Music Scene: Comebacks from Lorde, Liz Phair and DMX

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde (left) and Japanese Breakfast, an indie rock band headed by Korean-American Michelle Zauner. PHOTOS: OPHELIA MIKKELSON JONES, DEAD OCEANS

SINGAPORE - The past month has been a time of comebacks in the music world.

New Zealand star Lorde is back with a new song after four years, alternative rock singer Liz Phair's latest album is her first in 11 years and late rapper DMX's posthumous album comes nine years after his last one.

Meanwhile, singer Billie Eilish drops another new song from her highly anticipated second album, indie act Japanese Breakfast has both a new album and memoir, and British alternative rock quartet Wolf Alice have released their third album.

Check these out on music-streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

1. Pop

Solar Power

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Singer-songwriter Lorde makes a return with Solar Power, her first new song since 2017. It is the title track from her upcoming third album and contains backing vocals from indie singers Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo.

Lorde says about the song in a statement: "It's about that infectious, flirtatious summer energy that takes hold of us all, come June (or December, if you're a Southern Hemisphere baby like me, but I know that's literally impossible for you all to wrap your little heads around so don't worry about it)."

2. Alternative Pop

Japanese Breakfast

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Japanese Breakfast, the music project headed by Korean-American artiste Michelle Zauner, have released their third album, Jubilee.

To improve herself as a songwriter, Zauner took theory lessons and studied piano for the first time. She says: "I've never wanted to rest on any laurels. I wanted to push it as far as it could go, inviting more people in and pushing myself as a composer, a producer and arranger."

Zauner also recently released her memoir, Crying In H Mart, a New York Times bestseller which is set to become a movie.

3. Progressive Rock/Experimental/Jazz

Black Midi

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Cavalcade is the second album by British band Black Midi, whose debut album Schlagenheim was nominated for the 2019 Mercury Prize.

The members of the group met at the Brit School, the same London performing-arts and technology high school attended by singers such as Adele and the late Amy Winehouse.

Drummer Morgan Simpson tells The New York Times in a recent interview: "One thing we all really want to do is enhance the pretty, beautiful and melodic side of things... but also go even more to town with the crazy, super intense loud stuff. We really want to try and just maximise both ends."

4. Pop

Lost Cause
Billie Eilish

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Multi-Grammy-winning American pop singer Billie Eilish has dropped another single from her upcoming sophomore album Happier Than Ever, which will be released on July 30.

Titled Lost Cause, the sassy tune sees her dismissing an ex-lover who thinks "you're such an outlaw/But you got no job".

The music video, which features the singer living it up with her girlfriends at a slumber party, is directed by Eilish.

5. Alternative Rock

Blue Weekend
Wolf Alice

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British quartet Wolf Alice recently released Blue Weekend, a follow-up to 2017's Visions Of A Life, an album that won the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize, one of Britain's top music awards.

Singer Ellie Rowsell says of the track, which was recorded in a converted church: "This album is for other people. Sometimes you hear a song and it makes you feel better, or you hear a song and it makes you feel seen.

"I remember feeling blue about something and thinking, 'I wonder what songs I can listen to that will be about what I'm feeling right now'."

6. Desert Blues/Psychedelic Rock

Afrique Victime
Mdou Moctar

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Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar found international fame with his 2019 landmark Ilana: The Creator.

Afrique Victime is the sixth album from the Niger-based musician. The title track, sung in Tamashek and French, is a protest song against colonialism, while tunes such as Ya Habibti and Layla are about a lover.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Moctar says his songs are created from memory. "It can be an issue sometimes, but usually I'll just pick up my guitar and try to reproduce the sounds I hear in my heart and my head."

7. Alternative Rock

Liz Phair

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American singer-songwriter Liz Phair's 1993 debut album, Exile In Guyville, was one of the defining moments of the alternative rock scene in the 1990s.

Her seventh and latest album, Soberish, is her first since 2010's Funstyle.

She says: "Soberish can be about partying. It can be about self-delusion. It can be about chasing that first flush of love or, in fact, any state of mind that allows you to escape reality for a while and exist on a happier plane."

8. Alternative Rock/Industrial Rock

No Gods No Masters

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For their seventh album No Gods No Masters, American alternative rock stalwarts Garbage rail against global issues such as short-sighted capitalism, sexism and racism.

Singer Shirley Manson says the title track is a song about political inclinations, adding in a statement: "Why do some people vote right? Why do some people vote left? And all of that comes from a concern for ourselves, for our friends, for our families, ultimately, for our babies...

"This song is about reimagining our society for the future, for our children and not making the same mistakes over and over again and allowing greed to corrupt our thinking."

9. Hip-hop


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Exodus is a posthumous studio album by American rapper DMX, who died at the age of 50 after a heart attack in April.

His eighth record is his first since 2012's Undisputed. Recorded at the studio owned by fellow American rapper Snoop Dogg, it features his fellow hip-hop stars such as Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, as well as singers Bono from U2 and Alicia Keys.

Two of his children also appear on the album - it includes vocals from his eight-year-old daughter Sonovah Hillman Jr and four-year-old son Exodus Simmons.

10. Hip-hop

Hall Of Fame
Polo G

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The third album by American rapper Polo G, titled Hall Of Fame, includes Rapstar, the single released in April that went to No. 1 in the United States. Rappers such as DaBaby, Roddy Ricch and Nicki Minaj also appear on the record.

The 22-year-old from Chicago recently made the news when he was arrested after an altercation with the police in Miami after his album's release party.

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