Silk Sonic’s Retro Roller Jam, and 12 more new songs

With a new single, “Skate”, it’s always clear who Silk Sonic – Bruno Mars and Anderson. Pak’s Collaboration – Vintage is a project in reverse engineering, to discover and recreate the sounds and structures of the era when soul melted away in the 1970s. The disco “skate” – invoking the bygone roller disco – features scrubbing rhythmic guitars, glockenspiel, Latin percussion, back-talking string sections, and the Rising Bridge of the late 1970s. Can young listeners of the 21st century feel nostalgia for a while before their birth? John Pareles

Bomba Asterio’s new single, “Connexion Total”, is a stunning mix of pan flute, marimba and drum loops, featuring Nigerian Afropop idol Yumi Alade, whose 2014 song “Johnny” remains an anthem in the style. The Colombian duo’s move adds to a growing list of collaborations between African and Latin American artists, a much-needed reminder of the link between Afro-diasporic sounds and their origins. Lead vocalist Lee Saumet’s upbeat lyrics and meticulously placed air horns fold into a prismatic summer jam, as a cold, carbonated drink foams to the surface. isabella herrera

You’d be forgiven for assuming that the loopy, airy voice at the center of Saint Etienne’s new song is that of the group’s lead singer Sarah Cracknell—but it’s actually a sample of Natalie Imbruglia’s 2001 song “Beauty on Fire.” The British pop icon’s upcoming “I’ve Been Trying to Tell You” (their first sample-driven album since the 1993 classic “So Tough”) is a collage of sounds performed from 1997 to 2001; They described It’s intended as a concept album about the optimism of the late ’90s and the collective illusion of pop-cultural memory. Cool and thought-provoking, however, “Pond House” is as light as a sea breeze, with a steady, aquamarine undertone pulling you into its mesmerizing atmosphere. Lindsay Zoladz

Through four decades of recording, Los Lobos has always chosen their occasional cover versions to guide. During the pandemic they produced their new cover album, “Native Sons”, which featured songs from Los Angeles bands including the Beach Boys, War, Buffalo Springfield and The Midnighters, as well as a new Los Lobos song. “Los Chucos Suaves,” was originally released in 1949 by Lalo Guerrero and Sus Cinco Lobos (!), recognizes an emerging Los Angeles pachuco culture, in which elegant, zoot-friendly Mexican Americans broaden their tastes – and dance moves – to Cuban music. Los Lobos’ version features Cesar Rosas’s juxtaposition over a snare of cumbia and mambo, with distorted guitars, brony baritone sax and frenzied timbals celebrating the early Latin cultural alliance. parallels

Banjo innovator Bella Fleck’s album out in September – who has collaborated with jazz musicians and followed the banjo’s African roots – is “My Bluegrass Heart”, billed as her return to bluegrass. “Charm School” uses a classic bluegrass quintet lineup, with Flake on Banjo, Chris Thyle on the mandolin, Billy Strings on guitar, Billy Contreras on fiddle and Royal Massat on bass. But “Charm School” is by no means a traditional bluegrass tune; It’s a fast, ever-changing suite, vaulted through keys, meters, and tempo. The quintet descends into a familiar bluegrass zone, only to dart elsewhere completely, over and over again. parallels

Barry Altschul’s drumming, and especially his flamboyant riding cymbals, is a study in contrast: he knows how to traverse the surface of a beat, while also giving it a serious look; His pocket is magnetic, but as soon as he will dice it or scatter it into pieces. In a career spanning nearly six decades in jazz, he played on both sides of the aisle, avant-garde and straight-forward, and in his running trio – The Threedom Factor, with John Irabagan on saxophones and Joe Fonda on bass – he Lasos it all together. “Long Tall Sunshine” is the title track from 3dom Factor’s new live album, and it’s classic Altschul: brimming and charging but holding back (especially thanks to Fonda’s bass), accompanied by a harmoniously melodious melody by Joe Irabagan. Sets the . to an unshielded single . giovanni russonello

