Unleashing the Spotlight on Extraordinary Talents.
Alice Coltrane’s Explosive Carnegie Hall Concert, and 7 More New Songs

Alice Coltrane’s Explosive Carnegie Hall Concert, and 7 More New Songs

Alice Coltrane’s concert at Carnegie Hall, recorded in 1971 but only released in full this month, gathered force like a typhoon, and is well worth experiencing as a whole. Its serene opening was “Journey in Satchidananda,” a modal meditation with the flute and saxophones of Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp enfolded in her cascading harp arpeggios. Later in the concert, she switched to piano and led her group — which also included two drummers and two bassists — in a squall of free jazz that “Journey in Satchidananda” doesn’t begin to foreshadow. JON PARELES

Ani DiFranco’s next album, due in May, was produced by BJ Burton, who has come up with studio abstractions for Bon Iver and Low. Two songs released in advance, “The Thing at Hand” and “New Bible,” are starkly unadorned musical close-ups. In “The Thing at Hand,” DiFranco embraces living completely in the moment, beyond identity or premeditation. The melody is bluesy; the minimal accompaniment is from frayed-edged keyboards, distant bell tones and near the end, when DiFranco insists, “I defy being defined,” just a raw, barely tuned guitar, proclaiming a bare-bones intimacy. PARELES

In “Flea,” St. Vincent — Annie Clark — wrings everything from her insect simile. “When you start to itch and scratch and scream/Once I’m in you can’t get rid of me.” With her guitar abetted by Dave Grohl on drums and Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass, she revels in a parasite’s point of view — “All I see is meat” — as she bears down on a fuzzed-out stoner-rock riff and allows a few psychedelic tangents, without ever relinquishing her prey. PARELES

Camila Cabello embraces the surreal, compressed aesthetic of hyperpop on “I Luv It.” She sings with breathy eagerness about the delusional, hormonal, reality-defying aspects of early infatuation; sometimes her phrases are digitally chopped up and looped. She’s backed by a hurrying electronic pulse and a stop-start syncopated thump. Near the end of a brief track, her mating call is answered by a semi-intelligible rap from the professionally blurry Playboi Carti. PARELES

Disorientation suffuses “Roses” by the singer, cellist and producer Jordan Hamilton. “I done been through the whole damn town trying to keep up with my thoughts/Still I’m running,” he sings with bemused nonchalance. The song sets up staggered, minimalistic layers of cellos, keyboards, percussion and vocals, and it ends with him still suspended in his self-constructed limbo. PARELES

Less verbose bands may be content to pair “moon” with “June,” but on the latest single from “Only God Was Above Us,” Ezra Koenig offers a quintessentially Vampire Weekend take on a familiar rhyme scheme, pairing a semi-obscure cultural reference with crooned romanticism. “Mary Boone, Mary Boone, I hope you feel like loving someone soon,” he sings, name-checking a once-powerful art dealer who recently served a prison sentence for tax fraud. The song itself is a kind of musical mosaic, combining floating atmospherics that recall the band’s “Modern Vampires of the City” with breakbeats and a lush, heavenly choir. Boone, for her part, has reacted to the song with confusion (“Why did they do that? Does this mean I’m a vampire?”) that eventually gave way to shrugging acceptance: “Why not?” LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Which comes first, the lyrics or the music? For the Grateful Dead’s “U.S. Blues,” which opened the band’s 1974 album “From the Mars Hotel,” the answer to that old songwriter query was clearly the music. An expanded 50th-anniversary reissue of the album will include this demo version of “Wave That Flag.” It’s Jerry Garcia alone — multitracked on lead and rhythm guitars, vocal and maracas — yet he simulates Dead’s improvisational give-and-take. “Wave That Flag” has the recognizable tune and the chorus of “U.S. Blues,” but only a handful of the verse lyrics. The rest are rhyming three-word phrases: “Ride the train, count your change/Sit up straight, bewail your fate.” By the time the song turned into “U.S. Blues,” clearly Garcia and the lyricist Robert Hunter had started thinking harder about the political implications of the three words, “Wave that flag.” PARELES

In “Red Cloud,” Marina Allen imagines a primordial, free-associative Nebraska, the state where her grandparents lived. “I am warped, I am wrapped, as I warble my song/As I wobble my gait to the edge of the Great Plain in Red Cloud,” she sings over two chords that sway like a porch swing, at times topped by twin violins. Her voice sounds just barely awake, equally ready for hardship and wonderment. PARELES


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