Beyoncé Amps Up ‘Savage,’ and 12 More New Songs

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 and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.

With “Hot Girl Summer,” a catchphrase became an inspiration for a song that became an occasion for Megan Thee Stallion to rap alongside one of her idols, Nicki Minaj. The results were mixed, a too-timid color-by-numbers exercise. The remix for her track “Savage” arrives via a similar path — the chorus to “Savage,” from Megan’s recent album “Suga,” became a TikTok dance-challenge sensation, elevating the song from amusing album cut to legitimate phenomenon. That made it an ideal vehicle for a collaboration with fellow Houstonian Beyoncé, a pairing that has been a long time coming. “Savage Remix” is fantastic, far more involved and intricate than most blink-and-you’ll-miss-it collaborations. Beyoncé rises to the challenge, rapping heartily about staying silent even when mad, the kinship of curves (“If you don’t jump to put jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain”) and, in a flamboyant demonstration of cultural acuity, the Demon Time series of private Instagram strip clubs that’s been a quarantine-era distraction for hip-hop and sports celebrities. Proceeds from the collaboration go to Bread of Life’s coronavirus relief efforts. JON CARAMANICA

On the songs Haim has been teasing out from its next album, now due June 26, its three sisters have been turning to less sparkly, more subdued productions than in the past, suiting the misgivings that have always been in the lyrics. “I Know Alone” portrays longtime depression and isolation — “Nights turn into days/That turn to gray” — while the instrumental intricacies turn inward, like obsessive thoughts. The video clip is a TikTok-ready sync-dance sequence, with the sisters at a social-distance separation and a recurring move that suggests scrolling through social media. JON PARELES

In the mid-1990s, Oasis reigned as proud inheritors of a British rock continuum from the Beatles through the Smiths and the Stone Roses. The band split up in the late 2000s over the long-running filial conflict between Noel Gallagher — the band’s songwriter — and Liam Gallagher, its lead singer. During pandemic isolation, Noel rediscovered a demo of “Don’t Stop…,” a song that was previously known to die-hard fans from a bootlegged 2005 soundcheck performance. It’s a waltz sung by Noel, backed by guitars and a tambourine, saying goodbye and urging a positive spirit: “Take a piece of life/It’s all right to hold back the night.” It’s a kindly postscript from a contentious band; who knows if it’s the final one? PARELES

“There’s some times, so much noise between us/And I wish it could just be quiet for a moment,” Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings in “Just Let Me,” and she gets that quiet. In most Braids songs, the band’s busily layered math-rock patterns seize the foreground alongside vocals and lyrics. But this song is a moment of analytical clarity in the middle of a lovers’ quarrel — “Just let me get through to you” is the refrain — and that’s no time for distractions. PARELES

Eve Owen’s “Mother” gathers intensity as it goes: not by speeding up its galloping six-beat rhythm but by the way Owen’s voice gathers focus and attack, working up to a whoop, and by thickening layers of guitars, drums and a string arrangement. Her collaborator is Aaron Dessner of the National, yet the quavers and breaks in Owen’s voice make her sound far more volatile than his band does. PARELES

It’s surprising that up until the trapcorrido movement of the last couple of years, embodied most vividly in the Rancho Humilde label, the tropes of gangster rap and the aesthetics of regional Mexican music rarely overlapped. “Que Maldición” feels like an attempt to make up for lost time, or perhaps a genial elder-generation retort to the upstarts who are creating this alchemy in real time. The Sinaloan outfit Banda MS has been a force for almost two decades, and Snoop Dogg has been a hip-hop icon for a decade longer than that. Their collaboration is tender, low-stakes, a little goofy — the uncles letting the youngsters know they see what’s happening, and that they were cool once, too. CARAMANICA

The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra has been playing lighthearted, ska-tinged big-band music since 1988. Its single for the pandemic moment is a remake of the Japanese song that was renamed “Sukiyaki” and became an international hit in the early 1960s. Now it’s a polyglot call for long-term optimism, merging the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra with an Argentine ska band, Los Auténticos Decadentes, and featuring the Brazilian rapper-singer Emecida — calling for “happiness as a mission” — and appearances from Angelo Moore of Fishbone and the Puerto Rican singer iLe and her producer Ismael Cancel. Yes, it’s one of those grid-of-musicians-multitracking videos, but the networked camaraderie comes through. PARELES

Kenny Chesney spends most of his albums playing the easygoing nice guy, savoring small pleasures and sympathizing with everyday life. But every so often he chooses a song that snarls. On his new album, “Here and Now,” that song is “You Don’t Get To,” a sullen march sung to an ex who’s trying to seduce him back: “You don’t get to give a damn/After all you put me through,” he sings, with deep resentment behind the honeyed croon. PARELES

The sensitive country bruiser Mitchell Tenpenny grabs the Lewis Capaldi hit by the throat, shakes it violently, empties its pockets, then pops it in his mouth and lets it dissolve. Surprisingly winning stuff. CARAMANICA

Since 2003, the pianist Vijay Iyer and the poet Mike Ladd have collaborated on a series of full-length stage performances blending music, words and visuals, and interrogating the lives of people of color in the United States during the “war on terror.” The music on each of these suites is a kind of mixed-media work of its own: a sound that’s also an atmosphere, and a way of pumping blood into the words recited by Ladd and other poets. Their first project together was “In What Language,” looking at the experiences of black and brown people in airports after 9/11. It was released as an album in 2003, and now Pi Recordings has put out an all-instrumental version. If you ever made the mistake of hearing the music here as secondary to the words, this will set that right. “Three Lotto Stories,” which on the original album features the poet Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, represents one of the sharpest musical moments, especially when Ambrose Akinmusire offers a snarling trumpet solo over blustery waves of synthesizer and cello and stippled guitar. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The quarantine-themed hip-hop videos continue: for “Moana,” the new collaboration between G-Eazy and Jack Harlow, much of the video takes place in split screen fashioned to look like a Zoom call, where the two rappers and the producer Zaytoven enjoy themselves listening to their handiwork. And there are FaceTime cameos from Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Marshawn Lynch and more, as well as a glimpse of DJ Drama’s home sauna. But the real surprise here is the welcome return of the bubbly, approachable, flirtatious-but-not-icky approach to rapping that G-Eazy has toyed with but never committed to. CARAMANICA

“Improvisation for Sonic Cure” is a secular ritual, a half-hour meditation on instruments and materials amid mysterious electronic tones. The accompanying video shows Ryuichi Sakamoto wandering in his studio as he taps and scrapes rocks; uses rocks and a bow to play a cymbal (that was made in Wuhan, China, a close-up shows); plays sparse piano clusters and tentative bits of melody on piano; draws drones and feedback from an electric guitar and sets up and melts down a buzzy pattern on an analog synthesizer, listening intently all along. PARELES

There are obvious ways to pay tribute to Dizzy Gillespie. Play some bebop (a genre he helped create) or Latin jazz (another), or just cover a few of his myriad compositions. But on “Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity,” the esteemed trumpeter Dave Douglas pays homage through dissection and expansion. By taking elements of Gillespie’s compositions but mostly creating fresh works of his own, and centering the rapport with his five bandmates, Douglas has created a loving tribute with its own liftoff. The title of “Con Almazan,” and its way of unhurriedly cycling through chords, refers to Gillespie’s “Con Alma.” But it’s also a nod to the band’s pianist, Fabian Almazan, who adorns the twin trumpets of Douglas and Dave Adewumi with spiked harmonies, then takes a rambunctious solo, moving up the keyboard in quickening spirals. RUSSONELLO

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