It’s good to be back! Last week, I took a little staycation and spent most of my time reading, dog-sitting a very good boy, and seeing a bunch of movies at the New York Film Festival.* But now I’m recharged, caught up on all the new music I missed — and, of course, ready to share it with you.
Today’s offering is a compilation of highlights from our last few new music Playlists (from the likes of the Rolling Stones and Maren Morris), plus a few songs I would have put on last week’s Playlist were I not on vacation (one of Earl Sweatshirt’s collaborations with the Alchemist; Remi Wolf’s bold remake of a Paramore song). And while it includes some familiar names, I hope it also opens your ears to some new ones, too.
Also! You still have a few more days to send me suggestions for the ultimate fall playlist. What’s a song that feels like autumn to you? Tell me here. We may use your response in an upcoming Amplifier.
1. Atka: “Lenny”
If haven’t yet heard of the German-born, London-based musician Atka (also known as Sarah Neumann), that’s perfectly understandable: This propulsive single is only the second she’s ever released. But “Lenny,” which will appear on her forthcoming debut EP “Eye Against the Ashen Sky,” is quite a calling card. Industrial noises clang and suddenly cohere into a driving melody as Neumann deadpans a series of striking lyrics, beginning with a particularly vivid image: “Men like gods throwing rocks around the room.” (Listen on YouTube)
2. Maren Morris: “The Tree”
“The rot at the roots is the root of the problem,” Maren Morris sings on her smoldering new song, “The Tree.” “But you wanna blame it on me.” She has long been an outspoken critic of the country music establishment — see: her recent appearance on The New York Times’s Popcast (Deluxe) — and in one sense “The Tree” could be read as her breakup song with Nashville. But the song works just as well as a defiant end-of-a-relationship anthem, as Morris’s impressive vocal performance conjures the glorious grit of a fed-up woman. (Listen on YouTube)
3. PinkPantheress: “Mosquito”
The English pop singer PinkPantheress makes sugary sweet tunes cut through with sudden pangs of sour. Her latest single, “Mosquito,” is a fluttery reverie interrupted by a nightmarish admission: “I just had a dream I was dead, and I only cared ’cause I was taken from you.” (Listen on YouTube)
4. Earl Sweatshirt & the Alchemist: “Vin Skully”
When the rapper Earl Sweatshirt locks into his signature flow, he has a way of making language sound viscous, as though the words are just dribbling out of his mouth. On this track from “Voir Dire,” a collaborative album made with the producer the Alchemist, he’s effortlessly dexterous; and yes, it features a sample from the late, great Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. (The M.L.B. team could perhaps use his blessing right about now.) (Listen on YouTube)
5. Becky G featuring Chiquis: “Cuidadito”
The stylistically nimble pop artist Becky G leans into regional Mexican sounds on her latest album, “Esquinas,” and especially on this playful duet with the singer Chiquis (daughter of the venerable Jenni Rivera). The pair trade fiery verses, letting their respective men know exactly what to expect if they dare cheat. (Listen on YouTube)
6. Holly Humberstone: “Into Your Room”
This one’s been stuck in my head for days. From the British singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone’s debut album, “Paint My Bedroom Black,” which comes out this Friday, “Into Your Room” is a moody, pulsating synth-pop number personalized with Humberstone’s endearingly chatty lyricism. “You’re the center of this universe,” she sings pleadingly to the object of her obsession. “My sorry [expletive] revolves around you.” (Listen on YouTube)
7. Paramore & Remi Wolf: “You First (Re: Remi Wolf)”
Earlier this year, the rock band Paramore put out its angsty, knotty sixth album, “This Is Why.” On the recently released remix album, “Re: This Is Why,” Paramore asked an eclectic group of artists — including Wet Leg, Julien Baker and Panda Bear — to rework the album, track by track. For the most part, it’s a compelling and successful experiment, though this galvanizing reimagining of “You First,” helmed by the avant-pop provocateur Remi Wolf, is a clear highlight. (Listen on YouTube)
8. The Rolling Stones featuring Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga: “Sweet Sounds of Heaven”
In 2012, Lady Gaga appeared onstage with the Rolling Stones to lend her vocals to a live rendition of “Gimme Shelter.” “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” the bluesy, fireworks-display climax of the Stones’ upcoming album, “Hackney Diamonds,” seems to pick up right where that performance left off. A soulful and unhurried Mick Jagger leads his band — which on this track includes Stevie Wonder (!) on keyboards — from the ground right to the great beyond, while Gaga accompanies him in an airy, angelic voice, showing off yet another facet of her impressive register. (Listen on YouTube)
9. Jenn Champion: “Jessica”
A tough listen, but also a cathartic one. Jenn Champion — a former member of the indie band Carissa’s Wierd, who used to record under the name S — pours all the feelings that sprang up in the wake of an old friend’s overdose into this sparse, haunting piano ballad. “I still love you,” she sings in a trembling voice. “But it hurts now.” This song stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it, and I still can’t shake its unsettling power. (Listen on YouTube)
I’m done filling a cup with a hole in the bottom,
* The best thing I saw so far at the N.Y.F.F.? “Poor Things,” the latest wild ride from the cinematic Greek Freak, Yorgos Lanthimos. Emma Stone is on another level.
The Amplifier Playlist
Listen on Spotify. We update this playlist with each new newsletter.
“9 New Songs You Should Hear Now” track list
Track 1: Atka, “Lenny”
Track 2: Maren Morris, “The Tree”
Track 3: PinkPantheress, “Mosquito”
Track 4: Earl Sweatshirt & the Alchemist, “Vin Skully”
Track 5: Becky G featuring Chiquis, “Cuidadito”
Track 6: Holly Humberstone, “Into Your Room”
Track 7: Paramore & Remi Wolf, “You First (Re: Remi Wolf)”
Track 8: The Rolling Stones featuring Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven”
Track 9: Jenn Champion, “Jessica”