Listen Up

Spanish-language funk, jazz with Nigerian rhythms, hypnotic nu-disco and more new music this week

Jessie Ware: Spotlight

Lush, hypnotic, dramatic, and drenched in disco, Jessie Ware’s “Spotlight” is everything one could ask for in a club-ready tune. From her upcoming fourth LP What’s Your Pleasure? (the follow up to 2017’s Glasshouse), the song was co-written with Danny Parker, Shungudzo Kuyimba and Arctic Monkeys producer James Ford and seems to confirm the English singer/songwriter’s position as a nu-disco diva. The video—which was filmed in Belgrade on former Yugoslavian president/dictator Josip Broz Tito’s luxurious Blue Train—starts off subdued and moody and ends with a traditional, rambunctious Serbian wedding filled with dancing, confetti and a Balkan brass band. What’s Your Pleasure? is set for release in June, includes last year’s luscious “Adore You”, and features work from Kindness, Metronomy’s Joseph Mount and others.

Buscabulla: NTE

A single from Buscabulla’s forthcoming debut album Regresa, “NTE” serves as an ideal introduction to the duo’s Spanish-language funk songs and acts as a summation of their style as a whole. A groovy bass line moves along, matching the tempo of the percussion as well as Raquel Berrios’ vocals. The duo will embark on a tour beginning in Paris, France on 5 June.

Austra: Anywayz

In conjunction with the announcement of her fourth album, HiRUDiN (out 1 May), Austra (aka Katie Austra Stelmanis) has released the soaring single and album opener, “Anywayz.” She says, “It explores the fear associated with leaving someone, and the terrifying realization that without them in your life, the rest of the world will continue unscathed as if nothing has changed.” The Jasmin Mozaffari-directed official music video only heightens the track’s tantalizing sensibilities.

KOKOROKO: Carry Me Home

Inspired by Afrobeat artist Dele Sosimi, KOKOROKO’s “Carry Me Home” mixes Nigerian rhythms with jazz influences to form a hypnotic tune. It’s upbeat, groovy and wildly infectious. “Before melody or harmony, there’s rhythm,” Sheila Maurice-Grey, KOKOROKO’s band leader, says of the release. “Carry Me Home” has just a few vocals, but breathy harmonizing adds layers and leaves space for an ebbing and flowing saxophone.

Shabazz Palaces: Fast Learner

Shabazz Palaces (Ishmael Butler aka Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai “Baba” Maraire) return with their first new music in three years, and it’s as psychedelic and experimental as fans have come to expect from the alternative hip-hop duo. From The Don of Diamond Dreams comes “Fast Learner,” a galumphing, steamy, ’80s-influenced tune that features vocals from Purple Tape Nate. The album also features cameos by Darrius Willrich, Carlos Niño, Carlos Overall, and others.

Giveon: Heartbreak Anniversary

Long Beach, California-based singer/songwriter Giveon’s newest, “Heartbreak Anniversary,” fuses modern R&B with the baritone deliveries of legendary artists like Frank Sinatra and Bobby Caldwell. The simple instrumentals radiates while Giveon’s vocals dive deeper, ultimately matching the song’s lowest bass notes. Spliced guitar interjects, adding another layer to the soundscape.

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.