An Anthem About Hugging Your Friends Again, and 10 More New Songs

Who better than Frank Turner, the punk-intense British folk singer, to underscore the imminent joy of reconnecting with others? Turner i...


Who better than Frank Turner, the punk-intense British folk singer, to underscore the imminent joy of reconnecting with others? Turner is barking on “The Gathering” — which casually features Dom Howard (from Muse, on drums) and an inquisitive guitar solo from Jason Isbell — and fully in pulpit mode: “I’ve been missing the feeling when we close up the gaps between us/It’s better than the best benediction, more bracing than blood lust.” Generally, this sort of earnestness can be wearying (even after a very wearying year-plus of isolation), but Turner succeeds because he sounds like he’s just stomped out of a stuffy meeting to go yell on a street corner, frantic with euphoria. JON CARAMANICA

In Lump, which releases an album called “Animal” in July, Laura Marling sets aside her virtuosic acoustic guitar to collaborate with Mike Lindsay, the electronics wizard from the folktronica group Tunng. For the album’s title song, she gives herself terse syllable counts — “All that you want/Is to be heard” — as Lindsay supplies steady pulses and blips. But midway through, the metronomic pulse breaks down and Marling leaves her deadpan monotone to wail, “I need more.” Then she submits once again to the digital grid. JON PARELES

The Malian singer Khaira Arby, who died in 2018, was a clarion vocalist who led an incendiary band, fusing Malian modes and rhythms and combining traditional string instruments — the tehardant and ngoni — with a psychedelic electric-guitar attack. “New York Live,” a newly released recording from her first concert in North America, magnificently captures the spiraling energy of her concerts. Listen to the whole remarkable set, or jump in near the peak with “Ferene,” with its intricate cymbal cross-rhythms, its exultant call-and-response vocals and its bursts of fuzz-toned guitar frenzy. PARELES

Rostam, formerly of Vampire Weekend, zeros in on the awkward intimacy of a particular moment: the cab ride to the airport, a last bit of togetherness before a strictly defined parting. “I am happy you and I got this hour,” he croons, over a nervous six-beat rhythm and echoey piano chords and guitar tones; the relationship stays tentative, conditional. PARELES

“Maré” means tide, and in his new single, the Brazilian songwriter Rodrigo Amarante compares destiny to a tidal ebb and flow, singing with a tone of weary acceptance. His music has its own push and pull, with three-against-two rhythms and a tangle of instrumental lines — guitars, percussion, a nasal synthesizer, a horn section, some whistling — that interlock but sound like they might collide at any moment. It sounds charmingly ramshackle; it’s not. PARELES

Gogo Penguin looks like a jazz trio — piano, bass and drums — but its music also has plenty in common with the repetition, terse motifs and inexorable evolution of electronica. Its new album, “Gogo Penguin Remixes,” hands over tracks from the 2020 “Gogo Penguin” to electronica wizards like Squarepusher, Machinedrum, 808 State and, on “Kora,” the Japanese producer Cornelius. The original’s pecking, stop-start piano theme hints at the plucking of an African kora; Cornelius extrapolates the implied harmonies of that theme to build a sustained, whooshing, buzzing, superstructure, as if he’s unveiling the tune’s futuristic inner life. PARELES

The saxophonist Joe Lovano and the trumpeter Dave Douglas recorded the tracks that would become “Other Worlds,” the new album from their quintet, Sound Prints, in January 2020, just weeks ahead of a global shutdown. Most of the tunes on the album were done in just one take, and the band’s natural comfort comes through here. On “Life on Earth,” a swiftly shuffling Douglas tune, the pianist Lawrence Fields plays less and less as the trumpeter’s solo develops, moving from a colorist’s role to that of a jagged percussion instrument. Lovano’s tenor saxophone solo brings a sluice of energy flooding back in, until Fields and the bassist Linda May Han Oh finish off the solo section with briefly suspenseful, dashing statements of their own. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“Hardheaded,” the fascinating new self-produced EP from the Houston rapper Marcellus Juvann, is full of clever, quirky, urgent and oddball beats. They’re uniformly potent, and a strong match for Juvann’s rapping, which he delivers in a lightly croaky, lightly stumbling, lightly swinging voice that telegraphs confidence and disaffection all at once. CARAMANICA

A fan edit of this track has been making the rounds on TikTok, but this version is different, with a new Playboi Carti verse. Trippie Redd remains underappreciated and committed to SoundCloud rap staccato, and Carti sticks with his mewling yelps, all over a beat that suggests a starship shifting into warp gear. CARAMANICA

As if 21st-century life weren’t surveilled enough, the Los Angeles producer and songwriter Elohim has enlisted the New Orleans bounce icon Big Freedia to join her in saying that even a sidewalk is a runway, a place to perform and be judged. The beat is downright perky, even if the message is oppressive. Still, sometimes a sidewalk is just a sidewalk. PARELES

Ambient music is having a moment, fed partly by our urge for peace amid the anxiety of a pandemic, but also by a need for contact with the outside world — for physicality and touch. A lot of the quiet-seeking, time-stretching music that’s coming out from artists like Claire Rousay, Lea Bertucci and Ben Seretan isn’t primarily electronic; it lives up to the “ambient” designation more literally, ensconcing voices or instrumentals in the sounds of the outdoors. The Los Angeles-based percussionist and producer Carlos Niño’s new album, “More Energy Fields, Current,” places him and a small coterie of musician friends inside a wider environment, playing loops and gentle improvisations and long synthesizer chords. On “Ripples, Reflection, Loop,” he’s joined by the New Age pioneer Laraaji, the pianist Jamael Dean and the vocalist Sharada, who’s heard from what feels like a distance — and then startlingly, comfortingly up close. RUSSONELLO

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Newsrust - US Top News: An Anthem About Hugging Your Friends Again, and 10 More New Songs
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