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music: essential tracks

Screen grab from video for "The Ride"

Yes, I Know
Daphni, from Jiaolong (Merge); streaming here

Heavily sampling Buddy Miles's spirited soul-shouting number The Segment from the 1970s, Yes I Know has been out a year now as a single. It attracts renewed interest thanks to Tuesday's release of the album Jiaolong, the welcome venture into dance-floor music by the Canadian musician and mathematician Dan Snaith (a.k.a. Caribou). To the pre-existing horn bursts, lively piano motif and Miles's ebullient declaration, Snaith adds a DJ's thick-footed beat and rubbery synthesized whirs and whatnots. Souls and hips are moved in a way that compares to Play, Moby's glassy adventures in crossover blues music from 1999. Snaith's reinvention is sublime – he is as capable as any with a laptop and a thought, that much we know.

Annie's Turn
The PepTides; streaming here

"I hear a howling hail / a boy, a dog, a ghost, a whale?" From the Ottawa pop troupe, an exquisite arrangement of strings, sparse piano and chilled vocals. Concerning an icy adventure and a dog that goes with the floe, it's one of seven potential theme songs to Stuart McLean's new book, Revenge of the Vinyl Café.

Won't Get Fooled Again
Pete Townshend; streaming here

At the tail end of a video involving an in-store launch of his new autobiography Who I Am, Pete Townshend picks up his guitar and plays, but not exactly like yesterday. An unplugged rendition is bluesy and sung in a gruff voice – no windmills or broken instruments, but powerful as ever.

Bettye LaVette, from Thankful N' Thoughtful (Anti-); streaming here

The dramatic Detroit soul singer covers the Gnarls Barkley classic, slowing it way down while building up a lunacy-is-overrated tension not found in the original. We're nuts about it, naturally.

The Ride
Lana Del Rey, directed by Anthony Chandler; watch video here

She's back. The wistful lead single to the pouty singer's forthcoming Paradise EP is accompanied by a wide-screen 10-minute video, with imagery involving the over-wrought recollections and "live fast/die young/be wild/have fun" bromides of a wandering protagonist. Del Rey sings, speaks, and is bent over things gratuitously. She wears cutoffs, smokes at gas pumps and has a strong attraction for Hells Angels as father figures. Follow her free-spirit lead is what she's advising.