Listen Up

From indie-pop to samba-influenced hip-hop, a few of our favorite tracks from the week

Bakar: Hell N Back

Supported by horns, Bakar’s soulful and vintage-sounding “Hell N Back” details a love story rocked by ups and downs. “Could you tell where my head was at when you found me? / Me and you went to hell and back just to find peace / Man, I thought I had everything, I was lonely / Now you’re my everything, I was lonely,” the London-based artist sings—his voice passionate, steady and sometimes pleading. Name-checking Mountain Dew, MDMA, Portobello Road and more, the song will appear on Bakar’s forthcoming EP Will You Be My Yellow? out 13 September.

GoldLink feat. Tyler, The Creator + Jay Prince: U Say

From GoldLink’s album Diaspora comes “U Say,” a dance-driven tune with samba and upbeat go-go influences. Featuring the record’s highest-profile collaborators—Tyler, The Creator and Jay Prince—there’s star power at play. The trio meshes together atop Ghanian Afrobeat producer Juls’ instrumental. The Santi-directed visual casts the three as the life of a dimly lit party and then the victims of a Queen of the Damned-style set-up.

Seb Zillner feat. Feux + Kalifornia Kurt: Wiley

Slow-burning and riddled with random accents, Glendale-based Seb Zillner’s “Wiley” taps Austrian producers Feux and Kalifornia Kurt for support. The result is a multi-faceted tune with electronic, funk, jazz and jam band influences. And while listeners don’t know where the track is heading next, or what instrument just chimed in, the element of surprise means the song is super-engaging and warrants repeat listens.

Neil Frances: Shallow End

Soulful and carried along by an upbeat groove, “Shallow End” by Neil Frances (aka Marc Gilfry and Jordan Feller) incorporates silky vocals for a decidedly summery, breezy piece of indie-pop. The track was part of a double-sided release that features the very danceable “Rewind.” Listening to the two in sequence creates a pleasant contrast. While “Rewind” offers a thumping bass-line, “Shallow End” creates piano-led brightness.

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.