Listen Up

A pair of long-awaited releases, a Squeeze cover, a house banger and more new music this week

Jai Paul: Do You Love Her Now

Billed as a double B-side, “Do You Love Her Now” and “He,” is Jai Paul‘s first release in some six years. The two songs are quite different, but both are lustrous and undeniably the work of the beloved UK producer. While “He” is more experimental, “Do You Love Her” is a glorious, sultry tune that blends R&B, soft-rock and funk. Paul’s breathy vocals and coos drift over the spacey synths and thudding bass line, resulting in a rich and layered slow jam. Both songs are written, recorded, produced and mixed by Paul, who also released a lengthy statement about his long hiatus and the unauthorized leak of his music back in 2013.

Bon Iver: U (Man Like)

With vocal contributions from Moses Sumney, Elsa Jensen, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (performing an arrangement by Bryce Dessner), Bon Iver’s “U (Man Like)” rises to the call of its gospel music inspirations. Underneath the at times soaring voices, Bruce Hornsby’s powerful piano current keeps it flowing. A beautiful collaboration, the track marks one of two new releases from Bon Iver, which accompanied a tour announcement.

Roman Lewis: I’m a Fool for You

A sun-soaked beachside frolic sets the stage for Roman Lewis’ latest video, “I’m a Fool for You.” The captivating, 18-year-old singer/songwriter strums his way through a high-energy tale of love’s hurtles and hooks. Directed by photographer Max Montgomery, the video celebrates Lewis’ efforts—and serves as a reminder that there’s fun to be had along the way. The track appears on Lewis’ EP Heartbreak which released earlier this year.

Whitney: Giving Up

Off the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Forever Turned Around (out 30 August from Secretly Canadian), Whitney’s new track “Giving Up” is a subtle, joyful continuation of the group’s sonic signature—delicate falsettos from the band’s lead singer, Julien Ehrlich, included. From the suite of horns to the bluesy guitars, this will certainly please longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Róisín Murphy: Incapable

Teaming up with longtime collaborator DJ Parrot (aka Crooked Man), Róisín Murphy releases “Incapable”—a house banger about being emotionally inept. The prolific singer/songwriter/producer offers flawless vocals that sashay over the twitchy beat and groovy bass line. The song ebbs and flows gloriously for almost nine minutes of immaculate production.

Erykah Badu + James Poyser: Tempted (Squeeze Cover)

Created for Record Store Day, The Roots’ James Poyser and Erykah Badu’s cover of Squeeze’s 1981 classic “Tempted” is a soulful, jazzy and breezy rendition. The arrangement—which includes sparkling percussion and backing musicians including Derrick Hodge, Ali Jackson and Mike Feingold—is layered and lush. Badu’s seemingly effortless vocals are also backed by Thundercat. The record is available in a limited release of 3,500 and is the third song from Swindles—a series of Squeeze covers led by Steven Mandel and The Roots.

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.