Playlist: The Playlist: Lost (and Found) John Coltrane, and 10 More New Songs


Hear releases by Chaka Khan, Mitski, Meek Mill and others.

Image
The John Coltrane record “Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album,” which was recorded in 1963 and stashed away, arrives on Friday.CreditGai Terrell/Redferns, via Getty Images

By 1963, when he recorded “Both Directions at Once,” the long-lost album out Friday, John Coltrane was about chant and pulse and scalding pursuit. Yet he continued to write bright, memorable themes; this is still the man who’d penned the tunes on “Blue Train.” The three fresh original compositions on “Both Directions” (those not released on any other official album) charge and tumble, but they also sing. They’re ear-wedges. And then there’s “Slow Blues” — something else entirely — an 11-and-a-half-minute chance to clear out your melody-packed brain and follow Coltrane’s lead more freely. He speaks a thoroughgoing blues language throughout, even as he’s sliding in and out of key, tearing his tones, improvising in cuts against the grain and suggesting alternatives to the harmony and the rhythm. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Meek Mill featuring Miguel, ‘Stay Woke’

This does not need Miguel! Seriously! He’s here to lend some kind of gravity, to cut Meek Mill’s revving engine with a jolt of cut-rate solemnity. But the thing about Meek Mill is that his scream-rapping often just barely conceals a sense of emotional urgency. He is a tense rapper, and this song — his first since being released from prison in late April — has moments that really ache (in spite of the abusive piano-driven production). He’s particularly gutting in the second verse, when he expresses empathy for the wild boys of the SoundCloud-rap generation, spotting their mistakes — and their likely consequences — way before they will, or can. JON CARAMANICA

Mitski, ‘Nobody’

The tart individuality of Chaka Khan’s voice is barely recognizable in “Like Sugar” because it’s multitracked in unison, canceling out quirks. But the song, produced by Switch, is a keeper that’s bound to be sampled by someone. It’s quantized, minimal cyber-funk with a hopping bass line and one percussion sound highlighted at a time: triangle, bongos, handclaps, cowbell. Still, here’s hoping Ms. Khan’s voice gets more latitude on the rest of her coming album, her first since 2007. J.P.

03 Greedo, ‘Bacc to Jail’

Paramore, which usually plays pop-punk, glances toward the Jamaican influences of No Doubt — another band led by a woman grappling with power and desire — with the reggae backbeat of “Caught in the Middle,” a reflection on growing up, self-questioning and perseverance. “I don’t need no help/I can sabotage me by myself,” sings Hayley Williams, 29, but she continues, “I gotta keep going or they’ll call me a quitter.” The song dovetails vulnerability into persistence. J.P.

Black Grapefruit, ‘Omygod’

Everything gets chopped up and turned around in “Omygod” by Black Grapefruit, the electronic-pop duo of Randa Smith and Brian Dekker; it’s from an album due August 10. Vocal syllables and percussion that appears and disappears create a Caribbean-tinged beat; synthesizer tones waft in and fade out; barking dogs and screams of “Omygod!” disrupt a melody that holds a fractured apology: “You told me what you held in/And I held back what you needed.” After an eventful three minutes, the songs finds a surprise resolution in something like gospel. J.P.

Bad Bunny, ‘Estamos Bien’

“Estamos Bien” is an ethereal take on the Bad Bunny sound. There’s a natural mournfulness about his singing, but when it’s stretched out taffy-like, as it is here, it begins to take on a wistful quality, a good match for this song about living well. And the charming video is a soft-focus pastel fantasy, a celebration of friends who let you act your goofiest and summers where you get to live free. J.C.

Liz Cooper & the Stampede, ‘Hey Man’

A nugget of 50-years-late-breaking psychedelia out of Nashville, “Hey Man” circles through four chords and flaunts a distorted guitar hook, jazzy drumming and an elaborate but transparent throng of voices and guitars behind Liz Cooper’s straightforward come-on. The 11-year-old dancer Madysen Reilly gleefully commandeers the video clip. J.P.

Let’s Eat Grandma, ‘I Will Be Waiting’

Let’s Eat Grandma — the eccentric, teenage English songwriting duo of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth — test the limits of pop in “I Will Be Waiting,” from its new album, “I’m All Ears,” which negotiates between pop formulas and wayward impulses. The song uses Minimalistic keyboards to capture the vertigo of infatuation, until drums kick in and insist on a direction. “It’s late but I will be waiting for you,” the chorus proclaims, tentatively and then proudly. J.P.

Pan Amsterdam, ‘Landlord Elijah’