A Country-Rap Knockout Crossover, and 13 Other New Songs

There has been more and more crossover between country and hip-hop in recent years, although often the relationship between the two influences can seem strained. But here’s a collab between two singer-rappers, both teenagers, that seems totally spontaneous: Kidd G, who makes the kind of naturally syncretic music that Nashville should be aiming for, and YNW BSlime, the younger brother of incarcerated star YNW Melly. Kidd G taps into his Juice WRLD influences, with stinging syllables and scraped vocals, and YNW BSlime’s guest verse is spooky and sung with disarming innocence: “Two years my brother’s gone / And I never felt just as well alone.” Sounds like song #1 of 2030. JON CARAMANICA

An energetic song about romantic dyspepsia, “Light Switch” is a slightly missed take on the electric funk-pop genre that made Charlie Puth’s 2018 album “Voicenotes” so appealing. The vocals are slightly less engaged and the lyrical construction isn’t as tight, and there’s a slight hyperpop-esque treatment to the vocals that makes Puth sound like he’s lamenting from inside the synthesizer. But the angst of the words is sharp, and the sugar rush production punctuates like breathlessness. CARAMANIC

The escalation suggests obsession in “Midnight Sun” from Nilüfer Yanya’s new album, “Painless,” due out in March. “Maybe I don’t care/I can’t clean this up,” she sings. “Get me off this spinning wheel.” Acoustic guitar chords and drum beat feel loopy, with more than a hint of Radiohead, but other sounds arrive – acoustic and electric guitars – ringing in the hand and providing opportunities for escape. It is not clear if she will use them. JON PARELES

Grunge’s quantum guitar chord crescendo – quiet-loud-MUCH HARDER – gets a full and furious workout in Gayle’s “Ur Just Horny,” the sequel to the teenage songwriter’s “Abcdefu.” As the stop-start guitars pile up, she spells it out: “You don’t wanna be my friend/You just wanna see me naked/Again.” Talk

Ecco2K and Bladee are members of the Drain Gang, a Swedish pop collective that has a side business in modeling. Their latest collaboration, produced by German musician Mechatok, is a slice of pointillist hyperpop that treats vocals and synthesizer tones as bits of staccato counterpoint and computer-compressed nuggets of cosmic ambition: “Destroy and create, dream in the dream”. Bladee sings at the end, before the machines shut down. Talk

Sofia Kourtesis makes songs that vibrate with the hope of a new day. “Estación Esperanza” is a masterclass in quote-eliminating, opening with chants of a Peruvian protest against homophobia before vocal samples of Manu Chao’s “Me Gustas Tu” become crisp, choppy vibrant bird calls and a steady horn. When Kourtesis’ own hum is in focus, a single moment opens into infinity. ISABELLE HERRERA

Miami duo INVT let genres slip through their fingers on their latest track. A feverish dembow riddim lifted from Jamaican dancehall brings life to life. A wispy echo and meaty moan whisper beneath the production. There is the regular ringing of a cowbell, the tremor of a maraca. Is it reggaeton? Minimalist techno? Does it even matter? HERRERA

Young Dolph, who was shot and killed in his hometown of Memphis in November, had mentored and collaborated with his cousin, Key Glock. Key Glock’s tribute song, “Proud,” is the first single from the “Paper Route Empire Presents: Long Live Dolph” compilation, and its presentation is robust, but the lyrics hurt: “I can get it in the blood, but I still can’t recover the time. In the video, Key Glock raps about his regrets at the murder site, a difficult choice. CARAMANIC

John Mellencamp remains dark and grizzled throughout his new album, “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack.” In “I’m a Worried Man,” he worries about everything and is belligerent: “You better get out of my way,” he grumbles. It’s a vintage-style blues stop with slide guitar and fiddle flanking its vocals, and though it proclaims its bitter loneliness, it has a screaming crowd alongside it at the end. Talk

Nervous energy runs through “Shadow in the Frame,” the first single from the solo album due out in April from Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen. Rossen played all instruments except drums (by Christopher Bear of Grizzly Bear) in the complex arrangement, including strings and woodwinds. The song is a meditation on transience and catastrophe – “You’ll watch us flash, fade and tear us apart”, he sings – carried by a choppy, circular phrase that migrates between guitars and vocals, changing contour but never resolving, hinting at the hope that keeps moving out of reach. Talk

Songwriter Uwade explores infatuation in “Do You See the Light Around Me?” It’s a single on Sylvan Esso’s label, Psychic Hotline, and as it spins through four chords with vocals and instruments coming and going, it echoes that band’s mix of sparse electronic beats and human warmth. . But Uwade brings his own personality, both uncertain and enveloping. Talk

Austin-based songwriter Jana Horn keeps her voice small and whispery throughout “Optimism,” the debut album she’s releasing this week. “Jordan” is the strangest, most exploratory and most determined song on the album: a steady march with electronics on the sidelines, an enigmatic biblical account of a quest, a test, a dilemma, a revelation. Talk

Bassist Gui Duvignau begins his version of “Tristeza e Solidão” – a torch song by Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell and poet Vinícius de Moraes – unaccompanied, ringing and contemplative as he lets low notes ring out. Guitarist Bill Frisell, featured as a special guest, enters with drummer Jeff Hirschfield and exchanges the song’s dark melody with Duvignau. The track is covered, melancholy and slow, lacking the quiet, driving samba groove of Powell and Moraes’ original version, but sounds just as haunted. This performance is taken from Duvignau’s last album, “Baden”, a tribute to the influential guitarist, who died in 2000. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The rhythms of the cumbia, carried by drums caressed by the hands and the mallets, raise a guitar shaken by the reverberation and the sleepy voice of Kiko Villamizar. “Sembrá El Maíz” (“Planting the Corn”) is an original urging hard work and patience, even in the face of climate catastrophe. By the end, he’s at full throttle, exchanging call-and-response voices with the group. A musician, educator and organizer now based in Austin, Villamizar grew up mostly on a coffee farm in Colombia and later traveled the country collecting songs. When Los Destellos and Los Wemblers de Iquitos started doing Peruvian jungle surfing like this in the 1960s, it sounded cosmopolitan; Today, writing similar songs, a young musician from the Colombian side builds on what has become a tradition in its own right. RUSSONELLO

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