Listen Up

Songs about our obsession with tech, wanting to be in two places at once, family relationships and shoes

Mykki Blanco: Patriarchy Aint The End of Me

In Mykki Blanco’s theatric two-minute track “Patriarchy Aint The End of Me,” the queer rapper tells a tale of defiance atop a dramatic soundscape. Produced by FaltyDL, the song incorporates backing vocals by Mykal Kilgore, L1ZY, and Leah King. Blanco shared in a statement that the song was “written as if it were a scene from a musical with radical feminist strippers.” With its narrative declarations falling on light drums and relaxed strings, it’s easy to imagine it all.

Jonah Yano feat. Tatsuya Muraoka: shoes

Jonah Yano’s lo-fi “shoes” highlights an emotional rekindling with his father, Tatsuya Muraoka, who he hadn’t seen in 15 years. The accompanying video details Yano’s visit to Japan, how the pair occupied their days together, and the uncanny resemblance between father and son. Originally recorded by Muraoka in Hiroshima in the ’90s, “shoes” was finished by Yano—he filled out the track’s instrumental and then laid down his vocal parts. “My dad’s Japanese lyrics are about a pair of shoes he bought me when I was a kid,” Yano explains. “My verses question his absence from my childhood and my general confusion about my circumstance, which was a fatherless upbringing in an entirely different country as a result of my parents’ separation.” The intensely personal single will appear on Yano’s forthcoming debut album, souvenirout 19 June.

Noah Chenfeld: Stop the Bus

An upbeat, indie-pop ode to coincidence and observation, NYC-based Noah Chenfeld’s “Stop the Bus” powers along on gregarious guitars, keys and drums. The track’s karaoke-night themed music video—starring Rachel Coster and shot by Louis Sansano—underscores the lyrics and Chenfeld’s earnestness as a songwriter.

Thee Sacred Souls: Can I Call You Rose?

San Diego-based band Thee Sacred Souls (aka Alex Garcia, Sal Samano and Josh Lane) participates in the debut of Penrose Records, an imprint under Daptone Records, with the smooth single “Call I Call You Rose?” To match their vintage soul sound, Thee Sacred Souls record their tracks on vinyl, debut them in their physical form, and then release the singles on music-streaming platforms and YouTube. The trio’s commitment to analog contrasts the quick-fire nature of many other artists within the increasingly digital industry.

JR JR: The Way I Do

JR JR, the indie-pop duo from Detroit (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr), surprise-released “The Way I Do” today—another sugary-sweet taste of their forthcoming EP, August and Everything Prior. A straightforward celebration of devotion, with a little silliness tossed in, the track’s upbeat spirit and sing-along chorus make for an easy listen.

Kayobe: Miss You Blame You

To herald the arrival of multi-instrumentalist and producer Kayobe’s new album, Island To Bridges, lead single and centerpiece track “Miss You Blame You” pairs a warm, rhythmic soundscape with his sensorial vocals, intermingled with those of Veronica. Kayobe says, “‘Miss You Blame You’ is about wanting to be in two places at once”—a sensation evident in the track and likely owed to his nomadic, global nature.

Satellite Mode: Click Now

With electro-rock incisions, NYC-based duo Satellite Mode (Jessica Carvo and Alex Mark) dissects our obsession with technology in their vibey new single “Click Now.” From their debut EP, Robots Vs. Party Girls (out this summer), the track’s chapters marry lyrical gravity to tight sonic layers. Carvo’s vocals bundle it all together nicely.

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.