Addison Rae’s Pulsing Pop Debut, and 10 More New Songs

4 weeks ago
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Hear tracks by glaive, Allison Russell, Lake Street Dive and others.

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos. Just want the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify here (or find our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at theplaylist@nytimes.com and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.

Perfectly pulsing, pithy and pleasant Pelotoncore from Addison Rae, star of TikTok and, if the machines have their way, all the other media, too. This is her debut single, and the topic is mutual infatuation, an optimal subject for the era of reciprocatory social media. JON CARAMANICA

As hyperpop gets slightly less hyper, it’s coalescing into charming, slurry electro-pop, with melodies inching closer to the fore. “I Wanna Slam My Head Against the Wall,” the new single from the scene star glaive, tilts between breathability and gasping, with squirrelly production and lyrics that are sweetly sung agony: “I’m on the brink of insanity inside my own home/I wanna slam my head against the wall/’Til I cannot feel at all.” CARAMANICA

“We keep going through the motions when we should go our separate ways,” Rachael Price sings in “Anymore,” a patient but unsparingly analytical song about the protracted last throes of a relationship. Lake Street Dive, an era-hopping band that can reach all the way back to smalll-group swing, places “Anymore” in the 1970s and 1980s of Steely Dan and Marvin Gaye, with electric keyboards, drum machines and tickling guitars. The gloss doesn’t hide the heartbreak or the anger. JON PARELES

The lyrics to “Nightflyer” are mostly a list, a poetic and far-reaching one: “I’m the moon’s dark side, I’m the solar flare/the child of the earth, the child of the air/I am the mother of the evening star/I am the love that conquers all.” Allison Russell sings them over a stately blend of country and church as she summons a congregation of her own vocal harmonies, gathering strength as she promises reassurance. PARELES

Brief but beautifully textured, “Ain’t Gon Stop Me” is the best single so far from the young Reggie, who raps with a deliciously earthy singsong flow. On this song, produced by Monte Booker and Kenny Beats, he recalls hard times — “The drugs almost got me/my best friend was Oxy” — with an almost gospel-like fever, delivered and breathing easy. CARAMANICA

Through his friends in the Onyx Collective, the young soul vocalist Nick Hakim came into contact with Roy Nathanson, an alto saxophonist and poet with decades of history on the downtown scene. An afternoon of collaborations in Nathanson’s basement led to recording a full album, “Small Things,” due next month, with help from a few friends around the Onyx universe. Hakim has a voice made of smoke that can rattle you like thunder, and on “Moonman,” a simple jazzy chord progression is all he needs as he wanders through Nathanson’s wistful, stream-of-consciousness poetry. (“The passionate/kiss-in-the-fog,/clammy hand romance/at Bogart Airport view.”) The melody, half-improvised and enchanting, comes surrounded by lush analog sound, clouded with echo and blur. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“Olooh” is named after an ancient Congolese village custom: marking a reconciliation with a ceremonial war dance. Musicians and singers from five ensembles collaborate in the multiethnic, 15-member Kasai Allstars, based in Kinshasa. In “Olooh,” a six-beat groove carries a musical variety show: male and female singers, grouped or solo, offering a string of assorted melodies; guitars entwining or leaping into the foreground, bursts of electronic sounds. The track unfurls idea after idea for nearly six minutes, and still sounds like it’s only getting started. PARELES

A turn to the tough for the sugary-voiced rap crooner Lil Tjay, “Headshot” is ominous and sturdy. Polo G has the first guest verse, but it’s the rising Brooklyn drill star Fivio Foreign who steals the show with an extremely au courant barb: “All of your sneakers is beat up.” CARAMANICA

In “Separate,” the English band Sorry melds deadpan, indie-rock understatement — think of the xx drained of romance — with clanky, glitchy electronics. It’s a distillate of late-pandemic, extended-lockdown loneliness, disorientation, frustration and monotony; Asha Lorenz sings, “I like to think I’m walking somewhere even when I walk in circles.” PARELES

The beat is programmed but never exactly repetitive in “Simple Stuff” by the London electronic producer Loraine James. “I like the simple stuff, you like the simple things, what does that bring to me,” goes a chanted loop that gets distorted and fractured as the track goes on. One thuddy bass note pulses, sputters, disappears and pokes back in; snare hits and log-drum samples spatter and echo across the stereo space, with maracas slipping in for extra polyrhythm. The track is tense and constricted, extrapolating its frustrations inward. PARELES

Few figures loom larger among South African jazz musicians today than Bheki Mseleku, a pianist and multi-instrumentalist who placed his deep commitment to local traditions and his own spiritual perspective (earned through years spent in self-isolation) into conversation with American jazz influences. Eighteen years ago, and five years before his death at age 53, Mseleku entered a studio in London to record a solo-piano album that was never released. Now it has finally come out, as “Beyond the Stars,” on the Tapestry Works label. On its longest track, “Isango (The Gateway),” Mseleku follows his own lyrical, cycling melody into a rolling three-chord pattern that finally brings the nearly 17-minute performance home. RUSSONELLO

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