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A taste from Wilco's upcoming album

Check out a tune from Wilco’s upcoming album. Plus: new music from Consequence and Kanye, a Dr. Seuss parody, and more

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Wilco
Frank Ockenfels

A taste from Wilco’s upcoming album

WILCO, ”What Light”
It’s easy to forget sometimes that before becoming America’s premier squad of avant-rock experimentalists, Wilco was a great alt-country band. On this teaser track from their eagerly anticipated sixth studio album, Sky Blue Sky (out May 15), frontman Jeff Tweedy gets back to his rootsy roots, crying out over a soft bed of steel guitars. Whatever the rest of the album sounds like, here’s hoping it makes room for a few more transcendent throwbacks like this one. (Download it from Wilco’s website)

CONSEQUENCE FEAT. KANYE WEST, ”The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”
This Queens rapper played sidekick to A Tribe Called Quest on 1996’s Beats, Rhymes and Life; a decade later, he’s graduated to, well, playing sidekick to Kanye West on songs like ”Spaceship” and ”Gone.” West obligingly lends a sweet helium-soul track and a silly verse about the dating game to this cut from his protégé’s solo debut. But this is Quence’s moment to shine, and shine he does, dispensing down-to-earth wisdom in an instantly likable tone. (Buy it on iTunes)

DYLAN HEARS A WHO!, ”Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!”
The best parody artists always have a profound love for their targets — think ”Weird Al” Yankovic memorizing Chamillionaire’s cadences for ”White & Nerdy”. So when this hilarious song turned up anonymously on the Web a few weeks ago, featuring a classic Dr. Seuss rhyme as interpreted by an eerily skilled impersonator of Bob Dylan circa 1965, it was clear that only a serious fan of that era’s music could be behind it. Sure enough, EW.com has learned that the ”Dylan Hears a Who!” tapes were written and recorded by Kevin Ryan, a Houston-based producer who recently published an encyclopedic volume on the Beatles’ studio technology. Ryan’s inspired homage to the Highway 61 Revisited sound makes this song well worth replaying after your giggles subside. (Stream or download it at Ryan’s website)

RICHARD THOMPSON, ”Dad’s Gonna Kill Me”
This bluesy anti-war tune is Dylanesque in an entirely different way, like a ”Masters of War” for the new millenium. Thompson’s an aging British folk-rocker — he played with Fairport Convention in the late ’60s before launching a long solo career — but here he convincingly takes on the voice of a young soldier serving in Iraq: ”I hit the roadblock, somehow I never hit the mine/The dice rolled and I got lucky this time.” It’s not easy to sing about such controversial material without sounding preachy or inauthentic, but Thompson pulls it off. (Download it from Thompson’s website)

LUMIDEE FEAT. JIM JONES, ”I’m Up”
Four years after her lone hit, the dancehall-inflected R&B smash ”Never Leave You,” Lumidee is set to make another bid for fame with her aptly titled sophomore album, Unexpected (out April 17). This sweat-soaked club banger — packed full of throbbing synths, heavy breathing, and, of course, at least one use of the catchphrase ”Ballin’!” from rapper Jim Jones — just might do the trick. (Download it from EW.com)