Listen Up

From a meditative tune to an effervescent disco banger, our favorite tracks from this week

Fiona Apple: The Whole of the Moon

Five years after Fiona Apple wrote and recorded “Container” for the opening credits of Showtime’s The Affair, she’s contributed another track for the acclaimed show’s series finale. It’s a cover of The Waterboys’ 1985 hit “The Whole of the Moon,” wherein Apple replaces synths with warm piano work. Ultimately, it’s Apple’s voice that gives the track such dimension—and new life.

Róisín Murphy: Narcissus

Teaming up again with longtime collaborator Crooked Man (aka DJ Parrot), Róisín Murphy has released the disco bop “Narcissus,” a follow up to the glorious “Incapable.” Beginning with funk guitar, a thumping bass line, and sparkling strings, the song pays homage to house, disco and funk of yesteryear. Murphy’s familiar voice appears almost three minutes into the song, telling an abridged story of the paranoia and destructiveness of Narcissus. As she whispers and sings, Murphy offers a moody element to the soaring, effervescent banger.

Mura Masa feat. slowthai: Deal Wiv It

Punk-inspired electronic producer Mura Masa and UK rapper slowthai (aka Tyron Frampton) collide for “Deal Wiv It,” an unapologetic tune about how to respond to someone who tells you that you’ve changed. The chorus, comprised of chopped vocal samples (slowthai repeating the song’s title), leads into verses backed by a thumping bass and filtered guitar. It’s a slight deviation for both artists, but the collaboration still fits within their personal canons quite nicely—slowthai’s performance is gritty and energetic, and Mura Masa lends a complex instrumental.

Peter Cat Recording Co: We’re Getting Married

Slow and expansive, Peter Cat Recording Co’s “We’re Getting Married” is a tribute to the real-life marriage of one of the New Dehli-based band’s members. Frontman Suryakant Sawhney’s vocals carry the track, and contrast the staccato guitar and bass. His tone harkens back to Sam Cooke or Dean Martin, but the band is far more progressive. They’ve dabbled in electronic, acid jazz, ambient, and indie. As the band puts it, this tune is a D-side from their album, Bismillah, which was released on Panache Records earlier this year.

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan: Westlin’ Winds

From the forthcoming album Navarasa : Nine Emotions, out 24 January 2020, the track “Westlin’ Winds” again unites Scottish folk guitarist James Yorkston, English jazz double-bassist Jon Thorne, and Indian sarangi-player Suhail Yusuf Khan. Almost 10 minutes in length, the song weaves together captivating string instrumentation with empowered vocals in Purbi (a dialect of old Hindi) that at-times call upon the work of beloved poet Robert Burns. As each track on the album embodies one of nine emotions, “Westlin’ Winds” represents abdutha, or an amalgamation of surprise and wonder.

Graham Coxon: She Knows

From Graham Coxon’s soundtrack for the return of Netflix’s pitch-black comedy The End of The F***ing World 2, “She Knows” channels the same eerie, unsettling energy found in the series. It also calls to mind some of Coxon’s moody, melodic music as a member of Blur. This original track was released alongside Coxon’s cover of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and more new music is expected on 8 November.

Rain Phoenix: Immolate

26 years after the death of her brother River, Rain Phoenix honors the late actor with a soulful, stirring album of meditative beauty (apt titled River). Among the many standout tracks, “Immolate” is accompanied by an intimate, Gus Van Sant-directed music video. (Van Sant also directed River in his indie film masterpiece, My Own Private Idaho, and Rain herself in Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.) Propelled by the power of Rain’s voice and her nimble piano work, “Immolate” epitomizes the artist’s relationship with grief—and it’s one listener’s will immediately identify with.

Odessa: Live On

With similar sensations to those evoked by a sun-soaked daydream, Odessa’s latest single “Live On” carries a message of empowerment. Through the California native’s lyrics and bright sonic palette, the song basks in opportunity and celebrates shedding limitation—altogether fueled by waking into each new moment. The track is the second from her forthcoming album All Things, out 15 November and produced by Jonathan Wilson, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, and Spoon’s Jim Eno.

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.