The Playlist: Dua Lipa’s Disco Blast, and 13 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.

A stitched-tight, bulbous and joyful disco song, “Don’t Start Now” is the first single from Dua Lipa’s forthcoming second album. Produced by Ian Kirkpatrick — who also produced her breakthrough “New Rules” — it’s effective but not overambitious, even when it breaks into its Moroder-esque bridge. Dua Lipa’s voice lingers amiably, but isn’t particularly creamy, which means that she sells this song’s kiss-off sentiment with rhythm but not punch. JON CARAMANICA

Rage, desperation and hope against the odds drive “Dispossession,” a hardheaded rallying cry previewing the album due in January by the Atlanta band Algiers. Over pounding minor piano chords, Franklin James Fisher warns “Dispossession is coming for you” in a soul shout, answered by a gospel-style refrain — “You can’t run away” — sung by the Cleveland group Mourning [A] BLKstar. The song envisions an underground rising “from the ashes of ashes, so immune to defeat,” and insists, “Freedom is coming soon,” but hunkers down for a long struggle. JON PARELES

Soundtrack songs for the “Charlie’s Angels” movie franchise have emphatically declared that strong, independent women are sexy, and this latest iteration is joyfully on brand. Produced by Max Martin’s pop factory, “Nobody” is smart enough to grab a 1960s soul beat and to pair Ariana Grande with the churchy grit of Chaka Khan — “Got a job, got a crib, got a mind of my own,” she announces. There’s deep calculation all the way through, but there’s also soul music’s intrinsic joy. PARELES

“Something doesn’t feel right,” Kevin Parker sings to begin “It Might Be Time,” from a long-delayed Tame Impala album now slated for February 2020. Steady, placid keyboard chords accompany him at first, but his disquiet just deepens — “You’re going under/You ain’t as young as you used to be,” he realizes — and as it does, drums slam in behind him and synthesizer swoops take on a menacing edge. As in “Borderline,” released earlier this year, he’s wondering how long music can be his refuge, even as it carries him. PARELES

Dan Deacon revisits one of his recurring subjects — death — with jubilant fatalism and a racing pulse in “Sat by a Tree,” from an album due in January. He considers the aftermath of his death — “It’s a short life, sadly unrehearsed/But when I die if you think of me think of me think of my best first” — in a track that’s frenetically alive, zooming along with countless minimalistic layers, electronic and orchestral, from dance-floor drumbeats to hoedown fiddles all surging with major-key exuberance. The video, not for the squeamish, shows swarming carnivorous insects reclaiming a body (Aparna Nancherla) for the soil. PARELES

The centuries-old, clip-clop beat of cumbia spread across Latin America long ago, in part because it meshes easily with much younger styles, from rock to electronic dance music. On “Quema,” Sotomayor — the duo of Mexican siblings Raul and Paulina Sotomayor — gestures briefly toward traditional percussion, then rolls in 1980s-flavored synthesizers, with a drum machine, a fuzzy bass line and bubbly arpeggios. Paulina’s vocals start as matter-of-factly self-confident rapping and rise into melody, as she sings about dancing on burning ground. A cameo by the traditionalist Puerto Rican rumba singer Totin (Arará) Agosto adds a folkloric seal of approval across generations. PARELES

After a 16-year break, Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age decided to gather a new, idiosyncratic assortment of musicians to collaborate for “Desert Sessions Vols. 11 & 12.” Amid clamorous riffs, studio concoctions, tangled wordplay and sly in-jokes is the quietly telling “If You Run,” a tale of tattered romance laced with sage advice: “You lie to each other, but you better never lie to yourself.” It is sung with calm gravity by the deliberately elusive Libby Grace (last name Hackford), who wrote it with Homme and Matt Sweeney (of Chavez and Iggy Pop’s “Post Pop Depression” band). It starts out folky and ghostly and gathers a feedback-laced band without losing its touch of mystery. PARELES

“Pecador” means “sinner,” so of course Residente is backed by a church choir — along with an ominous trap-tinged beat and sampled screams — and he directed a video set in a church, for a rap (in Spanish) that’s a crescendo of vehemence. “My only virtue is that I’m full of defects,” he claims, enumerating his own sinful thoughts on the way to boasting about them and lashing out at hypocrisy and mediocrity — accelerating all the way through. PARELES

Few do plaint quite like the Pinegrove frontman Evan Stephens Hall. On “Phase,” the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album, “Marigold,” he’s vividly detailed — “There’s brambles scratching at the window/And there’s silver shining on the thorns” — pulling and pushing his voice herky-jerky while the rest of the band grounds him in rootsy emo. CARAMANICA

On “74,” the breathless ramble of an opening track from his immersive new album “Feet of Clay,” Earl Sweatshirt digs deeper into his free-associative, muddy style. He’s an inheritor of late 1990s New York underground rap radicals MF Doom, Cannibal Ox and Anti-Pop Consortium, a tone-poet abstractionist seeking out the overlap between philosophizing and catatonia. CARAMANICA

You can hear the heat and the hollers coming off a crowded Village Vanguard stage on “Chronology of a Dream.” It is the second live album from that storied club that Jon Batiste, the pianist and “Late Show” bandleader, has released this year. The one before, “Anatomy of Angels,” was dominated by a lengthy suite, but the new record offers up a harvest of pithy, energetic, mostly original tunes, played by a flexible cast of horns, percussionists and more. “Soulful” is an exception, as well as a highlight: It’s a crisply simmering Roy Hargrove original, which Batiste and the band performed as a tribute to the trumpeter on the night of his untimely death last year. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Another nonsensical streaming-era collaboration-by-numbers redeemed by the exquisite Moneybagg Yo boast “Too many rings, I’mma need another pinkie.” CARAMANICA

What is it that makes Violet Hour — the drummer Gerald Cleaver’s jazz sextet, which first came together on the standout 2008 album “Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit” — such a deliriously rewarding group? On the surface, with its acoustic instrumentation and brisk swing rhythms, it seems a lot like any other straight-ahead jazz combo. But Cleaver is no ordinary drummer, and on its new album, “Live at Firehouse 12,” like on “Detroit,” there’s something special about the combination of his powerhouse, magnetic playing; his tuneful, twisting compositions; and the rough cohesion of this ensemble, which features a mix of all-stars (the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, the saxophonist J.D. Allen, the bassist Chris Lightcap) and lesser-known talents from Cleaver’s native Michigan. Hear how loose and fungible everything is on “Tale of Bricks:” the horns’ harmonies, the rhythmic feel, at times even the tempo. RUSSONELLO

Yes, this is a faithful remake of the Donna Summer song — in the same key, with a convincing imitation of the Giorgio Moroder rhythm track that can claim to have spawned electronic dance music. And yes, Sam Smith’s falsetto sounds utterly smooth and earnest. But what’s the point of copying perfection? PARELES

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