The Playlist: Vampire Weekend’s Plucky Return, and 15 More New Songs | Modern Society of USA

The Playlist: Vampire Weekend’s Plucky Return, and 15 More New Songs

The Playlist: Vampire Weekend’s Plucky Return, and 15 More New Songs

After a six-year gap, Vampire Weekend has re-emerged with a song that wraps misgivings in three-chord elation: first with folksy acoustic-guitar picking, then with gospel-rock piano and congas, later with jammy hints of the Grateful Dead. It all feels jovial until Ezra Koenig’s words register a not-so-oblique dread: “Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight/Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified/I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die.” Meanwhile, anyone seeking meditative sanctuary can click on “120 Minutes of Harmony Hall Guitar” — the opening acoustic guitars simply looping away, adding a modest drone for the second hour. JON PARELES

The lyrics are cryptic, and so is the video, with images of armed men, surveillance screens, captive women and lessons in violence. But there’s no mistaking the urgency of Sam Fender’s desperate vocal, the rising refrain “He will play God” and the syncopated, reverberating guitar note that persists throughout the song, keeping things tense. PARELES

Agonized and serrated, the new song from Call Me Karizma revives mid-to-late-2000s Warped Tour electro-punk, blends it with emo instincts as refracted through SoundCloud rap, adds in heaping gobs of Marilyn Manson, and tops it off with, hiding in plain sight, a flicker of Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down.” CARAMANICA

“Ecstasy” is an anti-manifesto from Sneaks, the singer, songwriter and producer Eva Moolchan. “I don’t wanna explain,” she whisper-sings, almost as if she’s humming to herself. But meanwhile she’s assembling blips, plinks, a buzzing bass riff, hovering electronic tones and casually intersecting vocal lines into a teasingly enticing track: she’s doing, not telling. PARELES

Que Vola brings together three Afro-Cuban percussionists — all members of the Osain del Monte Orchestra — and seven French jazz musicians. The lead single from the group’s self-titled debut is “Calle Luz,” a quick, pattering original that reshapes a rumba rhythm around its jagged, four-horn arrangement. The West African roots of rumba come through in various ways here; amid all the rhythmic and harmonic complexity, you might even hear echoes of Fela Kuti’s Africa ’70 band in the sound of the Rhodes, bass and drums. RUSSONELLO

Sage Fisher, who records as Dolphin Midwives, uses loops of harp and electronic sounds, and sometimes (though not on this track) her voice, to construct tracks that evolve from ambient Minimalism to something considerably more volatile. “Junglespell” starts out pretty and vaguely Asian, with rippling, overlapping harp motifs. But halfway through, an electronic vortex takes shape, in rhythm-disrupting clusters and miniature alarm bells; a pretty coda can’t soothe everything. PARELES

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