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Ballads, bops, break-up songs and an '80s anthem in our round-up of music this week

Orville Peck: Smalltown Boy (Bronski Beat Cover) Since its 1984 release, Bronski Beat’s seminal “Smalltown Boy” has remained an expression of hope and liberation from isolation and homophobia—and now masked cowboy Orville Peck has recorded a cover of the electro-pop anthem. Replacing the synth riff with a twangy one, and Jimmy Somerville’s soaring falsetto with his own booming, classically trained vocals, Peck transforms the classic …

Eddie Chacon: My Mind is Out Of Its Mind

From his upcoming album, Pleasure, Joy and Happiness, Eddie Chacon’s “My Mind is Out Of Its Mind” feels at once nostalgic and current—with a hint of ’80s smooth soul/jazz/pop, coupled with contemporary flourishes. The meditative, self-reflective song—produced by the brilliant John Carroll Kirby—proves Chacon’s immense songwriting ability. The music industry veteran started his first band when he was 12 years old, and was half of the …

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Poignant protest songs, poetic reflections, '70s psychedelia, and more new music

Noname: Song 33 With references to George Floyd and Toyin Salau, “Song 33” by rapper, poet, producer and activist Noname is presumably a response to J Cole’s recent, widely lambasted release, on which he criticizes and tone-polices her. Over the mellow Madlib-produced beat, Noname (aka Fatimah Warner) meditates, “Wow, look at him go / He really ’bout to write about me while the world is in …