock, Pebble, Stone" is a must-listen for any Emery fan. And for those who want a "Walls Pt. 2," enjoy this for what it is: A fantastic track by a band that refuses to stay stagnant. —Tyler Sharp
Premiered over the final scene of this season’s Girls, “Entropy” is irresistible. Riding high on the electro-pop vibes Grimes and (Lena Dunham squeeze) Bleachers have employed to wildly jubilant success on their individual recordings, “Entropy” ostensibly details the end of a relationship, self-doubt, growing up, or just, you know, general ennui. Whatever general disorder it catalogues, it’s so fucking danceable that it only inspires good vibes. —Lee McKinstry
HEAD NORTH - “The Planet”
Stone cold Buffalo, New York's Head North aren't the pop-punk comfort food their moniker might suggest anymore; rather, they've become a more inquisitive breed of emo. "The Planet" is a fragile sample of the new Bloodlines EP, preferring to build up with fills and sullen vocals, then nonchalantly crashing into the chorus, propulsive and thriving at last. Brand New comparisons are a dime a dozen, but this one earns every penny. The record colors available from Bad Timing Records are true lookers, and I'm not even a vinyl guy. —Brian Kraus
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - "The Kids From Yesterday" (Apone/Frost mix)
The best thing I heard this month you can't get (don't hate me, I don't have it, either. Nether does Whitt). When James Dewees was in Cleveland with the Get Up Kids this month, he did a club night where he played some of his favorite tracks, one of which was this remix he made of Danger Days' most melancholy track. But where the original version shouldered a huge degree of sadness and resignation, Dewees' mix amps it up as a big-beat jam that's positively celebratory and stomping, much like Steve Aoki's remix of Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To?" It will probably never come out and I'll never hear it again. But if AP ever does another "Unheard Music" special, you know this is going on the list. —Jason Pettigrew
NEVER YOUNG - "Like A Version"
On their self-titled EP, this San Francisco quartet make a racket that's somewhere between ’90s shoegaze/noise rock (Sonic Youth playing Drive Like Jehu covers through Swervedriver's amps) and the new angularity of outfits like Toronto's mighty METZ. Power, finesse and straight-up fuk'n noise are the order of the day, and if you can't hang with that, we can't be friends anymore. —Jason Pettigrew
SUFJAN STEVENS - “Should Have Known Better”
This month’s most deeply emotional song was also one of its most restrained. Sufjan Stevens is back to the gut wrenching, quiet acoustics of his Seven Swans days with his new album Carrie and Lowell, to be released on March 31. The Carrie of the title is his mother, who struggled with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and left his family when Stevens was one, appearing intermittently for summer visits with her new husband Lowell and the occasional Christmas. She died from stomach cancer in 2012, and this album lays his grieving process bare, especially on the crushing “Should Have Known Better” which rivals 2005’s masterpiece “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” in its complicated intimacy and quiet sorrow. Stevens’ shroud is lifted by his characteristically buoyant tenor and the refrain that concludes the track, the tearful joy he finds in his newborn niece’s company: “the beauty that she brings; illumination.” —Lee McKinstry
SUPERHEAVEN - "I've Been Bored"
Call it what you want: grunge, alt-rock, post-grunge, shoegaze-grunge, whatever. The point is that Superheaven are just good—really good. And their latest single, "I've Been Bored" is a direct testament to that. The band power through three minutes and 23 seconds of attacking drums, sludgy, grit-filled riffs and low melodies that will worm their way into your head, forcing you to sing along by the end of the track. With a new LP and headlining tour on the horizon, the future is looking abnormally bright. —Tyler Sharp
SLEEPING WITH SIRENS - "Fly"
The best song from Sleeping With Sirens' Epitaph debut Madness scratches all kinds of itches, from today's contemporary pop radio fodder to unabashed ’80s swagger. Kellin Quinn's ascending vocal lines in the choruses deftly ride the chunky guitars of Jack Fowler and Nick Martin for a great piece of ear candy that transcends age brackets. —Jason Pettigrew
TWENTY ONE PILOTS - “Fairly Local”
“Yo, this song will never be on the radio,” Tyler Joseph raps like a down-tuned demon on “Fairly Local,” the first single from twenty one pilots’ new album, Blurryface. An explosive return for an explosive band, the song taps into a darker hip-hop vibe, even as Josh Dun lights up the drum kit with slam after slam. “Yo, you, bulletproof in black like a funeral,” raps Joseph. “The world around us is burning but we’re so cold.” The duo already look set to top the monster that was Vessel. —Matt Crane