Lana Del Rey’s brotherly solidarity and 10 more new songs

“Blue Banisters,” released Friday, is Lana Del Rey’s ever-prolific second album released this year, and its melodically traveling title track sounds like a sort of spiritual sequel to “Dance till death” from his previous album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club”. Del Rey’s music has recently taken on a sort of coterie of female first names, giving many of his songs an insular yet welcoming feel. If “Dance Till We Die” was a kind of matriarchal fellowship with some of her musical heroes (“I pick up Joni and dance with Joan / Stevie’s call on the phone”), “Blue Banisters” finds her getting along with a bit. help from his less famous friends. This vaporous and inquisitive piano ballad reflects on a choice between settling into the femininity of a conventional wife and living a more hectic and lonely artist life: “Most men don’t want a woman with an inheritance.” Del Rey sings, citing her friend Jenny’s pool side. reveries. At the end of the song, however, she found a third option, neither in love nor alone, surrounded by “all my sisters” who come together to paint her railings a different shade than her ex once preferred. Despite all the criticism Del Rey leveled early in his career for bringing up the loneliness of embodying a male fantasy, it was fascinating to watch his music gradually transform into a space warmed by romantic friendship and female solidarity. . LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Beyoncé meditated “If I were a Boy”; Miranda Lambert now gives a similar song-length thinking exercise a country twist. “If I Was a Cowboy” – Lambert’s first solo single since his eclectic, Grammy-winning 2019 album “Wildcard” – finds it airy and relaxed, as opposed to its more spirited fare. But the song’s outlaw demeanor and clever genre commentary give “If I Was a Cowboy” a flippant and rebellious spirit. “So moms, if your daughters become cowboys,” sings Lambert on the deck smiling, “… so what?” »ZOLADZ

The seventh track on My Morning Jacket’s new album – their first in six years and the ninth overall – is a particularly succinct encapsulation of two things the Louisville band have always been able to do well. The first half of the song is all about fun and carnival pop (with frontman Jim James hammering out his rumbling delivery of the word “aliiiiive”). Halfway through, however, “Lucky to Be Alive” turns into a sort of psychedelic Laser-Floyd jam session that suggests why MMJ has built a reputation as a stellar live band. Put the two sides together and you get the overall mantra of the song – and maybe the band -: always look on the bright side of the moon. ZOLADZ

Here’s a powerful blast of sweet, springtime power-pop, courtesy of underrated Australian singer-songwriter Alex Lahey. If you’ve ever had a party that guests have lingered on for a bit too long, this one is for you and your loved one: “Punch the punch and send everyone home, so in the end it ‘s for you. is you and me dancing all alone. »ZOLADZ

The enticing second single from Snail Mail’s upcoming album, “Valentine,” finds Lindsey Jordan growling and vamping atop a slender bassline. “I should never have hurt you,” she sings in a low register, “I have the devil in me.” Jordan is equally charismatic in the clip: check out his Britney Spears chain during the VMA snake era as a yellow python slips over his shoulders; stay to watch her share an ice cream cone with a puppy. ZOLADZ

If the title suggests a kiss directed at an ex-boyfriend, think again: “Ex for a Reason” turns out to be a scathing warning to the stubbornly persistent old flame of a current man – consider it some sort of R -rated “The boy is mine.” Summer Walker spits out venom in a delightfully incongruous, laid-back croon (“Tonight I’m going to finish it all / run the block two, three times, make sure all the cancer is gone”), before City Girls’ JT ‘intervenes to land the fatal blow, brilliantly. ZOLADZ

There are a lot of entangling hymns in reggaeton, but Puerto Rican singers Álvaro Díaz and Rauw Alejandro are the masters of perreo desire. For their latest collaboration, “Problemón”, the couple tackle a sticky situation: a partner lied about being single, and now a love affair must be kept a secret. Díaz and Alejandro bring melody to the fore on a track that highlights the contours of their addictive pop. It’s an easy addition to reggaeton playlists of sad girls. ISABELIA HERRERA

Bassist and producer Sam Wilkes has gained popularity among jazz fans and beatheads thanks to a series of woozy recordings on analog tape with saxophonist Sam Gendel. Wilkes released his own album on Friday, “A Theme and Further Improvisation,” which stems from an equally slimy vein. He went into the studio with two drummer friends to record a long improvisation, then split and edited that recording, and two keyboardists then put their own improvisations on it. The end product is a magnetic album that revolves around the harmonized bass figure that opens the album’s opening track, “One Theme”, and often moves away from it. In 33 minutes, Wilkes can sometimes summon minimalist travelers like William Basinski or Éliane Radigue, or he can find himself in post-rock territory – especially when the twin drummers take the wheel. (Gendel also released a single this week, a complete overhaul of Laurie Anderson’s “Sweaters” from her 1982 hit experimental album, “Big Science.” “) GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“Embryo”, from producer Jlin, is pure electronic gymnastics. A buzzing synth floats across the track like a fly in your ear as a high-intensity workout begins with exaggerated bass, thumping drums, and ground foursome beats flashing in and out of focus. Before you know it, it’s all over and your heart will need some time to cool down. HERRERA

The first offering from Animal Collective’s upcoming album “Time Skiffs” (due out February 2022) is surprisingly rich in bass, a softly hypnotic groove that unfolds over six and a half minutes pleasantly unhurried. As far as the Animal Collective songs go, they are relatively tame – devoid of their panicking cries and more like a cross between the Beach Boys and Grizzly Bear, as the quartet’s vocals join in a touching harmony. Still, it feels like a natural step in the gradual evolution of the mainstays of indie, the sound of a band once so fascinated with childish awe nodding to their own version of maturity. ZOLADZ

For Brooklyn-based young tenor saxophonist Kazemde George, pushing for more doesn’t necessarily mean turning up the volume or pushing idiosyncrasy. His first album – titled “I Insist” in reference to the protestant tradition of jazz and to Max Roach specifically – is mainly to claim the mantle of direct jazz. With a fast swinging feel and a set of suspenseful chord changes that are only half resolved, “This Spring” is one of the record’s 10 original compositions, but it would have been right at home as well. on an album by a young 30-year-old saxophonist. there is, during the neoclassical revival of jazz. Throughout, what George insists on most – of himself and his bandmates – is clarity: Melody is never sacrificed to flair or crossfire, even when the momentum builds up. . RUSSONELLO

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Grace D. Erickson

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