Lil Peep’s Sweet Gloom, and 8 More New Songs

Posted May 20, 2018 1:42 p.m. EDT

Pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos.

Lil Peep featuring Clams Casino, ‘4 Gold Chains’

Lonely and sweet, Lil Peep’s voice is a tragic balm on “4 Gold Chains,” one of the few full songs released since his overdose death in November. Over a spacey, lurching Clams Casino beat, Lil Peep sings with almost a 1950s girl-group sweetness: “Fame bring pain, but the pain make money.” The video features old footage of him walking down London streets, wearing Beavis and Butt-Head Doc Martens.


Mitski, ‘Geyser’

A love song that sounds like rowdy ground warfare, “Geyser” is the first song from the forthcoming Mitski album, “Be the Cowboy.” Her punchy guitar shredding is gone, replaced with ethereal dream-pop cut with industrial tension. “I will be the one you need,” she sings, “and I just can’t be/ without you.” But she doesn’t sound happy.


André 3000, ‘Me & My (To Bury Your Parents)’

On Mother’s Day, André 3000 of Outkast released two tracks: an extended instrumental elegy for piano (James Blake) and bass clarinet (André) called “Look Ma No Hands,” and the song “Me & My (To Bury Your Parents).” The song is crooned, not rapped, mostly over piano chords reminiscent of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets,” as André sings reminiscences of ordinary moments with his parents, both now dead: driving to the grocery store with his mother, driving to a football game with his father. “I was much happier when he was around,” he realizes. The chords keep going, as if they might offer solace; a full minute later, he muses, “Me and my mother, me and my father” and then “Me and my …” They’re gone.


Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly, ‘Festina’

“Festina” is from “Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music,” the new album of song-length collaborations by composers Thomas Bartlett (sometimes known as Doveman) and Nico Muhly. “Chaos beckons,” Bartlett gently sings, but he’s belying the orderly intricacy of the music’s minimalistic fabric of propulsive, gamelan-like bell tones, string-ensemble chords and pizzicati and wraithlike backing vocals, transparent yet rigorous.


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg, ‘Dirt Part III’

Henry Threadgill, a Pulitzer Prize-winning saxophonist, flutist and composer, released two anticipated albums on Friday. “Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus” features tuba, saxophones, cello, drums and three pianos, all playing parts that feel balanced and spacious and give each other enough room to land a plane. On the other album, “Dirt … And More Dirt,” he is working with a bigger group, 15 pieces, conjuring denser movement and thicker harmony. It has the large scale and stubborn persistence of Walter De Maria’s “Earth Room” — Threadgill’s inspiration for the album — an installation of 140 tons of dirt at a gallery in Manhattan, New York, where it has remained since 1977, when Threadgill’s star on the New York scene was just emerging.


Sam Hunt, ‘Downtown’s Dead’

A melancholy number grand enough to reach the cheap seats in the stadium, “Downtown’s Dead” is the first song country superstar Sam Hunt has released since last year’s world-killer “Body Like a Back Road.” It is in the great tradition of country songs that understand that when the person you love leaves a place, the place all but ceases to exist: “As long as you’re still in my head/ There ain’t no way that I can paint a ghost town red.”


Arturo Sandoval featuring Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande, ‘Arturo Sandoval’

Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval earned countless well-known fans after he defected to the United States in 1990, and some join him on his pop-centric “Ultimate Duets” album, released Friday. Collaborators include American pop figures like Stevie Wonder and Josh Groban as well as Latin pop names like Juan Luis Guerra and Alejandro Sanz, but the most unexpected names on the roster must be Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande. Williams wrote, and Grande sings, a song praising the trumpeter himself, and while the lyrics strain — “His melodies wash up on your mind just like seashells” — the music, a reggaeton-crisped update of a Latin big band, features plenty of Sandoval’s airborne trumpet.


Lil Baby, ‘First Class’

The new Lil Baby mixtape “Harder Than Ever” has impressive guest appearances by Drake, Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert and more, but this sprightly standout has no distractions. It is about the pleasures of transactional love — money might change hands, but that doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful, as is clear when Lil Baby coos, “Let’s have a baby and name it Dior.”


Daniel Carter, William Parker and Matthew Shipp, ‘Seraphic Light, Pt. 1’

This new trio of longtime collaborators has achieved something special with “Seraphic Light,” a live disc titled after a performance by John Coltrane. Parker, 66, a quietly indispensable free-jazz bassist, does not play delicately. He is in the Charles Mingus tradition, a thumping perambulator, sometimes playing the instrument almost like a guimbri. And on piano, Shipp works in sharp shots and splatters, leaning hard into Parker, locking in with the bass but not embracing. Lain across the top, switching between saxophones, trumpet, flute and clarinet, is Carter, a picture of patience and warm power.