March releases from Kendrick Lamar, GY!BE potential albums of the year

Scott Murphy, News Editor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (March 31st / Post Rock)

One of the most influential post rock bands of all time, Godspeed You! Black Emperor blends emotional crescendos, elements of classical music and unique sound samples to craft sonically cinematic albums. Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress – the band’s second album since reuniting in 2012 – will surely be one of the most critically acclaimed releases of the year.


Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (March 23rd / Conscious Hip-Hop)

To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar’s follow-up to his universally glorified sophomore album good kid, m.A.A.d city – has been the most anticipated hip-hop release of the year thus far, bolstered by strong lead singles “i” and “The Blacker the Berry.” Both the themes/lyrics of the aforementioned songs and Lamar’s initial commentary indicate that the album will be an intense social critique of what it means to be Black in America in 2015.


Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire (March 24th / Noise Rock)

Drummer/vocalist Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson have made Lightning Bolt one of the most prolific and unique musical duos in modern music, made impressive by the fact that they lack a guitarist and play one of the most notoriously inaccessible genres in existence. Now returning with their seventh album Fantasy Empire, the duo continues their raw raucousness and proves that their already extensive discography will not see its final entry any time soon.


Liturgy – The Ark Work (March 24th / Experimental Black Metal)

No band is more reviled by the black community than Liturgy, due in large part to front man Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s pretentiously written and titled essay Transcendental Black Metal – A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism. Despite the obnoxious attitude of Hunt-Hendrix, his band’s music actually presents a rather intriguing rendition of the genre, with third album The Ark Work experimenting further by adding even more influence from glitch, noise and industrial music into their take on black metal.


The Soft Moon – Deeper (March 31st / Minimal Darkwave)

Under the moniker The Soft Moon, multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez produces music that is both compositionally minimalistic and emotionally unsettling. By blending the challenging repetition of krautrock, electronic drive of synthpunk and chaotic atmosphere of noise, albums such as Deeper show how much depth can be achieved with such a simple approach.