Gucci Mane’s Tribute to Takeoff, and 6 More New Songs

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos. Just want the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify here (or find our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at [email protected] and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.

Gucci Mane, ‘Letter to Takeoff’

In the middle of this tribute to Takeoff, the member of Migos who was shot and killed earlier this month, and to countless other rappers who’ve fallen victim to violence, the Atlanta rap titan Gucci Mane issues a surprisingly scathing indictment of voters who opted for Herschel Walker in the Georgia senate race (which is headed to a runoff next month). JON CARAMANICA

PinkPantheress, ‘Do You Miss Me?’

Simultaneously breezy and jealous, PinkPantheress confronts a partner with divided loyalties: “Do you miss me? Ah, ah, does she miss you too?” It seems she’s the other woman — “I know you can’t tell her yet,” she offers, after seeing “one of her messages that popped up on your screen.” With breathy vocals, unresolved piano chords, a double-time, cowbell-topped beat and a loop of PinkPantheress singing “Ah-aya,” the song keeps everything up in the air. JON PARELES

Romy & Fred again.., ‘Strong’

“You don’t have to be so strong,” the xx’s Romy Madley Croft sings on this empathic solo single, a collaboration with the impressionistic electronic producer Fred again.. “Strong” is a soft-focus dance floor banger and an intimate invitation to lay your burden down, like a friend’s encouraging whisper in the middle of a long night. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares, ‘Tukoh Taka’

Considering the primacy of the commercial interests at play here, “Tukoh Taka” — performed in English, Spanish and Arabic — is amiable, exuberant fun. Created for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 soundtrack, it features a buoyant Nicki Minaj, a breezy Maluma and a floating-above-it-all Myriam Fares, all united in service of creating a song soccer fans of all backgrounds might agree on. CARAMANICA

Rod Wave, ‘MJ Story’

Why yes, that is the modern bluesman Rod Wave taking bits of “Teenage Dirtbag” and remaking them into an anthem about overcoming adversity and thanking the supporters who have kept him afloat. CARAMANICA

Meg Baird, ‘Star Hill Song’

The second single from the San Francisco singer-songwriter Meg Baird’s forthcoming album “Furling” sways gently and dreamily, like a folksy Mazzy Star song. Baird’s vaporous voice quivers with unrestrained feeling, but the underlying chord progression provides a calming foundation. ZOLADZ

Jenny Hval, ‘Buffy’

It should not come as a huge surprise that Jenny Hval is a fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The boundary-pushing Norwegian artist’s music sometimes has a supernatural bent, and in 2016 she released an album called “Blood Bitch,” which drew — a little cheekily — on vampiric imagery. “Buffy” starts as a gauzy, drifting ode to the TV heroine (“This is why I love her,” Hval begins) but eventually, and in classic Hval fashion, it builds into something more free-floating and abstract — a meditation on politics, tyranny and the nature of reality itself. ZOLADZ

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