On their wonderfully weird debut album “New Long Leg”, released earlier this year, London band Dry Cleaning combined post-punk grooves with the deadpan music of frontwoman Florence Shaw, a sharp, dryly funny observer of the absurdity of modern life. Is. But “Tony Speaks!”, half of the double-A-side single the band released this week, is its most prickly and political track ever. The song is an unnecessary meditation on the general but overwhelming effect that systemic problems can have on individual psychology: “I’m sad about the collapse of heavy industry, I’ll be fine in a while.” But Shaw’s most piercing thoughts come when she widens her lens and considers climate change; His reflections are in a delicate balance between comedy and tragedy. “I always thought of nature as something dead and uninvited,” she murmurs, “but there used to be a lot of more Its.” Zoladz

“Damn,” from Montreal-based singer-songwriter Ada Lee, unfolds like a quiet epiphany: a gradual accumulation of feelings and disappointments that, in an instant, suddenly come into clarity. Over an understated arrangement of guitar and percussion, Lee (whose real name is Alexandra Levy) sings slowly slipping into an emotional rut: “Every year just a little deeper, then deeper deeper,” She sings in the low, throaty drawl, “So it’s dark as hell.” But in the closing moments of the song, Lee remembers herself and calls all her energy into a spirited, denial of everything that has gone wrong: “Hey work, damn the music, damn that fun. that’s missing.” It is the sound of hitting from below but looking up at the end. zoladz

AQ, a songwriter from Benin, sings about destructive jealousy in “Oh Jay”: “When someone goes up, we wanna take ’em down / When someone moves on, we wanna stop him.” His voice is hoarse and sad with an electronic veil; The rhythm is ticking, accelerating Afrobeats-meets-trap, while guitar licks and manipulates vocals in the distance. Beneath all that is the bassy, ​​booming synthesizer tone, threatening, as the song suggests, to pull everything down. parallels

“Hope will come soon,” promises English songwriter Nao (Neo Jessica Joshua) in his helium-high soprano in the title song for his next album, “And the Life Was Beautiful”. Along the way to overcome “change came like a storm” in 2020, she advises self-preservation, patience, contemplation, and gratitude, between a threefold, soaring chromatic melody and aerial vocal harmonies. He is determined to embrace the spirit of uplift. parallels

Silvana Estrada’s voice evokes quiet fury. It’s a quality that connects her to a long line of women in Latin America, whose voices are almost synonymous with the experience of anguish and abandonment: icons like Chavella Vargas and La Lupe. But contrary to some of his forebears, the 24-year-old Mexican artist’s anguish is so calm, so raw, it burns in his chest, smoldering beneath the surface. On “Marchita”, the rolling melisma of Estrada’s voice glide over the heat of the Venezuelan Cuatro, blooming in waves of violin and violoncello strings. “I ha costado tanto ya tanto/que ya mi alma se marchita,” she cries. “It has cost me so much that my soul is withering,” she says. It’s that kind of slow-burning despair that steals life from you. herrera

Grouper, aka Liz Harris, effortlessly turns the most serious feelings into simple bouts of sadness. Although she is known for her hypnotic tape loops, breath whispers and calm piano arrangements on “Unclean Mind”, Harris swaps the familiar, sad piano keys of previous releases for the strum of an acoustic guitar. Her melodious vocals are weightless, almost imperceptible, but the expressions are transparent. “Tried to hide you from my unclean mind,” she sighs, “put it in a dress/twist pattern with a perfect line.” We don’t know what kind of relationship she refers to, but the mystical beauty of Grouper’s music is that it’s immersive without being obvious, so powerful that it needs little explanation to convey the most difficult feelings. . herrera

Scottish songwriter and singer Dot Allison has recorded as leader and collaborator in the early 1990s, with arty musicians such as Kevin Shields, Massive Attack and Scott Walker. Her new solo album, “Heart-Shaped Scars”, marks her first album since 2009. It is largely acoustic and minimal, with songs that call attention to the uncontrolled growth of plants. “Long Exposure” combines Allison’s voice with steady guitar picking, single piano notes, and a chamber-pop string section, but it’s far from quiet. It is an accusation of a partner’s slowly unfolding infidelity that gathers pain and anger from the realization that it lasted so long. parallels

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