Punk-Rock Teens’ Anti-Hate Anthem, and 10 More New Songs

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos. Just want the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify here (or find our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at [email protected] and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.

The Linda Lindas, ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’

Don't mess with The Linda Lindas.

Watch the full concert: https://t.co/Usv7HJ1lLR pic.twitter.com/pKZ5TKDdiA

It can be comforting, in times like these, to be slapped cold by undeniable truth. And so it is with the Linda Lindas, a band made up of four Asian and Latina teens and tweens — Bela, Eloise, Lucia, Mila — who this week had a clip of a recent performance at the Cypress Park branch of the Los Angeles Public Library go viral. The song is “Racist, Sexist Boy,” and it pulls no punches, switching back and forth between Eloise, 13, singing in an urgently aggrieved fashion (“You have racist, sexist joys/We rebuild what you destroy”) and the drummer, Mila, who is 10, whose sections are quick and finger-waving (“You turn away from what you don’t wanna hear”). The Linda Lindas have generated a significant wave of attention in the three years since the band was founded. A couple of the members’ parents are culture luminaries: Martin Wong, a founder of the tastemaking Asian-American cultural magazine Giant Robot; and Carlos de la Garza, a mixer and engineer for bands including Paramore and Best Coast. The band is beloved by Kathleen Hanna, who selected it to open one of Bikini Kill’s reunion shows; and it has appeared in the recent Netflix film “Moxie.” The band’s self-titled 2020 EP is sharp punk-inflected indie pop. And this new song, which Eloise said was inspired by a real-life experience, is a needs-no-explanation distillation of righteous anger. It’s severely relatable, so shout along with the band: “Poser! Blockhead! Riffraff! Jerk face!” JON CARAMANICA

Blk Jks, ‘Yoyo! — The Mandela Effect/Black Aurora Cusp Druids Ascending’

It has been 12 years since the far-reaching South African band Blk Jks released its debut album, “After Robots”; it has returned with “Abantu/Before Humans,” which it describes, in part, as an “Obsidian Rock Audio Anthology chronicling the ancient spiritual technologies and exploits of prehistoric, post-revolutionary Afro bionics and sacred texts from The Great Book on Arcanum.” Blk Jks draw on music from across Africa, including South African choral traditions and West African guitar licks, along with psychedelia, funk, jazz and a fierce sense of political urgency. “They’ll never give you power/You’ll have to take the power” they chant to open the song, heralded by a barrage of drums and pushing into a syncopated thicket of horns and voices with a burst of acceleration at the end. JON PARELES

Angelique Kidjo featuring Mr Eazi and Salif Keita, ‘Africa, One of a Kind’

On Angelique Kidjo’s next album, “Mother Nature,” she collaborates across boundaries and generations. Kidjo — who is from Benin — shares “Africa, One of a Kind,” with Salif Keita, from Mali, and Mr Eazi, from Nigeria. The lyrics are multilingual, and the rhythmic mesh, with little guitar lines tickling against crisp percussion and choral affirmations, is joyfully Pan-African. PARELES

Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen, ‘Like I Used To’

A full-scale Wall of Sound — by way of the glockenspiel-topped “Born to Run” — pumps through “Like I Used To” as Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen grapple with prospects of post-pandemic reopening and reconnecting. The sound and voices are heroic; the lyrics are more hesitant, but hopeful. PARELES

Carsie Blanton, ‘Party at the End of the World’

“It’s too late now to fix this mess,” Carsie Blanton observes, “So honey put on that party dress.” Blanton shrugs off impending doom in a broad-shouldered Southern rock track slathered with guitars, allowing that she’s going to miss “snow in winter, rain in summer” as well as “banging drums and banging drummers.” PARELES

Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin, ‘We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy)’

Three types of not wholly compatible ecstasy commingle on the first single from the forthcoming soundtrack to “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” Just Blaze’s triumphalist production finds an optimal partner in Kirk Franklin’s exhortations. Lil Baby’s sinuous, reedy raps are perhaps not as sturdy, though — they feel like light filigree atop an arresting mountain peak. CARAMANICA

Jaimie Branch, ‘Theme 001’

“Fly or Die Live” feels of a piece with the two studio recordings that Jaimie Branch — a trumpeter and composer, loosely definable as jazz, but with a punk musician’s disregard for musical pleasantry — has released in the past few years with Fly or Die, her cello-bass-drums quartet. That’s mostly because those records already had a rich, gritty, textural, semi-ambient vibe: They felt pretty much live already. But “Fly or Die Live,” which is full of long excursions by individual band members and intense, forward-pushing sections driven forward by Chad Taylor’s drums, finds the band clicking in and lifting off in a way that feels different. It’s especially palpable on “Theme 001,” originally a highlight from the band’s debut record, this time with new textures thanks to Lester St. Louis’s reverb-drenched cello. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

City Girls, ‘Twerkulator’

Look, it’s just TikTok-era sweaty talk over “Planet Rock,” which is, in the current pop ecosystem, is really all it takes. CARAMANICA

Oneohtrix Point Never & Rosalía, ‘Nothing’s Special’

Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never, traded up with his new remake of “Nothing’s Special,” the closing track from his 2020 album “Magic Oneohtrix Point Never.” He replaced his own processed vocal, which blurred into the track, with Rosalía in her latest unexpected collaboration. She sings a Spanish translation of the lyrics, with thoughts about staring into nothingness after losing one’s best friend. The original electronic track has been tweaked and transposed upward, with its misty descending chords, sampled voices and a hammered dulcimer. Rosalía’s voice is fully upfront: gentle, mournful, tremulous and humbled by grief. Now the song is unmistakably an elegy. PARELES

Lil Nas X, ‘Sun Goes Down’

Less than two months after gleefully stirring up a moral panic with “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” Lil Nas X returns in an unassailably benevolent guise: fighting off suicidal thoughts in “Sun Goes Down.” In a reassuring low purr of a melody, cushioned by kindly guitars, voluminous bass tones and a string section, he acknowledges old wounds and self-destructive impulses, and then determinedly rises above them: “I know that you want to cry/But there’s much more to life than dying over your past mistakes.” PARELES

Ralph Peterson Jr. featuring Jazzmeia Horn, ‘Tears I Cannot Hide’

The drummer Ralph Peterson Jr., who would have turned 59 on Thursday but died earlier this year, was known for the propulsion of his swing feel, and the sheer power of his playing. But he was given to forbearance and tenderness, too, when the circumstances called for it, and on “Raise Up Off Me,” his final studio album, it’s his subtlety that sends the album’s message of frustration and dignity home. That’s true on the semiabstract title track, which opens the album, and on “Tears I Cannot Hide,” a contemplative Peterson-penned ballad, to which the rising star Jazzmeia Horn adds lyrics and vocals. RUSSONELLO

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