Listen Up

From melancholy to ethereal, defiant to sultry, our favorite new music

Anderson .Paak: King James

Anderson .Paak‘s third album Oxnard was just released in November and he’s already sharing new music from his fourth record Ventura. The first song from the LP, “King James” is an ode to LeBron James and his dedication to giving back to underserved communities. It also mentions Colin Kaepernick kneeling, the possible border wall, gun violence and more. While the subject matter sounds heavy, it’s really a song about defiance and celebration of those who strive to make things better. The undeniable groove and flawless production, along with .Paak’s hopeful message, make for a very satisfying bop.

Dijon: Bad Luck

Slow-burning and ethereal, Dijon‘s “Bad Luck” changes form several times over its brief runtime. From the LA-based artist’s just-released debut EP Sci Fi 1, the song is minimal and melancholy—making way for handclaps and then an equally otherworldly outro. Sweet, tender and a bit of an enigma, this is precisely what we enjoy about Dijon.


Shura (aka Alexandra Lilah Denton) follows up her 2016 LP Nothing’s Real with “BKLYNLDN,” a warm but melancholy tune of yearning. A little more R&B-inflected than her previous offerings, the song is rich, slow-burning and a tad sultry. The British singer/songwriter/producer also announced two shows—in Brooklyn and London, of course—for later in the year.

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.