January 19, 2022

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Cécile McLorin Salvant Branches Out, and seven Extra New Songs

Cécile McLorin Salvant Branches Out, and 7 More New Songs

The headline right here isn’t that the cream-of-the-crop jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant has critical inventive appetites that run past the American-songbook-and-curios repertory, which she has so famously explored. That was turning into clear, slowly however certainly, over the previous few years. It’s that when she focuses as a substitute on her personal writing, and shifts away some from straight-on fashionable jazz, she additionally softens the archness and the neatness of her supply. There’s a brand new, expanded vary in each the music and the expression. “Thunderclouds” will make it easier to clock the shift: an up-tempo lullaby of wistful, wounded hopefulness, its shapely chord adjustments carried loosely by the band and its bouncy rhythm nodding to Caribbean-infused jazz. “Typically it’s important to gaze right into a properly to see the sky,” Salvant sings, repeating the phrase as if to persuade herself. The track comes from a forthcoming album, “Ghost Track,” due in March; it’ll be her first for Nonesuch Data and her first to characteristic primarily originals. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

In a Texas alliance, the soul singer Leon Bridges is backed by Khruangbin, a trio from Houston that has soaked up world rhythms. “B-Aspect” is from a collaborative EP due in February. Khruangbin provides mid-tempo, two-chord Afrobeat funk, with terse bits of rhythm guitar answered by tootling organ chords, as Bridges croons in falsetto about a lot he misses a distant lover. It feels like a slice of a jam that went on for much longer. JON PARELES

Plinking, cascading xylophone and marimba sounds and the nasal, pumping string tones of a hurdy-gurdy circle by “Walker,” a meditation on getting by grief that’s named after the songwriter Scott Walker. It’s much less dizzying and extra affected person than a lot of Animal Collective’s catalog, and for its remaining minute, solely plinks and stray phrases stay, like shards of mourning. PARELES

The high-concept miniaturist Tierra Whack has been releasing a sequence of three-song genre-testing EPs: “Pop?,” “Rap?” and now “R&B?,” which depends on slow-ticking drum machines and digital tones. “Sorry” is forged as a telephone message, “one final dialog” with somebody who gained’t reply. The synthesizer chords are frayed and quivery as her apologies tumble out — heartfelt however apparently too late. PARELES

Miserablism and sensualism pair elegantly on this collaboration between FKA twigs and the Weeknd. For twigs, an impressionistic singer, this marks her most pointed and theatrical vocals, and the Weeknd, who has lengthy embraced deviant unhappiness on a grand scale, dials it again ever so barely to match the beatifically aghast temper. JON CARAMANICA

On “M&M,” the Jamaican producer Rvssian serves up an ominous synth that feels like a online game console on its final legs, tinny and fading. Lil Child matches it with a needling singsong verse, and Future approaches it with an indignant wheeze. CARAMANICA

Tyondai Braxton’s new digital observe, “Dia,” emerges after an extended silence. It has an insistent however implied beat, many layers of overt and implied syncopation, and a willpower to maintain altering. PARELES

Round 14 months in the past, 24kGoldn was on the prime of the Billboard Sizzling 100 together with his breakout single “Temper.” Now he’s remaking Biz Markie’s “Only a Good friend.” It’s a cheeky success that looks like a grim concession. CARAMANICA

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