Since her 2004 debut, indie singer-harpist Joanna Newsom has skirted traditional songwriting structures for tracks that meander but still compel. Her quirkiness is toned down on “Sapokanikan,” a strong step toward chamber-pop. It’s still weird, but far more enveloping. — Steven J. Horowitz
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Lana Del Rey
“High by the Beach“
The themes of “High by the Beach” — drugs and fractured romance — are nothing new for Del Rey, but her latest possesses perhaps her most radio-friendly hook yet. Its loopy 808 bounce, which pivots away from the song’s dreamy synthesizers, is an escape worth taking. — Jason Lipshutz
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New takes on 1990s R&B often come across as shabby sequels, but crooner Tory Lanez seamlessly marries past with present on “Say It,” which samples Brownstone‘s 1993 hit “If You Love Me.” Lanez’s Auto-Tuned vocals and trap drums mingle surprisingly well with the original’s church harmonies, making for an even playing ground between generations. — S.J.H.
Listen to this week’s singles, and more music from artists from this issue, in the Spotify playlist below:
This story originally appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of Billboard.