Cardi B’s Gleefully Relentless ‘Up,’ and 12 More New Songs


On “Up,” her first solo single in several years, Cardi B’s preferred method of annihilating the haters is the lack of oxygen – its flow is so relentless that it doesn’t give listeners a single moment to catch their breath for almost three minutes . “Big Bag brings the Bentley Bentayga / Man out, Balenciaga Bardi back,” she taps with delightful alliteration before running the tongue twister back if you haven’t caught it the first time. “Up” pays homage to the steely Chicago drill sound with which Cardi grew up, and she finds herself again with DJ SwanQo, who with her on the heaviest song of “Invasion of Privacy”, “Get Up 10”, has worked together. ”(He co-produced“ Up ”with Yung Dza.) Her tone is a little happier than the drill influence suggests, and there are of course some classically comedic cardi punchlines here, but the starving way she gets into that beat deepens Serious Business. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Decisions, opportunities. SG Lewis sings about how an encounter at a party might go: will it evaporate under distractions or will the conversation continue for just one more song and lead to romance? Either way, it’s a dance party, and the guitar that scrubs complex chords over the neo-disco beat belongs to disco and dance-pop magician Nile Rodgers. JON PARELES

How far has the pandemic lowered the bar for triumph over adversity? “You made it another day, made it come alive,” Sia sings about David Guetta’s echo-like, synthetic adaptations of a Caribbean soca beat. It is computerized luck for a global emergency. PARELES

Miss Grit is the pen name of Margaret Sohn, a Michigan-born New York transplant who, like St. Vincent, is passionate about both textured guitar distortion and crisp, clean melody. (When son was a student in NYU’s music technology program, she briefly considered a career in making effects pedals.) Miss Grit’s self-produced second EP, Impostor, is a confident and searching meditation on the psychological scourge Impostor syndrome and its outsider Status as a Korean-American growing up in the Midwest. But the single “Grow Up To” is more of an abstraction – albeit a hypnotically catchy one. Under a voice with a hazy, dead coolness reminiscent of Mary Timony, Sohn traces the melody with her guitar, meanders and sparkles like a burning fuse. ZOLADZ

Folklore, mysticism, nature and electronics merge in “Agua”, the first single from an album released in April by the Colombian group Bomba Estéreo, together with expatriates from Toronto: the Colombian singer Lido Pimienta and the Afro-Cuban singing duo Okan. Voices harmonize to sing the four ancient elements – “Agua, Tierra, Aire, Fuego” (“Water, Earth, Air, Fire”) – over traditional-sounding drums, hand clapping and bird calls. then the synthesizers appear, blipping and arpeggging, while Pimienta and Bomba Estéreos Li Saumet sing and rap because they are inextricably linked with the natural world. PARELES

“Can I be one? Can we be two Jenn Wasner asks about her new single “Two.” The song – and its colorful, playful choreographed video directed by Lola B. Pierson and Cricket Arrison – is an exploration of the simultaneous needs for individuality and intimacy in a romantic relationship, reflects But also reflects the diversity of Wasner’s musical output. With her collaborator Andy Stack, she is half of the band Wye Oak, while as a solo artist she releases music under the name Flock of Dimes. “Two” is driven by an irregular beat (Wasner recently joked on Twitter about her preference for “odd time signatures”), as if to reflect the hesitant questioning of his lyrics. Even if it’s gloomy or thoughtful, Wasner has a touch of gallows humor, as if she thinks about it memorably: “We all just wear bodies like a costume until we die. “ZOLADZ

A slow, surging, chevron-forming saxophone melody – clearly in the spiritual free jazz tradition of Albert Ayler – becomes just one element in a digital crush in this remix of a melody by saxophonist Alan Braufman from his 2020 quintet album “Das Feuerbrennt Always still. “With the young multi-instrumentalist and composer Angel Bat Dawid at the controls, the track begins as a saxophone that reflects itself and bounces around on the walls of an electronic prism. that leads to a steady, truncated, electronic beat, somewhere between deep house and ambient music. A veteran of the 1970s New York jazz loft scene, Braufman has only recently revived his public music career. “The Fire Still Burns” with a cross-generational line-up of supporting musicians was a triumphant claim to artistic vitality at the age of 69. This Dawid remix is ​​yet another indication of what it means to be involved over decades and pushing the tradition forward. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“I will be your protection,” promises Wyclef Jean, sometimes in a sweet falsetto and sometimes with hoarse vehemence, over sad, syncopated guitar chords. But the track, even with a touch of hope at the end, is an elegy, and the raps by Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper objectively explain how many people are not protected from illness, poverty and racism: “Hospital employees in peelings without PPE / But they got money for riot gear, ”says Mensa. PARELES

How’s that to build anticipation: HER’s new song was nominated for a Golden Globe the day before its release! The soulful “Fight for You” from the soundtrack of the upcoming Black Panther drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” creates an appropriate balance between the scene design and current coolness, like lyrics like “all the smoke in the air, feel the hatred when they are stare ”, draw unfortunate parallels between past and present. ZOLADZ

Producer Jimmy Edgar has connections far away. He’s worked with producers like Sophie and Hudson Mohawk and rappers like Danny Brown. The 24-hour rapper from Atlanta sings different phrases in “Notice”, but all the action is in the track: stop and start viscous bass tones, small whistling interjections, double-time boings and swoops and tinkles. There is a slow, determined push forward, but at any point it is impossible to predict where it will land. PARELES

You can hear history flow both ways and the future sloshing against the past as pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Archie Shepp revisit John Coltrane’s “Wise One”. With Moran dragging an arpeggiated rumble into a rhythmic flow or splashing a handful of high notes onto the keyboard behind Shepp’s high-pitched scream, it’s almost impossible to tell whether the younger pianist is leading his elders on a new path or following his example. Shepp became a Coltrane Apostle more than half a century ago, and it was Trane who sparked Shepp! Records that help him build a reputation as one of the leading jazz innovators of the 1960s. Moran appeared decades later and idolized both of them. Shepp and Moran’s album “Let My People Go” is out now, only the latest in a long history of memorable piano-sax duet albums by Shepp, including those with Mal Waldron and Horace Parlan. RUSSONELLO

Vampire Weekend was always conceptual and challenged musician fans to redesign “2021”, a one and a half minute long song about relationships and the passage of time (“Copper turns green, steel girders rust”) from his 2019 album “Father” of the bride. “There were conditions: Each remake should last exactly 20 minutes and 21 seconds and be combined for an EP with the title (do the math)” 40:42 “. Both acts suited the occasion. Goose, a methodical jam band from Connecticut , has made a live jam on video, with clear landmarks of minimalist stasis, playful cross-currents and dramatic, attentive builds. Sam Gendel, a saxophonist who has worked with Ry Cooder, Perfume Genius and Moses Sumney, developed several scenarios for an adventure of his own : breathtaking woodwind choirs, abstract modal drones, electronic meditations and loops, cozy acoustic sitting by the fireplace, rough jazz finals. Musicians love to work with limited parameters and to jump beyond them. PARELES



Robert Dunfee