Post Malone Goes Country With Morgan Wallen, and eight More New Songs

Post Malone Goes Country With Morgan Wallen, and eight More New Songs

The ever-adaptable Post Malone strikes into nation with this duet with Morgan Wallen. It’s jovial on the floor, with cheerful steel-guitar hooks. But it’s deeply surly at coronary heart, as Malone and Wallen take turns lashing out at an ex who blames them after a relationship crumbles. “It ain’t like I could make this sort of mess all on my own,” they insist. “Don’t act such as you ain’t helped me pull that bottle off the shelf.” Personal duty? Nah.

Willow embraces her outsize feelings within the full-tilt finale of her new album, “Empathogen,” which veers from her previous pop-punk into jazz and prog-rock. Her voice sails over uneven piano chords as she publicizes her “massive emotions,” and when she sings, “Yes, I’ve issues, issues,” she turns “issues” right into a six-syllable arpeggio. In the bridge she tells herself, “Acceptance is the important thing,” and finally it seems like she’ll make peace with these issues, and even flaunt them.

The Indian American pop songwriter Raveena bounces her voice towards a springy bass line, turntable scratches, electrical sitar and harp in “Pluto.” Her lyrics juxtapose the bliss of a brand new love and the exhilaration of “pushing 80 in a blue Camaro” with the reminiscence of somebody she’s misplaced, to distance or presumably dying. But she chooses to remain upbeat, whilst she concludes, “I pray this good factor don’t run away from me.”

Still raucous at 82, John Cale summons the guitar drone and hypnotic stomp of his long-ago band, the Velvet Underground, in “Shark-Shark.” His lead vocals are all however buried as distorted guitars, stray voices and diverse noises come charging in from all sides. The chorus — “Shark, shark, take me down” — could possibly be a kiddie track or a death-defying taunt.

The masked nation singer Orville Peck shares his twangy, reverb-y, retro-country realm with assorted duet companions on his new album, “Stampede: Vol. 1.” Allison Russell steers him towards old-time piano blues in “Chemical Sunset,” as cryptic lyrics invoke romance and apocalypse. “I do a pirouette within the chemical sundown/Come and see me child, it’s the top of days,” they sing. Is {that a} come-on or an alarm?

Depression collides with mortality — and doesn’t appear so dangerous by comparability — in “Ur Heart Stops.” “You’re beginning to suppose, Was it value it in any respect?/Until your coronary heart stops beating,” Al Nardo (who’s additionally in Water From Your Eyes) sings with Bailley Wollowitz (from Sloppy Jane). It’s an satirically upbeat observe that splits the distinction between psychedelia and prog-rock, with a 7/4 meter and a xylophone-topped bridge that hints at Frank Zappa; finally, it’s life-affirming.

“Fault Line” harks again to classic honky-tonk, from its terse on a regular basis lyrics — “You get drunk, I do too/We obtained payments overdue” — to the fiddle and slide guitar that prime the band. Carly Pearce sings a couple of couple that’s bitterly at odds, and whereas the track ends tidily, their troubles don’t.

In “Nowhere to Run” from “Can We Please Have Fun,” the brand new album by Kings of Leon, Caleb Followill sounds even glummer than standard as he sings about seeing futility all over the place: “Somebody someplace is doing their greatest/And all of us don’t know what to make of this mess.” Guitars wrangle round him as he tries to search out diversion or escape, however issues look bleak. — PARELES

Luke Stewart, the bassist within the jazz group Irreversible Entanglements, leads his personal Silt Trio — with Brian Settles on tenor saxophone and Trae Crudup on drums — in “Seek Whence” from their new album “Unknown Rivers.” It’s a slinky, stop-start tune that has the three musicians tossing round epigrammatic phrases like in-jokes earlier than the total melody is revealed on the finish.


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