The Playlist: Iggy Pop’s Jazzy Whimsy, and 12 More New Songs

Iggy Pop’s new album, “Free,” relies on jazz-rooted collaborators for most of its words and music, particularly the trumpeter, keyboardist and producer Leron Thomas. “Sonali” suggests what Iggy might have sounded like backed by Weather Report. He sings its semi-absurdist lyrics — “Do like the Romans/pop melatonin” — over a rushing, fluttering, quasi-waltz that hurries toward an undisclosed destination, whimsical but driven. JON PARELES

Björk and Karin Dreijer — who has recorded in a duo, the Knife, andsolo as Fever Ray — agreed to trade remixes. Dreijer applied both groups’ different personae to Björk’s “Features Creatures,” a song from the album “Utopia” that was a free-floating soliloquy about the nature of attraction, squaring it off and finding beats for it. As Fever Ray, Dreijer set Björk’s vocals atop a half-remembered girl-group beat, weighted with a throbbing low synthesizer. The Knife’s remix suggests a happier flirtation, with a plinking, strutting, carnival-like beat and synthesizers hooting like air horns. Björk, meanwhile, went bleak: She excised all the pop elements and doubled down on the most brutal impacts of Fever Ray’s “This Country,” for a profanity-laced (and retitled) revamp of the song. PARELES

The peculiarly structured “Drive Me Round” starts out almost sleepwalking, with Grace Shaw — the Australian songwriter who records as Mallrat — murmuring, “Are you still awake?/I know you’re up late” in a melody that doesn’t quite align with the pillowy keyboard chords around it. It’s a whispery late-night phone call, one misfit trying to connect with another. Suddenly, about two minutes in, the tempo picks up and Shaw’s voice multiplies, imagining love and open roads while repeating “And you drive me round,” as if she’s lapsed into a blissful dream. PARELES

Modal guitar riffs, handclaps, dryly urgent voices: this is what Tinariwen has been doing since the group emerged from the North African desert. The stark six-beat beauty of “Zawal,” abetted by Western and African collaborators, carries far more for those who understand its apocalyptic lyrics: “All whose consciences won’t leave them in peace are sad/They’re living through terrible times and believe the last judgment is nigh.” PARELES

Vengeance is served chilled in “What You Did” from the new album “Love and Compromise” by the English R&B songwriter Mahalia Burkmar. The tempo is patient, with ticking, twitching drum-machine sounds and samples from Rose Royce’s tearful song about loneliness, “I’m Going Down.” Mahalia and her grainier-voiced colleague Ella Mai shed no tears. “I know what you did,” Mahalia warns, and goes on to calmly inquire, “Tell me is she nice? Does she know I know?” Ella Mai adds details to the indictment with jazzy flourishes. Together, they refuse to forgive. PARELES

Another month in Nashville, another contribution to the ocean full of white-collar/blue-collar romantic square-off songs. “He Went to Jared” is among the funnier of the recent contributions. Hardy and Morgan Wallen are rapscallion-like, and shaggy at the edges — their singing is lighthearted and unsentimental: “He went to Ole Miss, I went to work/He pushes paper, I push the dirt.” CARAMANICA

In “Ghost Towns,” Stolen Jars set up a quick, precise, transparent tangle of counterpoint, with more than a hint of Dirty Projectors. There are stop-start drums, tendrils of guitar, the plink of what might be a marimba and vocal lines that hop around, converge, diverge and eventually reunite, singing about escaping the strictures of the past: “Found my way out, I won’t go back to ghost towns.” Based in New Jersey and Brooklyn, Stolen Jars is led by the songwriter Cody Fitzgerald, who shares lead vocals with Sarah Coffey; the band’s third album is due Oct. 11. PARELES




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