St Vincent: New York (Acoustic Version)

St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) recorded a stirring, acoustic rendition of her sublime “New York” as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s virtual gala, which is streaming in full until 20 May. Gently lit in a dark room, Clark performs an exquisitely stripped-back version of the resplendent song, a sombre ballad that mourns a relationship and name-checks various spots in NYC—a combination that feels …

Natalia Lafourcade: La Malquerida

Dedicated to “all our sisters,” Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade’s acoustic rendition of “La Malquerida” spotlights the love and pain women feel. Its title roughly translates to “the badly loved,” but its mission is empowerment. Lafourcade sings alone, at first, strumming a guitar next to a fire, but a choir of young women chime in when the track reaches its chorus. Together, they create an emotionally …

Stephen Malkmus: Xian Man

A single from Stephen Malkmus’ forthcoming solo record, Traditional Techniques, “Xian Man” is far more acoustic and western rock-influenced than his previous release—an electronic album titled Groove Denied. The guitars (which act as the song’s guiding force) flow together until separating at the onset of a 12-string solo. Reminiscent of work by the Velvet Underground, this release will please longtime fans of the genre and …