The Playlist: Billie Eilish’s Pop Nightmare, and 10 More New Songs | Modern Society of USA

The Playlist: Billie Eilish’s Pop Nightmare, and 10 More New Songs

The Playlist: Billie Eilish’s Pop Nightmare, and 10 More New Songs

Quiet, nightmarish and nursery-rhyme catchy, Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” is matter-of-fact about mourning’s connection to death wish: “Bury a friend/I want to end me.” The video, her creepiest yet, is not for the needle-phobic; the song on its own is unflappably ominous. Its beat is a muffled but brisk electronic shuffle; her voice, moving in and out of electronic effects, is detached and crisply rhythmic, as she wonders, “Why aren’t you scared of me/Why do you care for me?” Another line from the song supplies the title of the debut album she just announced: “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” JON PARELES

Perky turns menacing — and “fashionista” becomes a three-syllable word — in “Fashionista” by the Japanese group Chai; its first album was “Pink” in 2017, and this is from its coming one, “Punk.” Sing-chanting over a strutting bass line — like the Spice Girls, but switching between English and Japanese — Chai’s voices rattle off thoughts on applying makeup to “get it all sexy” before declaring, in a cloud of backup vocals, “We are fashionista!” By the end of the song, dissonant guitar chords have surfaced, the beat is crashing and ricocheting around, and that cloud of voices has turned into a typhoon: a party out of bounds, or a consumer revolt? PARELES

Here’s a track that thumps, blips and hisses its way toward the limbic system, while a filtered voice urges, “Get loose to the rhythm of the drum.” Paradoxically, amid all those programmed beats and swoops, I don’t hear an actual drum. PARELES

White Denim, a long-running band from Austin, loves the impact of garage rock, the melodies of pop and the musical and verbal intricacies of prog rock. “NY Money” is nearly seven minutes of perpetual motion, semi-sequiturs and two-chord (the intro has three) Minimalist obsessiveness. It hurtles through thoughts of drugs, death, self-renewal, disappearance, a gaptoothed waitress and high finance without ever losing its limber momentum. PARELES

Paul Webb, who was the bassist in the 1980s band Talk Talk, first recorded as Rustin Man in 2002, on a duo album with Beth Gibbons of Portishead. The sequel, 17 years later, is the Rustin Man album “Drift Code,” and it’s a throwback to the post-psychedelic British prog rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s — particularly Soft Machine and its bemused, melancholy singer, Robert Wyatt. “Judgment Train” is a bluesy, jammy, wah-wah-loving railroad ride toward an unknowable afterlife. PARELES

Two sound-worlds meet on this track from “An Attempt to Lift the Veil,” a duet album by Jim Jarmusch, on electric guitar, and Jozef van Wissem, on lute. One is a loud, constantly evolving yet somehow meditative feedback drone; the other is a handful of laconic, minor-key motifs on lute. One is clangorous, amorphous, psychedelic, the other consonant, neatly contained and semiclassical. Somehow, they harmonize. PARELES

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