Listen Up

Farewell to Keith Flint, a lost track from Röyksopp, a moving song by Amanda Palmer and more music this week

Amanda Palmer: Voicemail For Jill

Through her latest track and music video, the unflinching Amanda Palmer directly addresses the fact that abortion is oft-hidden and not easily discussed. She does so with a beautiful piano-driven piece and lyrics that begin with specificity and develop—through impassioned storytelling—into a tale of love and support. “Making a song about abortion is hard, and making a video for that song was even harder,” Palmer explains on her Patreon. The visuals are directed by Amber Sealey and parallel the narrative. Palmer’s crowd-funded album There Will Be No Intermission released today.

Kindness feat. Robyn: Cry Everything

Kindness has returned with “Cry Everything,” their first new solo tune since 2014. Sampling Todd Rundgren‘s gorgeous 1985 track “Pretending to Care,” the song encapsulates the concept of bittersweet—it’s simultaneously upbeat, solemn, funky and bleak. Kindness is currently on tour with Robyn, who co-wrote and features on the track. They’re also playing solo shows at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right and LA’s Zebulon over the next couple months.

Röyksopp: Rising Urge (Lost Tapes)

Norwegian duo Röyksopp (aka Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland) recently announced the release of Lost Tapes—a collection of rare B-sides, exclusives and unreleased tracks that will be added to song by song. Two tracks have been released so far: “I Wanna Know” and “Rising Urge,” a slow-burning and eerie soundscape that includes organs, birdsong and haunting chants. According to the duo, “All obscure tracks will eventually see the light of day.” Subscribe to the playlist online.

How To Dress Well: Vacant Boat

From How To Dress Well’s (aka Tom Krell) The Anteroom comes a video treatment for “Vacant Boat.” Directed by Justin Daashuur Hopkins in collaboration with NOH/WAV, the video offers a frenzy of images juxtaposed by static depictions of decay, while a blue-lit Krell echoes the song’s verses. Psychedelic, glitchy and ambient all at once, HTDW fans won’t be disappointed.

Shlohmo: Rock Music

Ahead of his next album, ominously titled The End, Shlohmo (aka Henry Laufer) shares “Rock Music”—an aptly named track blends the producer’s familiar style with chaotic rock. A distorted guitar dominates much of the track but, like all of Laufer’s songs, there’s an atmospheric quality to it—a sense of depth.

The Prodigy: Firestarter

The Prodigy’s vocalist/musician/frontman Keith Flint sadly passed away over the weekend—he was 49 years old. Known for his blistering live performances, Flint was the electronic group’s frontman (first as a dancer) since its inception in 1990, after meeting DJ Liam Howlett at a local club in Braintree, Essex. Wildly influential in the rave scene, The Prodigy then found mainstream success with their debut LP Experience, but it was the Flint-led “Firestarter” from The Fat of the Land (1996) that won them their first number one. With punk-inflected vocals by Flint and samples from all over the place (the riff is from The Breeders’ “SOS,” the drums are from a remix of “Devotion” by Ten City, and the “hey hey hey” is from avant-garde synthpop group Art of Noise), the track is a high-energy genre-clashing banger.

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.