Kamasi Washington Enters A New Era And 13 Other New Songs


Los Angeles-based saxophonist and spiritual jazz revivalist Kamasi Washington, 40, made his U.S. television debut late at night this week, performing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” With more than a dozen instrumentalists and singers arrayed around him on stage, all draped in whites and desert gold, he presented a new composition, “The Garden Path.” Washington’s core musical components haven’t changed since the release of his seminal album, The Epic: polyrhythmic funk and rock beats; a full breath of brass over a fleshy rhythm section; little harmonic or melodic movement in the theme of the song. The greatest source of magnetism here came from the bottom of the stage: it was the voice of Dwight Trible, a jazz musician from Los Angeles, whose lush baritone carries the scathing lyrics in harmony with Patrice Quinn: “Bright minds with dark eyes/Speak loud words, tell sweet ment/Lost without a trace/To get out of this misery. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The flamboyant Jamaican Koffee, who made history as the youngest person and first woman to win a Grammy for Best Reggae Album of 2020, has good reason to arrive triumphantly on ‘Pull Up’, the new single beatific from his long-awaited debut album, “Gifted”, scheduled for March 25th. A liquid rhythm from the masterful Anglo-Ghanaian producer Jae5 flows between Afrobeats and reggae; In the video, Koffee smiles from ear to ear, her mouth full of braces, as she leans out the window of a drifting car and lets the beards flow: “Zero to a hundred in two / Yeah, so I flex on you.” ISABELLE HERRERA

A love song in which MGK and Willow lament that they’ve fallen for the emo girl who’s just out of reach, celebrating her by sulking like 1950s songs serenaded the prom queen. If that doesn’t inspire and soundtrack an awkward teen Netflix rom-com by this time next year, I’m canceling my subscription! JON CARAMANICA

The songs on Lucy Dacus’ 2021 album, “Home Video,” revisited childhood memories, many of which are laden with difficult self-discoveries. “Kissing Lessons” is happier. It’s a two-minute pop-punk reminiscence of being in second grade and learning to kiss from a girl who was a year older, sharing childlike thoughts on what an adult romance would be like: an interlude affectionate, brief and revealing. Talk

Tate McRae has a dry, edgy voice that suits this compelling, temperamental punk-pop thumper on envy: “If you say she ain’t nothing to worry about / then why did you close your eyes when you did you say it out loud?” CARAMANIC

With every single she releases from her upcoming album “Squeeze,” Los Angeles artist Sasami Ashworth shows off another rock subgenre she can pull off with effortless, idiosyncratic style. “Say It” was industrial banger, “Skin a Rat” flirted with metal, and “The Greatest” indulged in slow-burn garage rock. Her latest, “Call Me Home,” is a lush, nostalgic burst of AM radio psychedelia, suggesting she’s not done revealing the many facets of her eclectic talent yet. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

The track navigates easily, with a light boom-bap rhythm, a pinch of piano notes, quiet guitar chords and a canopy of strings. Arlo Parks tries to keep his voice nonchalant. But she’s all too aware that her romance is coming to an end: “Has anything changed? Did I just miss the memo? She’s broken and all she can do is beg her lover to “tell me softly.” Talk

A gifted soul singer hiding in country music, Kassi Ashton sings with resonant nostalgia on “Dates in Pickup Trucks,” a beautiful breeze of a song about what to do when there’s absolutely nothing to do. CARAMANIC

Obongjayar is Steven Umoh, who was born in Nigeria and moved to London as a teenager. It won’t get stuck; “Try,” from his debut album slated for May, jumps in a spacious, quasi-orchestral vibe to softly hummed electronic R&B to a deep growl toasting a big, fiery chorus with a backwash of Afrobeats. “All we do is try,” he sings, and there’s palpable ambition in every stylistic leap. Talk

My Idea is a duo of two prolific New York indie musicians who are also friends: Nate Amos of experimental dance group Water for Your Eyes and Lily Konigsberg of artistic rockers Palberta (who also released an excellent solo album, “Lily, We have to talk now”, at the end of last year). “Cry Mfer,” from an upcoming album of the same name, is less confrontational than its title suggests, centering around a hypnotically looping track and Konigsberg’s musings on a collapsing relationship: ” I could be the one to make you cry, I could be the one to make you — ouch.

To describe the genre of her eclectic Illuminati Hotties project – or perhaps just to thumb her nose at the absurdity of the genre itself – Sarah Tudzin coined a term: “tenderpunk”. “Sandwich Sharer”, his last unique single, oscillates relentlessly between these two adjectives. At first, it seems like this song will showcase the softer side of the Illuminati Hotties: “We started kissing,” it begins over a dramatically strummed chord in slow motion. But before the listener can get a foothold at that tempo, Tudzin suddenly launches the song into a fiery gallop, punctuated by his quirky humorous lyrics (“You thought I was bleeding but it’s just my skin!”). Tudzin often paints vivid, realistic portraits of modern human relationships, and the changing nature of “Sandwich Sharer” captures the feel of one who is constantly on the move. ZOLADZ

Whatever the weather is a new pseudonym for English electronic musician Loraine James, who thrives on concocting dancefloor beats that she skews with gaps, interjections and disorienting texture shifts. “17ºC” – from an upcoming album of tracks named after temperatures – raises a rhythm of hisses, thumps, boops and blips, but continually disassembles and rephrases it: with dips of reverb, with street and party noises, with disembodied vocal syllables, with clusters of keyboard sounds and with sudden bursts of drum machine. The pulse persists, even when it is only implicit. Talk

For nearly two decades, Peruvian label Buh Records has presented the esoteric and avant-garde sounds of Latin America, from forgotten electroacoustic legends of the 70s to contemporary noise artists. This mission returns in its latest version, a compilation of new faces from the Peruvian electronic scene. “Reconciliación Con la Vida”, its star, bottles a wide range of emotional textures. Between deep tragedy and melancholic wonder, the tender keys of the piano and the broad crescendos of the strings are transformed into a trembling beauty. It’s intimate yet heartbreaking, like the gentle caress of a lover you may never see again. HERRERA

“Historic Music Past Tense Future” is the first in a series of planned albums on the Black Editions Archive label that will unearth never-before-seen live recordings by Milford Graves, the drummer and polymath who died last year amid a re-emergence in end of career. This is the first album to feature Graves alongside saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and bassist William Parker, all avant-garde lions. The third of four freely improvised quarter-hour tracks, “Side C” begins as a quiet conversation between Graves and Parker, then is illuminated by Brötzmann’s smashing saxophone. Halfway through, Graves brings things back to a simmer, Brötzmann drops out, and Parker starts playing a repetitive rhythmic drone, almost like something you’d hear in the Gnawa ritual. Stroking his deeply resonant, hand-altered drums, Graves slowly brings the energy back as he plays around Parker’s strings, adding rhythms that make his drone dance. RUSSONELLO


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