Listen Up

A stirring song by Nick Cave, brand new Caribou, ethereal indie, polished pop and more new music

FKA twigs: home with you

From her forthcoming album, Magdalene (out 8 November on Young Turks), FKA twigs’ new song “home with you” is dark and distorted, but brimming with moments of piano-led brightness. “I didn’t know that you were lonely / If you’d have just told me / I’d be home with you,” she sings over piano, strings and sprawling bass, as the song progresses into something quite ethereal. The release, she says, “reinforced my reoccurring suspicion that when I’m in doubt, I should follow my gut and go home.”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Bright Horses

Truly stirring, the piano-led “Bright Horses” from Ghosteen by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is mystical, yet universal. The poetic lyrics (poignant and centered on a “horses of love” metaphor) shift from sorrow to hope, and the result is powerful. “And we’re all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are / And horses are just horses and their manes aren’t full of fire / The fields are just fields and there ain’t no Lord,” Cave sings, his voice heartbreakingly vulnerable. The song is from the band’s exquisite 17th studio album, which officially releases next month.

King Princess: Hit The Back (Playboy School of Pop)

Recorded to accompany her appearance in Playboy magazine’s Pleasure Issue, King Princess has released “Hit the Back (Playboy School of Pop)” and it’s an upbeat, seductive pop song—though the beginning prepares the listener for a ballad. King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) impersonates a handful of high-school stereotypes in the accompanying video, and the stills in it are pulled from her feature in the magazine.

Jakob Ogawa: April

Reminiscent of bygone ballads, Norway-born Jakob Ogawa’s “April” toys with loneliness, even relishing in it along the way. Uplifting piano and buoyant synths contribute to the song, while Ogawa’s vocals are warm and soulful and ultimately the track is playful, as a childlike choir chimes in on the chorus. “Sometimes I’m all alone, even when I hold your hand,” he sings, between carousel-like piano solo—and just before the video’s Bigfoot character sands a surfboard all alone.

MorMor: Some Place Else

“Another day like yesterday / Where it all just slips away / A change of scene, a change of pace / I’m waiting on some better days,” MorMor (aka Toronto singer Seth Nyquist) whispers on his track “Some Place Else.” It appears on his EP of the same name, but received the video treatment just recently. The visuals are equally melancholy, but add a complexity that requires unpacking. Nyquist can be seen, a victim of some sort of trauma, lying on the street in the opening scene. The track plays on and follows him until he sees (with one eye) his own body being wheeled into a hospital, from an ambulance that took him there.

Caribou: Home

Dan Snaith hasn’t released new music under his Caribou moniker for five years (since the beloved Our Love album), but today “Home” appeared—along with international tour dates for next year. Sampling Gloria Barnes’ song of the same name, “Home” blends ’70s soul (with plenty of vintage horns) and a glittery warmth, all carried along by Snaith’s unmistakable falsetto.

Role Model: hello!

Buoyant piano, drums and horns back Role Model’s weighty lyrics, but it’s this balancing act that makes his newest single “hello!” so listenable. A swelling instrumental rises to match the track’s chorus, wherein Role Model (aka Tucker Pillsbury) pleads for an answer when he calls, before fading out. The song will appear on a forthcoming EP set to drop later this year, courtesy of Benny Blanco’s Mad Love label.

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.