Listen Up

Fevered punk, upbeat Caribbean beats, glitzy indie-pop and more new music this week

GoldLink feat. Maleek Berry + Bibi Bourelly: Zulu Screams

Fusing go-go, African and Caribbean rhythms and hip-hop, “Zulu Screams” is an upbeat bop outfitted with smooth verses from GoldLink and Nigerian-Brit Maleek Berry, with vocals from singer/songwriter Bibi Bourelly (who wrote “Bitch Better Have My Money” for Rihanna). The accompanying video—directed by Meji Alabi—takes place in a dark, chaotic warehouse party and features a hologram version of GoldLink, who seems summoned by the frenetic scene.

Heather Strange: Ruthless

Baby Alpaca frontman Chris Kittrell returns as Heather Stranger, his moniker for a glitzy solo project that strikes deep. With production by Dave Sitek and Christopher Hines, lead single “Ruthless” tucks Kittrell’s Morrissey-like vocals into thoughtful, pop-friendly instrumentals. Underneath it all, however, is a song about doubt and defying insecurity. A message that works well with the glittery Bryan C. Watkins-directed video.

Santi feat. Krisirie: RX-64 (The Jungle)

Off Lagos-based alté artist Santi’s debut album, Mandy & The Jungle, comes “RX-64,” a track that fuses lush dancehall with afrobeat and hip-hop influences. Santi and Barbados-based guest vocalist Krisirie cruise atop the beat, which features prominent bass and drums. “While I was recording, each time I closed my eyes I saw a jungle,” Santi told i-D. “It felt very unsafe but still very wild and beautiful.”

Ezra Furman: Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone

Another catchy number from musician Ezra Furman, “Calm Down” (aka “I Should Not Be Alone”) clocks in at 2:22 and doesn’t dip in its dramatic delivery at any point. The animated video, directed by Beth Jeans Houghton, swirls comic book color into the mix. After a milestone year for the songwriter, 2019 will see the release of his latest album, Twelve Nudes, out 30 August via Bella Union.

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.