Listen Up

Solange's new record, a hopeful and political anthem, a tribute to Talk Talk's Mark Hollis and more

Solange: Sound of Rain

Released at midnight, Solange’s superb fourth full-length album When I Get Home is a lush sonic exploration. Sprawling across 19 tracks (some of which are just brief interludes) the record is all written, performed and executive produced by Solange, but includes contributions from Dev Hynes, Panda Bear, The-Dream, Earl Sweatshirt and others. The lovely “Sound of Rain” (produced by Solange, Pharrell and John Key) features guest vocals from Abra and Steve Lacy and is downtempo but glittery. The record—which is full of homages to her hometown—blends jazz with neo-soul, zydeco, electronic, hip-hop and so much more; creating something that’s concurrently unfamiliar and undeniably Solange.

LUME: Edge of My Seat

From Brighton singer/songwriter LUME comes “Edge of My Seat,” a song to follow her 2018 EP titled Tip of Your Thumb. The track pulls from multiple genres—hip-hop sits somewhere inside, pop synths and indie melodies flow throughout. While it’s a breezy tune, it still bears some complexity—and optimism, as she sings of being bound for bright lights.

Sinkane: Everybody

Musician/vocalist (and band director of the Atomic Bomb! Band) Sinkane (aka Ahmed Gallab) has just released “Everybody,” an upbeat, powerful and political anthem brimming with words of encouragement and hope. Jubilant drums back layered vocals, and the song blends krautrock, Sudanese pop, afrobeat and more for an incredibly lively tune. The Bruno Ferreira-directed video features scenes from Escola de Samba Paraíso do Tuiuti in Rio de Janeiro juxtaposed with more intimate moments. Sinkane’s forthcoming album Dépaysé is due out on 31 May.

Talk Talk: Eden

Founder of the influential band Talk Talk, Mark Hollis has passed away at 64 years old. Widely credited with inventing post-rock—specifically through 1988’s Spirit Of Eden and 1991’s Laughing Stock—Talk Talk is best known for their 1984 new wave, synthpop masterpiece “It’s My Life,” but their endeavors with the aforementioned records propelled a genre. Hollis, who was born in Tottenham, wrote the majority of the band’s songs (oftentimes with bandmate Timothy Alan Friese-Greene) and performed lead vocals while playing numerous instruments—including guitar, organ and variophon. After the band’s break up, Hollis released a minimalist, self-titled solo album and then retired from the industry. Throughout his career, he grew ever more experimental and inventive, and his tremendous influence on music is perhaps even more recognizable than Hollis himself.

Kate Bush: Rocket Man (Elton John Cover)

From her upcoming album of B-sides, remixes, rarities and cover versions, The Other Sides & Rocket Man, Kate Bush’s cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” is predictably unpredictable. Recorded back in 1991, Bush just released her self-directed video for the song—which is equally charming. The video sees Bush playing the ukulele in space, and conducting meteors as if they were her own orchestra. Unequivocally Kate Bush, it’s all utterly enchanting.

Little Simz feat. Little Dragon: Pressure

From Little Simz’s new record Grey Area (out today) comes “Pressure”—an impressive track that showcases Simz’s versatility over a double-edged beat. She enters the piano-backed track voraciously, then the beat changes—drums, distorted vocals and heavier bass kick in—and Simz shines through it. “Take a walk in my shoes / Or any other young black person in this age / All we ever know this pain / All we ever know is rage,” she raps. Little Dragon lends background vocals and then carries the song to the finish line.

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.