Listen Up

From dramatic tunes to disco tracks, experimental to electronic, our favorites from the week

Angel Olsen: All Mirrors

With a pared-back introduction featuring synths and sporadic percussion that gives way to a 14-piece orchestra and a stirring string-ladened interlude and conclusion, Angel Olsen’s “All Mirrors” is a cinematic ride. The layered melody is at once brooding and elating, with Olsen’s vocals guiding the track. Produced by John Congleton, with arrangements by Jherek Bischoff and Ben Babbitt, the song will appear on Olsen’s upcoming fourth LP, which is about “owning up to your darkest side, finding the capacity for new love and trusting change even when you feel like a stranger,” she explains.

Caroline Polachek: Parachute

Some two years after Chairlift broke up, Caroline Polachek’s solo debut album Pang will be released. Polachek has released three songs from the record, and our favorite is the operatic “Parachute.” Produced by Danny L Harle, the exhilarating song is a “direct transcription” of a dream Polachek had. “It was an incredible moment, realizing that this melody we’d written was unintentionally re-telling a dream I’d been shaken by,” she says. The song—a stirring soundscape—reaches a remarkable crescendo with Polachek’s flawless, luminous vocals.

Poolside feat. Panama: Can’t Stop Your Lovin’

LA-based duo Poolside (aka Jeffrey Paradise and Filip Nikolic) provide a lush, daytime disco instrumental for Australian vocalist Panama’s breathy vocals to float atop. The three meld together and create a cohesive sound that breezily bops along for four minutes. To build out your Poolside playlist, refer to the Summertime Playlist the duo made for us last year.

Flume feat. Reo Cragun: Quits

From their just-released EP of the same name, “Quits” represents an alchemical collaboration between Australian producer Flume and rapper Reo Cragun. It’s one of three new tracks, and quickly follows Flume’s one-off release with London Grammar. “He does such a great job of getting whatever he hears inside of his brain written out,” Cragun says of Flume. But the rapper’s passionate adaptability makes every track daring, distinct and worthy of a spin.

Blarf: Banana

Starting off with a sample from Jorge Ben’s “Vendedor De Bananas,” “Banana”  by Blarf (aka comedian Eric Andre) soon embraces utter chaos. The track appears on Andre’s debut album under the Blarf moniker, Cease and Desist—and it’s aptly titled considering its reliance on samples. The album, somewhat a sonic replication of Andre’s comedic style, masks brilliance with madness. And the track itself bangs along until it devolves into frenetic drums, broken horns and Andre’s distorted whimpering.

Lauren Faith: Jheeze (Cosmic Love)

From London-based Lauren Faith’s debut EP, Cosmic, comes “Jheeze (Cosmic Love)”—a thumping, funk-influenced track produced by KAYTRANADA. Faith’s airy vocals hold their own atop the drums, various electronic noises and synths. The result is an undeniably infectious, soulful R&B bop.

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.