Empress Of: Love For Me
Empress Of (aka Lorely Rodriguez) is preparing to release her second full-length album Us—the follow-up to 2015’s Me—and has just dropped the super-catchy “Love For Me.” The track, co-produced by the duo DJDS (Jerome Potter and Sam Griesemer), is sweet and dreamy. And, like most Empress Of tunes, it’s infectious—warranting repeat listens. Her new album will be out 19 October on Terrible Records.
MØ: Imaginary Friend
Ahead of her sophomore album Forever Neverland (out 19 October on Columbia Records), singer/songwriter (and frequent Major Lazer and Cashmere Cat collaborator) MØ released a fast-paced single titled “Imaginary Friend.” The track, produced by Illangelo, is sure-fire proof that MØ can turn any track into a solidified, unique dance tune. Her voice, at times more an instrument than an accompaniment, resonates emotionally and seems more irreplaceable than most electro-vocalists. On this one she sings, “Just watch me / watch me with your hands / let my body be your brail / I’ll be your imaginary friend,” while the sounds of a harp, a ticking clock and rhythmic bass embody the background.
Brockhampton, a multi-member rap group forged from the chatroom of a Kanye West fan site, just released their major label debut, Iridescence. After dropping a string of album-like mixtapes, this work comes amidst a turning point. Their most outward-facing member was dropped amidst abuse allegations; they signed to RCA Records; they battled with promising to hopeful fans about whether an album on a major label could carry the same youthful, and at times rootless, energy that their early releases did; they grappled with the fact that with the departure of their (arguably) most talented member, sonic space needed to be filled. “Tonya,” the second-to-last track on the album is a wonderfully woeful, piano-backed track about regret, self-worth and letting down those closest to you. In the first minute of the track, a direct reference to the tale of Tonya Harding, group member bearface raps: “There’s no money on my mind, but my money or my mind, what’s the first to fall?”
St Vincent: Slow Slow Disco
Stripping away all the original synths to effortlessly morph her track into a piano-led ballad, St Vincent has offered up yet another version of her glorious “Slow Disco.” The song—from 2017’s MASSEDUCATION—has been renamed “Slow Slow Disco” and it’s a seductively melancholic take. St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) says, of her rework, “Songs are living things. They grow, they evolve, they change their moods and personalities over time.”
Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel.