The Blockbuster ‘Drivers License,’ a Attainable Reply and seven Extra New Songs

Crucial factor about Olivia Rodrigo’s new single “Drivers License,” launched final week, isn’t that it now holds the single-day (non-holiday music) streaming document on Spotify, or that it’s virtually flooded TikTok in latest days, or that it supposedly was impressed by a romantic falling out with Joshua Bassett, her co-star on the Disney+ present “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” What issues extra is that it efficiently balances darkish but crisp melodrama with daring tunefulness, softly pointed singing with sharp imagery: “You mentioned perpetually, now I drive alone previous your avenue.” The music’s construct is gradual, virtually anguished, and even when she breaks by means of, she by no means will get to a full howl, switching as an alternative to a multitracked refrain that verges on the religious. It’s, in each approach, a contemporary and profitable pop music. However it is usually chum for Disneyologists, who now have a companion piece to learn it towards: Bassett’s new single, “Lie Lie Lie,” a chipper music about vindictiveness and a innocent piece of post-Shawn Mendes guitar-pop: “You’re appearing oh so harmless, like I’m the one one responsible/You’ve been mendacity to your self.” Despite the fact that the Disney trustworthy have unearthed clips of Bassett performing a model of it way back to 2019, it finds itself in conspicuous dialogue with Rodrigo’s music. As gossip, that’s well-timed. As songcraft, it’s a misplaced battle. JON CARAMANICA

Like lots of Lana Del Rey’s songs, “Chemtrails Over the Nation Membership” — the title monitor of her coming album — begins as a wistful reverie haunted by one thing quietly amiss. With a lullaby-like tune, she sings a couple of complacent suburban life: swimming swimming pools, jewellery, her little crimson sports activities automotive. However she additionally sings about being “on the run” and “unusual and wild,” about eager for somebody, after which there are additionally these ominous chemtrails overhead. Within the audio model of the music, Del Rey’s voice is regularly submerged in strings and echoes till she fades out fully, leaving the producer Jack Antonoff’s drumbeat for an extended, foreboding outro. The video model (spoiler alert) is much more unhinged: halfway by means of, the music melts down and Del Rey is whisked like Dorothy through twister right into a horror film about she-wolves. Suburbia was by no means like this. JON PARELES

Misplaced Horizons is the challenge of Simon Raymonde from Cocteau Twins and Richie Thomas of Dif Juz, joined by assorted vocalists on their album “In Quiet Moments.” Their visitor on the title music is the 82-year-old R&B singer Ural Thomas. Over a jazzy backbeat, a serene bass vamp, methodical piano chords and stealthy guitar curlicues, Thomas sings with otherworldly persistence about longings, immensities and unanswered questions. PARELES

Right here’s a pattern selection so blindingly apparent it’s beautiful it hasn’t been deployed by a hip-hop star earlier than: “If I Have been a Wealthy Man,” from the Unique Broadway Solid Recording of “Fiddler on the Roof,” sung by Zero Mostel. Enter Flo Milli and the producer Kenny Beats, who construct upon that supply materials for a cheeky trash-talk session that lopes alongside virtually absurdly. It’s intelligent and gleeful, however maybe not as seamless because the music that’s made the most effective use of the identical inspiration: “Rich Girl,” the timeless reggae commonplace by Louchie Lou & Michie One (later mauled by Gwen Stefani and Eve). CARAMANICA

Blippy synthesizers, main chords, big martial drums — this needs to be a contented music, proper? Nicely, no. “Pay attention!!!” is a plea to a companion who’s oblivious or worse: “I’m feeling like I’m a hostage right here,” Aly & AJ sing amid the sonic jubilation. “I could be misplaced however I do know my approach out.” They see an escape route; the music’s discordant ending doesn’t assure they discovered it. PARELES

Wealthy Memphis soul — organ chords, deliberate triplet drums, pointed guitars — carries deep existential uncertainty within the newest Drive-By Truckers music, rooted within the pandemic and looking out past it. “You’re questioning the place did the entire time go/Reduce free from every part that you just held shut.” It’s dire however decided: “Take what you must imagine/there’s one thing extra price clinging to,” Patterson Hood sings, in a voice as battered and frazzled as anybody’s who lived by means of 2020. PARELES

“Te Quiero Olvidar” means “I wish to neglect you.” Salt Cathedral, the duo of Juli and Nico (Juliana Ronderos and Nicolas Losada) — initially from Colombia, now based mostly in Brooklyn — launched the song last year as sparse, insinuating pop reggaeton, with Juli’s breathy voice typically hovering over only a beat and a single keyboard observe. The brand new model, with Juli joined by the Mexican singer Ximena Sariñana, provides many layers of vocals, which entwine and linger like all-too-persistent recollections. PARELES

Intent on making knowledgeable recording whereas heeding pandemic protocols, the pianist Jason Moran captured the 12 tracks on “The Sound Will Inform You” final week at a Brooklyn studio, working alone with only a small staff of engineers. On “Spoken in Two (Tear),” the heartache of this slowly sinking chord development — equal components Romanticism, Minimalism and soul music — is sufficient to pare away a listener’s defenses. He employs digital results that give his notes what he calls “a shadow,” however what’s most hanging is his gently suspended contact on the keyboard as he makes use of grace notes to present a tug of rhythm to his crowded however crisp harmonies. “The Sound Will Inform You” is Moran’s third solo album and his newest in a run of recordings self-released on his Bandcamp over the previous 5 years which have come to signify a chapter of his profession unto themselves. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

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