Listen Up

Hip-hop, blues, electronic and more in this week's new music

Saba feat. theMIND: SIRENS

“SIRENS,” the second half of the track “BUSY/SIRENS” from Saba’s album Care for Me, is a poignant portrayal of misaccused black men. “Riding through the city / I’m young, I’m black, I’m guilty / I know one time wanna kill / They don’t know me but they fear me,” he begins his first verse. With cutting cadence, Saba tackles topics ranging from police brutality to racial profiling by providing examples of daily injustices. The video treatment, directed by Reed Jackson, sees Saba inside, with sirens outside, unsafe in his own home.

TENDER: Bottled Up

Off the band’s forthcoming sophomore record, Fear of Falling Asleep, out on Partisan Records on 18 January, comes “Bottled Up,” a deep and bluesy tune about introversion. The song’s many layers—guitar, bass, drum, atmospheric filters and daunting vocals—play perfectly together. Though reminiscent of recent releases by other artists, as the band’s name ironically implies, it’s a bit more tender and less boasting (and arguably better).

Slenderbodies: King

“King” is a smoky, danceable track from Slenderbodies, an Avant Garden-signed duo comprised of Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack. With a groovy bass line and exasperated vocals, the tune is fit for a dark bar or a bedroom dance party. It’s an ode to women; highlighting the empowering solace they provide and the wisdom they bestow, “King” feels good and bears poignant irony in its title.

The Raconteurs: Now That You’re Gone

Back with their first transmission in 10 years, The Raconteurs—a band comprised of Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler—have released a pair of singles that will appear on their currently untitled 2019 album. Their reunion was announced earlier this year, but the singles—”Sunday Driver” and “Now That You’re Gone”—are proof the plan is still in motion. The latter of the two—both of which are available on a 7” vinyl pressing through Third Man Records’ Vault Store—is a slow-moving, but still full-throttle, tune with a deep drum, a sizzling solo from White and a video treatment directed by Dikayl Rimmasch.

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.