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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 …

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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 …

Jorja Smith: Rose Rouge

Jorja Smith’s mesmerizing version of St Germain’s “Rose Rouge” will appear on Blue Note Re:imagined, an upcoming compilation album from Blue Note Records of reimagined, signature Blue Note tracks. “Rose Rouge” originally appeared on St Germain’s Tourist from 20 years ago, and relied on a sample of Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto.” Shaw’s contribution remains, and so does St Germain’s, but Smith’s cover emphasizes …