Olivia Rodrigo’s Emotional Highway Journey, and eight Extra New Songs

OK, now that she has her driver’s license, the road trip comes. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Deja Vu” opens in the car, and the singer remembers good times with an ex. As with “Drivers License,” there are three parties – Rodrigo, this ex-boyfriend, and the specter of that person’s new love, and it is unclear which of the other two is more frightening to Rodrigo. The lyrics are simple and punctuated: “That was our place, I found it first / I made the jokes you tell her.” About halfway through “Deja Vu” becomes strictly Swiftian, with lyrical side effects to listening to music, a screaming section taken almost straight from Swift’s “Cruel Summer,” and an intimate power struggle over who taught whom about cool music. However, Rodrigo wants to make it clear that she is not just a student: “Play your piano but she doesn’t know / that I was the one who taught you Billy Joel.” JON CARAMANICA

Gloomy, combative, and sinister, the latest from Westside Gunn is ragged in the best of the early ’90s, and its fuzziness and staggering make it almost like a restored memory. CARAMANICA

Rosanne Cash looks at her own past, her family’s southern roots, and the southern story of lynchings and injustices in The Killing Fields. She sings: “The blood that flows on cypress trees cannot be washed away by the tears and the gasoline of the mothers.” The melody is sad and minor; A lonely, lightly struck guitar provides most of the accompaniment. And in the end, Cash decides: “Everything that came before us / is not who we are now.” JON PARELES

Half Waif – the songwriter Nandi Rose – is surprised by the paradoxes of love in “Take Away the Ache”. She sings: “I know that I ask more than you can give / but doesn’t love just live like that?” It’s a dizzying three and a half minutes, fluctuating between minimal electronic abstractions, piano ballads and dance floor knockers, all of which are held together by passionate longing. PARELES

The Jamaican singer Naomi Cowan puts her usual reggae aside in “Energy”, an ingenious, multi-level network of syncopation and silence produced by Izy Beats. Plucked strings, sporadic bass tones, finger snaps, flickering electronic hi-hats, and teasing, elusive backup vocals stick in and out of the mix as Cowan rebukes an ex who makes her spooky before declaring, “Love and war , Baby, i’m no victim. “PARELES

“If you like a girl, be nice – it’s not rocket science,” Florence Shaw says of Unsmart Lady, a new single from the four-part London-based Dry Cleaning that is popular almost like a psych-rock update from Nada Surf’s . ” On Dry Cleaning’s excellent debut album “New Long Leg”, which was released on Friday, Shaw is the front woman and the spoken poet in equal parts, weaving the accidental linguistic waste of modern life into loose, surreal narratives. (She used to collect excerpts from overheard conversations and fascinating idioms in the Notes app on her phone. When her friends asked her to join her band, she dismantled the found material for lyrics.) “Unsmart Lady” starts out as a kind of terse, one-sided conversation, but in the end it has turned into an imaginary meditation on the absurdities of femininity, like a “foot hopefully pressed into a short boot”. Around them, the band unleashes their anger, but Shaw’s delivery remains stable – the little eye of a storm. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Mdou Moctar, a guitarist, singer and bandleader from Niger, uses everything he has drawn from the traditions of the Sahara and western rock to build up “Afrique Victime”, the title track of an album that will be released on May 21st should appear. “Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we keep silent, it’s the end of us,” as the beat gallops ahead. Soon his electric guitar jumps out of the band’s rhythmic core to trill, twist, tumble and scream. PARELES

The excellent “Noho” from the new album by the thoroughly refreshing AG Club offers a smooth collision of the Bay Area’s hip-hop traditions: the slow-and-low and the loop exuberance. CARAMANICA

Dopolarians began in 2018 as a project that brought Arkansas-based free jazz musicians together with older greats from the free jazz world: bassist William Parker, drummer Alvin Fielder Jr., and saxophonist Kidd Jordan. Her debut album “Garden Party” fluctuated between singsong lyrics and ruthless involvement. The group just released a new LP, “The Bond,” and while the line-up has changed, Brian Blade is now filling the drum chair after Fielder passed away in 2019 at the age of 83. Jordan, now 85, is no longer in the group – the relaxed but intense feeling remains the same. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO