The Playlist: Taylor Swift Seeks Harmony, and 10 More New Songs

Taylor Swift looks around and sees enemies everywhere on the aggrieved but not triumphant “You Need to Calm Down.” Tsk-tsk is a familiar mode for her, and typically she inhabits it with cheekiness and a raw sense of indignation. But here, her singing is deadpan and heavily filtered and processed, compressing all the joy out of her voice. And the lyrics draw implicit parallels between mean trolls (“Say it in the street, that’s a knockout/But you say it in a tweet, that’s a cop-out”) and actual bigots (“Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?/Sunshine on the street at the parade/But you would rather be in the Dark Ages”). This is the second song from Swift’s seventh album “Lover,” which she just announced will be released in August. Its groove is slow and deliberate, with shades of electro and dub, and the stacked vocals have a pleasant thickness. But Swift used to win battles with wit and savvy, not weapons of mass production. JON CARAMANICA

Vagabon — the songwriter Laeticia Tamko — trades the guitar-centered indie-rock of her 2017 album, “Infinite Worlds,” for electronics in “Flood Hands,” from her album due in September. It’s a processional that circles ceaselessly through four chords, with their dense timbres changing but their cycle only interrupted, now and then, by a booming drum sound. She’s singing about an obsession — “I know even if I run from it/I’m still in it” — that, despite its sonic permutations, can’t be escaped. PARELES

“Coming Down for You” is a vow of compassionate devotion — “I’m coming down for you, to where you’ve fallen to” — set in a natural landscape: “Up the canyons and the valleys, I’ll call back to you.” The Kentucky-born songwriter Joan Shelley sets it to modal fingerpicking, acoustic and electric, that harks back to Appalachian roots, linking a personal bond to deeper tradition. PARELES

A tremendously infectious, potently throbbing, deliriously up-tempo song that blends mellow hyphy and mellow crunk. That said, why Lil Jon has chosen, in the year 2019, to release a collaboration with the Bay Area legend Mac Dre, who was murdered in 2004, is an utter mystery. But the seamlessness of the pairing — Mac Dre’s unearthed verse is refreshingly smooth — solves it. CARAMANICA

Stately, churchy, but slightly wavering chords support Raveena Aurora, a New York City songwriter in a subdued secular hymn about prying herself out of a toxic relationship. “I know you love to see me broken/You live to see me confused,” she sings. “Don’t talk too soon/I ain’t dead yet.” But her voice is calm, with a hint of Bollywood antigraivity; she has realized that, “I was so naïve to think a man could be stronger than me.” PARELES

Sahred From Source link Arts

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