Listen Up

Self-love, alienation, aggression and more in this week's new music

Amaal: Not What I Thought

Setting a break-up ballad against the bleak, beautiful landscapes of Iceland always seems to yield success. Toronto-based Amaal does so in “Not What I Thought,” to striking result. Director Sean Brown casts intimate close-ups against shots of sheer alienation. A mood is built through the visuals that complements Amaal’s vocal grace. The track is the recording artist’s first from a forthcoming EP.

Lizzo: Juice

Once again Lizzo has blended various genres for an effortlessly perfect pop song that celebrates self-love. With elements of funk and soul, the track has a distinctly retro vibe—spurred on by its ’80s-inflected music video. Directed by Quinn Wilson, the clip pays homage to everything from the Soul Glo commercials in Coming to America to workout tapes, talk shows and infomercials.

Cochemea: All My Relations

Born from collective writing sessions and improvisation, Cochemea Gastelum’s “All My Relations” delivers nothing short of a transcendent jazz experience. Blended with indigenous-influenced rhythms, the track acts as a beautiful meditation on Gastelum’s Yaqui and Mescalero Apache Indian ancestry. A saxophonist with the Dap Kings, Gastelum crafted the track—and others on the album—during the last year of the iconic band’s tour with Sharon Jones. This album, also called All My Relations, will be released on 22 February through Daptone Records.

Nick Waterhouse: Song For Winners

With the same energy and growl he’s become known for, Nick Waterhouse returns with “Song For Winners.” Accompanying the track is the announcement of a self-titled LP coming 8 March on Innovative Leisure and a US tour. This tune in particular—with crackling drums and frustrated vocals—is accentuated by its ending: almost a full minute breakdown featuring drums, saxophone and electric guitar.

Billie Eilish: When I Was Older (Music Inspired By The Film Roma)

Inspired by Alfonso Cuarón’s breathtaking (and Netflix-distributed) film Roma, sad-pop sensation Billie Eilish’s “When I Was Older” delicately addresses alienation. Over a beat that murmurs like a heart under duress, the track’s lyrics bleed slippery, auto-tuned pools of humanity. It’s another captivating glimpse of Eilish’s vision prior to the release of her debut LP.

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.