Listen Up

From dark post-pop to bouncy disco and classic hip-hop, our favorite new tunes this week

Purple Disco Machine: Emotion

Purple Disco Machine (aka Tino Piontek) has been touring his one-man show since 2009—but with the new track “Emotion” Piontek has elevated his sound to greater heights. Sampling The Emotions’ 1976 track “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love,” he fuses disco, house and plenty of funk. The result is a track that transcends eras—incredible present-day production value aside. Catch Purple Disco Machine at dozens of festivals now through the end of this year.

yeule: Pretty Bones

The dark post-pop tune “Pretty Bones” is the first single from the debut full-length by yeule (aka Nat Ćmiel). The track is layered, gauzy, glitchy and quite ethereal. Its Joy Song-directed video begins with opulent and odd still life images (pearl-encrusted fruit, raw octopus, jewels, flowers and candles) and descends dramatically with Ćmiel destroying everything—punching cakes, crushing sweets—until finally, the screen fills with time-lapse shots of each scene decaying. The result is gorgeously grotesque.

Black Marble: One Eye Open

New from Brooklyn-based synth-pop outfit Black Marble (aka Chris Stewart) is “One Eye Open,” the lead single off the upcoming LP Bigger Than Life. While remaining true to their ’80s-inflected, post-punk roots, the song is a little more upbeat and bouncy than previous offerings. It’s danceable, but with the gravitas that runs through much Black Marble music.

Anna Rose: Sucker Puncher

It takes a lot to match the powerful rock vocals of Anna Rose in her latest single “Sucker Puncher.” But the dance performance of Dean Elex Bais, which he choreographed for Rose’s latest music video, just so happens to reach those heights. Filmed in Desert Hot Springs, California alongside a custom bike from Big Boy Choppers, the video’s a one-two punch of sonic and visual vivification. Directed by filmmaker Émilie Richard-Froozan, it’s a bundle of electricity that highlights Rose’s songwriting all the while.

Ty Segall feat. Shannon Lay: Ice Plant

Initially obscure (with various sound effects and jazzy percussion) and shifting with delicate, layered vocals, Ty Segall’s “Ice Plant” is a “fever dream of my childhood,” he says. The majority of the song (from his forthcoming album First Taste) is occupied by Segall and Lay’s a cappella vocals—a far cry from the previous fuzzy, psychedelic, garage rock tracks from the record. It all floats along dreamily, revealing little evidence as to how far the listener has gone, until it suddenly fades away. Then a brief piano outro appears, concluding the listener’s trip.

Masta Ace + Marco Polo: Get Shot

From Masta Ace and Marco Polo’s most recent collaborative album, A Breukelen Story (out on Fat Beats Records), “Get Shot” is old-school hip-hop at its finest, from an artist who’s been dedicated to the genre for 30+ years. Once a part of the Juice Crew (alongside Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rap and more), Masta Ace has long insisted on infusing wisdom into his rhymes. Over beats by producer Marco Polo, Masta Ace has always shone, and “Get Shot” is no exception. Plus, the chorus samples Jay-Z’s “All I Need” and complements Ace’s verses well.

Warbly Jets: Cool Kill Machine

The second single from Warbly Jets’ Propaganda EP, “Cool Kill Machine” debuts with a stark conceptual music video directed by Sophie Rosenoer and Zack Carlstrom. Bloody for a reason, the visuals underscore the song’s stance on gun violence and even groupthink. Warbly Jets wrote, recorded and produced the EP themselves—and, as with the track, it’s a strong taste of their catchy, indie-rock talent.

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.