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An Unearthed Johnny Cash Recording, and 11 More New Songs

An Unearthed Johnny Cash Recording, and 11 More New Songs

Johnny Cash wasn’t always the stoic Man in Black. He also had a droll side, as revealed in this song reconstituted from demos he recorded in 1993; a latter-day band, including Marty Stuart on guitar, now fills out the original tracks. In “Well Alright,” previewing “Songwriter,” an album due June 28, Cash is deadpan and droll, singing about a liaison that starts at a laundromat. Even the Man in Black had clothes to wash. JON PARELES

“I run away, ’cause I’m on precious time,” the British musician Nilüfer Yanya sings on the first single she’s released since her excellent 2022 album “Painless.” In classic Yanya fashion, “Like I Say (I Runaway)” has an almost collagelike feel, reveling in contrasting textures and suddenly erupting into a blaze of guitar distortion on the chorus. “The minute I’m not in control, I’m tearing up inside,” Yanya sings, as her own sonic universe bends to her will. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

In August, it will be five years since the R&B artist Normani released “Motivation,” a deliriously catchy and kinetic single that proved the former Fifth Harmony member had major potential as a solo pop star. In the time since, though, Normani has been relatively quiet, save for a few decent-if-unremarkable one-offs like the 2022 ballad “Fair” or the slinky 2021 Cardi B collaboration “Wild Side.” Normani will finally release her feverishly anticipated debut album “Dopamine” on June 14, and its first single, “1:59” is … another decent-if-unremarkable slow jam, this time centered around a looped acoustic guitar lick and featuring a lusty, sing-songy verse from the rapper Gunna. It’s all well and good for an album track, maybe, but we’re still waiting for that world-conquering bop. ZOLADZ

Even a self-described “bad bitch” can demand good manners. That’s what the R&B hitmaker Coi Leray does in “Can’t Come Back,” a post-breakup song about getting over a bad choice. Over a minimal beat and two minor chords, she advises any prospects to “Lower your tone, tell me ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you,’ and open up my door” — or expect to get kicked to the curb. PARELES

The Jamaican songwriter Shenseea (Chinsea Linda Lee) can’t decide whether she’s rapturously in love or courting trouble in “Neva Neva,” a song that’s less openly raunchy than her past hits. The track, which pumps up vintage lovers-rock reggae with arena-scale bass and reverb, leans toward elation. PARELES

PartyNextDoor — the Canadian singer and songwriter J.A. Brathwaite, who often croons about womanizing — dips into Nigerian Afrobeats with “For Certain,” co-produced by Kddo from Nigeria. With a minor-mode tune over a skeletal beat, he sings about an unsure flirtation, repeatedly admitting, “I want you” and recalling, “I extended my hand and let go of my pride.” But in a spoken-word outro, he can’t commit; he leaves her behind to “hit a few more spots” instead. PARELES

The title track of the coming album by the Brooklyn band Diiv is a hazy, droney, baleful assessment of society’s prospects, envisioning only decay and collapse: “The future came and everything’s known/There’s nothing left to say — show’s over, take me home.” Distorted, steady-strummed shoegaze guitars and a chord progression that stays unsettled sustain the desolate mood. PARELES

Pearl Jam’s new album, “Dark Matter,” doubles down on the band’s longtime strengths: ferocious hard-rock riffs, neo-psychedelic guitar tangles and Eddie Vedder’s urgent moral compass. “React, Respond” hurtles ahead, with guitars blasting in unison and then ricocheting in stereo, as Vedder calls for unified, purposeful action, insisting, “We could be fighting together/Instead of fighting ourselves.” PARELES

Teddy Swims, a songwriter born in Georgia, leans into 1960s soul and ratchets up the masochism in “Hammer to the Heart,” which wallows in his surrender to a femme fatale. A steady chug, reverbed guitars, a string section and even chimes provide the retro backdrop as he confesses, “I’m such a sucker for the pain,” wallowing in the drama. PARELES

Margaret Glaspy confesses to ceaseless anxiety in “24/7” from “The Sun Doesn’t Think,” her intimate new acoustic EP. With just acoustic guitar picking and a few overdubbed backup vocals, she sings about a lifetime of always seeing the downside: “I thought clouds were just smoke from a fire/and love was wrapped in barbed wire.” There’s no self-pity in her tone, just self-acceptance. PARELES

In Karen Dalton’s tenaciously affectionate “Right, Wrong or Ready,” from 1969, she sang about a man who’s absent but “stays on my mind.” Kara Jackson makes the song twice as languid by slowing it to half speed and opening up spaces: at first with sparse acoustic guitar picking and piano, later with a cushiony string arrangement, singing as if each phrase holds another fond memory. PARELES

Menace and dread, familiar Radiohead modes, suffuse “Knife Edge” from Thom Yorke’s soundtrack score for the Daniele Luchetti film “Confidenza.” It’s a waltz set to halting electric-piano chords and uncanny resonances, with a melody that could almost be a lullaby. But Yorke’s tidings are ominous; he gently counsels, “If I were you I’d run away/Get out while you still can.” PARELES

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