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7 New Songs You Should Hear Now

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A few weeks ago, when the British pop musician Charli XCX released her raw, prismatic sixth album, “Brat,” I had some difficulty choosing just one of its tracks for our Friday Playlist. I ultimately went with “Girl, So Confusing,” a dance floor confessional that aired mixed feelings about a certain musical peer. “People say we’re alike, they say we’ve got the same hair,” Charli sang, before admitting that the few times they had hung out felt stilted: “We talk about making music, but I don’t know if it’s honest.”

You don’t have to be an international pop star to know that particular feeling — the awkward disappointment when you just don’t click with someone that everyone around you thinks you’ll love. Still, the peanut gallery clamored to know exactly whom Charli was singing about. That line about the hair, plus the characterization that this unnamed girl was “all about writing poems,” had people convinced it was Lorde.

Those suspicions were confirmed last Friday, when Lorde told her side of the story on a surprise remix, which kicks off today’s playlist of notable singles from the past few weeks. In her first new lyrics since her 2021 retreat-from-fame album “Solar Power,” Lorde met Charli’s warts-and-all honesty with an outpouring of her own insecurities and body-image struggles: “You’d always say ‘let’s go out,’ but then I’d cancel last minute/I was so lost in my head and scared to be in your pictures.” Lorde’s verse is at once heartbreaking and cathartic, and when her voice and Charli’s join in the song’s final moments, it feels like something deeper and more poignant than pop music’s usual “girl power” sloganeering.

Also candidly airing her anxieties on this playlist is the British phenom Raye, whose sprawling, seven-minute “Genesis.” moves through the darkest parts of her psyche before finally reaching for the light. The New York art-rock trio Hello Mary finds release through pummeling noise, while the electronic artist Floating Points blisses out via hypnotic loops and kinetic beats. Plus, if you want to hear Cardi B rapping in Spanglish — perhaps a preview of the Spanish-language album she has promised to release one day — this playlist will scratch that itch, too.

Let’s work it out on the remix,

Lindsay


One thing I love about “Brat” is the way many of its lyrics have a sort of group-chat intimacy: a run-on, unpolished quality like a message you’d send to a close friend. Lorde’s verse fits so well into this track because she is able to tap into that style, too — albeit in her own particular voice.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

The British producer and D.J. Samuel Shepherd, who makes music as Floating Points, seems to emerge every few months with a mesmerizing new single. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a drop of highly carbonated seltzer pinging around inside a steel drum, this one’s for you!

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

On Friday, the regional Mexican star Peso Pluma released the ambitious double album “Éxodo.” Check out this spitfire duet with Cardi B, who braggadociously identifies as “como Al Pacino.”

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

I was not familiar with the New York band Hello Mary before Jon Pareles added this gloriously abrasive rocker to the Playlist, but their sound is very much up my alley. There’s an appealing interplay between quiet and loud on “0%,” and the delicate guitar work that precedes them make the drummer/vocalist Stella Wave’s primal screams hit that much harder.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

This poignant, acoustic-driven ballad from Soccer Mommy, the musical moniker of the songwriter Sophie Allison, is a delicate meditation on grief and regret. “If I had another chance, I’d ask her then,” she sings of a lost loved one, while a swelling string arrangement cradles her aching voice.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

The long-running indie-folk band the Decemberists recently released their first studio album in six years, “As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again.” I like the jangly guitar tone on this single, which features backing vocals from the Shins frontman James Mercer. Who doesn’t love a jaunty little ditty about meeting up with someone in a cemetery?

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube

And finally, the 26-year-old British pop artist Raye — who took home more statues at this year’s Brit Awards than any other artist in history — shows off her vast stylistic range on this multipart epic. Beginning with an up-to-the-moment sound to match her modern problems (“I’m busy on my phone observing everyone else, how I compare and obsess”), “Genesis.” eventually morphs into a jazzy throwback that seeks a timeless kind of salvation.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube


“7 New Songs You Should Hear Now” track list
Track 1: Charli XCX & Lorde, “The Girl, So Confusing Version With Lorde”
Track 2: Floating Points, “Del Oro”
Track 3: Peso Pluma & Cardi B, “Put Em in the Fridge”
Track 4: Hello Mary, “0%”
Track 5: Soccer Mommy, “Lost”
Track 6: The Decemberists, “Burial Ground”
Track 7: Raye, “Genesis.”

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