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What's up with Beyoncé's bizarre new single? (She raps!)

Beyonce performs during the half-time show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.

JEFF HAYNES/REUTERS

POP

Bow Down/I Been On, by Beyoncé; streaming here.

We interrupt this Timberlake moment for a flash, bizarre bulletin from Beyoncé. The self-appointed Queen Bey on Sunday released a tricked-out two-part track, one with shout-outs to her Houston hometown and growled, vainglorious declarations aimed at throne pretenders.

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The unforeseen stunt-single's second half is trippy and mechanical, with Beyoncé's voice pitched down to horrid effect as she raps delusionally and double-negatively – "I'm the number one chick, I don't need no hype" – as she reminiscences about her teenage Texas years. Unmelodious and outside the singer's lane, this three-and-half-minute veer should be seen as a postpartum announcement that the artist sees herself as not just a mother, but a mutha. And now, (hopefully) back to our regularly scheduled programming.

POP

Chasing the Sunset, by Imaginary Cities, from the forthcoming Fall of Romance; streaming here.

String-laden and easygoing, a long-awaited new tune from Winnipeg's Rusty Matyas and the distinctive vocalist Marti Sarbit arrives softly and serenely, with a stylistic era that is hard to pin down. "I'll be here, if you choose to come back," Sarbit croons, on a likable song about journeys. Welcome back, Imaginary Cities,

COUNTRY/FOLK

My House, by Kacey Musgraves, from Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury); streaming here.

When your house is on wheels, your sweet home is just the next stop on the road. The clear-voiced American songstress rides a harmonica-happy shuffle across the country, going mobile happily and watching life through living-room windows on the go.

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ROCK

You Can't Fix This, by Dave Grohl and the Sound City Players (with Stevie Nicks), from Sound City: Real to Reel (Roswell/RCA); streaming here.

One of 11 tracks featured on the soundtrack to Sound City, Dave Grohl's love-letter documentary to the now shuttered linoleum-tiled, Los Angeles-area studio at which Nirvana's Nevermind and Fleetwood Mac's eponymous LP from 1975 were recorded. The song reaches back to the seventies for its languid Rhiannon sound and lyrical inspiration – about losing friends and dancing with devils.

VIDEO

POP

Tonight I Will Be Your Guide and Undun, by Royal Wood and Randy Bachman, from Reworking Randy; streaming here.

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The singer-pianist Royal Wood undoes the Bachman-penned Guess Who classic and reinvents it as a druggy, jazzy waltz. It's preceded by a version by Bachman and Wood of the latter's Tonight I Will Be Your Guide and then an illumination into Undun's origin (involving LSD, an unfortunate lady and Bob Dylan, of course).

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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