Soccer Mommy expands sound and 12 more new songs

Sophie Allison, who records as Soccer Mommy, continues to expand beyond the sparse indie rock of her early songs. “Shotgun” previews an album slated for June – “Sometimes, Forever” – produced by Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin), a writer with far-reaching and unclear implications. “Shotgun” is a pledge of devotion to someone who might be troubled. It places Allison’s breathy, giddy voice above a heavy beat and a low, nasal riff; as the chorus promises “Whenever you want me, I’ll be there”, new layers of echoing guitars and sudden drum hits loom, suggesting its path isn’t entirely clear. JON PARELES

“Humble Quest”, the title track from Maren Morris’ new album, carefully balances humility and growing determination: “I was so nice until I woke up / I was polite until I talk,” she sings. The verses are stubborn and subdued, with steady drums and descending piano chords; the chorus leaps upward, insisting, “Damn, I’m trying my best / I won’t hold my breath.” But the song thins out at the end, returning to piano chords; the quest continues. Talk

As usual, Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile is an amiable, amiable presence on “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone),” a mildly psychedelic ditty that’s in no particular rush to get where it’s going. “Standing on top of Mount Airy Hill…thinking about…flying,” he begins, sounding like a cross between Bill Callahan and John Prine, the kindred spirit he collaborated with on the 2020 “Speed, Sound” EP. , Lonely KV”. From this release, Vile began to more directly embrace the country inflections of his music and vocal delivery, and here they add to the song’s quirky charm. “I was aboutbut now i am faded away“, he vamps, letting this last word fly away in an aerial falsetto before adding a wink line which also serves as the title of his next album: “Look at my movements”. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Under her solo moniker Flock of Dimes, Jenn Wasner tends to do complex, gnarly indie rock, driven by unexpected chord changes and unusual time signatures. She described the hypnotic “It Just Goes On”, however, as “perhaps one of the simplest, most straightforward songs I’ve ever done”, and the understated arrangement allows her dreamy vocals to to shine. The first track of a B-side companion track to his excellent 2021 album ‘Head of Roses’, ‘It Just Goes On’ is a slow-motion daydream centered on a murky dangling guitar riff, like the evocative lyrics of Wasner, in a state of suspended possibility: “If it never started, it doesn’t have to end, it continues.” ZOLADZ

English songwriter, singer and guitarist Jane Weaver returns to the mechanical minimalism of 1970s kraut-rock in “Oblique Fantasy”, a patiently evolving assemblage of guitar and synthesizer lines – picked, strummed, floating, blipping, culminating in feedback – to an unwavering motor beat, as she delivers on her promise, “I’ll get under your skin.” Talk

Avant-pop singer Kilo Kish has a chimera: the disappearance and dismantling of all the frames, definitions and limits that could constrain her. On “Death Fantasy,” from his new album “American Gurl,” Kish raps in a breathless staccato about his ambition: “I got a death fantasy / The death of my aesthetic, this faux fiction sculpted my way.” , she chants. On Instagram, Kish called the song a “manifesto” and a “declaration of freedom.” But with flickering drums, neon-drenched synths, Miguel’s soaring, looping vocals, and a jarring flatline, “Death Fantasy” is less anthemic – it’s more of a trance spell, conjured to convince you of the promise to start from scratch. ISABELLE HERRERA

Well-deserved 1990s nostalgia and adult regret fill Phife Dawg’s “Forever,” the title track from a new album, released six years after his death, that mixes his final raps with guest tribute verses. . Phife Dawg had reunited with A Tribe Called Quest, but died before the release of their final album together in 2016. In “Forever”, he rhymes through the band’s history as “four brothers with a mic and a dream”. A plush soulful string section, wobbling beat and old-school turntable scratching accompany him as he reminisces about the band’s rise. Suddenly, he cuts the piece off and, a cappella, he admits, “Lack of communication killed my tribe/Bad vibes. But the past is the past, he declares: “Despite the trials, the tribu-ulations, without a doubt we were built to survive.” Talk

24-year-old singer Omar Apollo has a knack for jagged, irreverent pop songs. On “Tamagotchi,” he calls on the Neptunes to craft his latest vision: there’s Pharrell’s signature four-beat start, a muted Spanish guitar loop winding beneath bilingual bars on Apollo’s rising stardom. But the best part of “Tamagotchi” is that Apollo doesn’t take himself too seriously: “I make bread (Bread)/Sound like Pavarotti,” he sneers at one point. At the honey-soaked R&B deck, you’ll be steeped in his charisma. HERRERA

Frya from Zimbabwe clearly listened to Adele: where she applies vibrato, her approach to syncopation and sustain, and where she makes her voice rise and break. But she has a songwriter’s gift: how to turn words and sounds into an emotional connection. “Say my name please in that tone again,” she pleads in “Changes,” as she moves from piano ballad to orchestral plea, perfectly strategic and emotionally revealing. Talk

The beautifully eerie “Fences,” from the soundtrack to the metaverse film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” are about reassuring falsetto and gaping chasms. Over sustained electronic tones, resounding bass notes and orchestral swells, Moses Sumney sings an apologetic, waltzing chorus – “Only meant to give you my all/Never meant to build you a wall” – that multiplies its harmonies vocals but seems more and more helpless. Talk

“Everyone I know is lost,” Nika Roza Danilova, who records as Zola Jesus, laments on the doom and kinetic new single from her upcoming album, “Arkhon.” The track begins with a decidedly post-apocalyptic vibe: earthy, guttural rumbles, synthesizers that sound like air raid sirens, and a percussive series of high-pitched breaths, stitched together to set the song’s beat. But Danilova’s powerful voice soon provides a stirring counterpoint and a provocative sign of life, like a flare shooting through an icy landscape. ZOLADZ

Guitarist Marvin Sewell, who is usually heard injecting soul and rambunctiousness into other people’s bands, takes a moment to ruminate on “A Hero’s Journey” on his own. He plays acoustic guitar with a shivering slide, frequently returning to a mournful pattern on the treble strings. Although understated, the track stands out on “Black Lives”, a two-disc compilation of new music performed by a stylistically wide range of contemporary jazz artists. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

At first, the occasional clank of Jonathan Pinson’s drums seems to be the main source of commotion on an otherwise understated track: the interplay between Mark Turner’s tenor saxophone and Jason Palmer’s trumpet – both doused in reverb, played with crystal clarity and zero hurry – is almost placid. But there’s an uneasy tension in the space between their horns, a tension that’s only fully exposed towards the end. Finally, we are left with no resolution, as the group climbs towards a landing that never quite comes. RUSSONELLO


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Grace D. Erickson