Orion Sun, “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me).” Philadelphia songwriter and bandleader Orion Sun — a.k.a. Tiffany Majette — is back in action, following up her 2017 album A Collection of Fleeting Moments and Daydreams with a pinch-yourself song that steps lightly with the thrill of a love seemingly too good to be true (and the fear that it might be). Hopefully, there will be more like it coming from the 23-year-old folk-jazz-hip-hop bandleader in 2020.
Daniel Lopatin, Uncut Gems Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The soundtrack to Josh and Benny Safdie’s anxiety attack of a movie starring Adam Sandler is — thankfully — mellow by comparison. Daniel Lopatin, who normally records as Oneohtrix Point Never, is an electronic composer and producer who uses gurgling synth lines and honking sax solos to mirror the mood swings of Uncut’s adrenaline-junkie diamond dealer Howard Ratner. But because the music is often used as counterpoint in the nerve-jangling film — with pop star The Weeknd in a small role — it plays at a calmer, almost soothing pace when separated from the story on screen.
John Forte. Back in 1996, John Forte was a featured rapper on the Fugees mega-selling The Score. Two years later, he released a promising solo album in Poly Sci. Forte’s life then took a surprising turn. In 2001, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting to transport 3.1 kilos of liquid cocaine. After seven years, with Carly Simon and Sen. Orrin Hatch advocating on his behalf, his sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush. Since then, he’s carved out a career as filmmaker, singer, rapper, and criminal justice reform advocate. Zawadi Noel opens. Wednesday at the Loft at City Winery.
The Menzingers. Scranton-born pop-punk band The Menzingers wrestle with growing older on Hello Exile, the 2019 album that asks the question: “How do I steer my early 30s, before I shipwreck before I’m 40?” Singer Greg Barnett’s adult angst is political as well as personal, particularly on the opening cut “America (You’re Freaking Me Out).” With Gladie and Sun Organ. Thursday at Boot and Saddle.
Loamlands / The Muslims / Pink Wash. Loamlands is a band fronted by Kym Register of Durham, N.C., who makes what she calls “distorted” country music that, in stripped-down arrangements, grapples with identity issues “from a Southern and genderqueer perspective.” Loamlands is on tour with provocative queer punks The Muslims, also from Durham, and they will be joined by West Philly’s Pinkwash. Thursday at Johnny Brenda’s.