New Music Monday Picks For March 27

Your New Music Monday picks for the last Monday of March include Alabama’s favorite son, Albarn & Company and new wave icons:

May 5 marks the almighty return of one of the most beloved new wave outfits on the planet, and if you were one of the countless music fiends obsessed with Blondie back in the day (something I’ll freely admit to), it does feel like a return to their original aesthetic. Pollinator is the band’s 11th studio album, produced by Dallas’ very own John Congleton, and we’re keeping our fingers, eyes, arms and toes crossed for 11 more. To tide you over until May 5 (and August 12, when Blondie’s Rage And Rapture tour with Garbage comes to the South Side Ballroom), check out their recent PBS Soundstage performance, and this spiffy new single, “Long Time.”

For those of you yearning for the sights and sounds of New Orleans, help is on the way. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has spent the last 50-plus years generating some of the finest sounds to emerge from the Crescent City. Time-honored meets ultra-modern on their April 21 release, So It Is, but this time it’s with a Cuban twist and production assist from Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio. Lead single “Santiago” sizzles, and if you’re still clearing the weekend cobwebs from your brain, you’d be hard pressed to find a better Monday afternoon pick-me-up than this.

Last year, rumors of a new Gorillaz album had fans playing the wait-and-see game (kind of like Beck. Oh, did we say that out loud?), and on April 28, the mood turns celebratory with the arrival of Humanz. There are cameos aplenty: De La Soul, Anthony Hamilton, Benjamin Clementine, and — most mind-blowing of all — Damon Albarn‘s former Britpop rival, Noel Gallagher. “We Got The Power” is our first taste of what’s to come, and it features the heart-stopping greatness of Jehnny Beth from Savages. If you’re getting an early start on your summer playlist, here’s an early shoo-in for ya.

The storied musical evolution of Alabama native Jason Isbell has been a wonder to behold. From his early FAME Studios days to the Drive-By Truckers and all the way to the present, it’s been clear for quite some time now that he’s one of America’s songwriting treasures. Sobriety and fatherhood brought him a new lease on life, along with two Grammys for his last two albums – Southeastern and Something More Than Free. On The Nashville Sound, he’s back with the 400 Unit and ready to wow us all again on June 16.

Thanks for your ear!