Listen Up

Hypnotic, iconic, hazy and charismatic releases from this week

SAULT: Wildfires

From the mysterious funk/soul collective SAULT, the hypnotic “Wildfires” tells a tale of courage and perseverance in the face of police brutality. The song appears on Untitled (Black Is), a glorious and timely record that traces Blackness from rebellion to resilience, radical joy and beyond. The trio—which internet sleuths believe could be Dean “Inflo” Wynton Josiah, Cleo Sol and Melisa Young (aka Kid Sister)—released this statement with the track: “We present our first Untitled album to mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives. RIP George Floyd and all those who have suffered from police brutality and systemic racism. Change is happening… We are focused.” The entrancing 20-song album begins with the Black Panther chant “Revolution has come! Still won’t put down the gun!” and flows from there with poignancy and spirit—at times militant and, at others, meditative.

Sylvan Esso: Ferris Wheel

With “Ferris Wheel,” North Carolina synth act Sylvan Esso (aka Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn) cement their return following last week’s minute-and-a-half teaser “What If.” The familiar chirps and compelling vocals punctuate and populate the catchy release. Directed by Supercollider and shot at an abandoned amusement park, the official music video acts an electric current of carnival shapes, colors and movements—all with a hazy veil. The track will appear on the electro-pop duo’s forthcoming studio album, Free Love (out 25 September).

Django Stewart: Burning Bridges (For Your Love)

After successful turns in other bands and under different monikers, singer and instrumentalist Django Stewart goes solo with the entrancing synth-pop single “Burning Bridges (For Your Love).” Arguably the truest expression of his charismatic songwriting to date, the dance-y, disco number addresses falling in love with someone while on the precipice of a breakup with another. Iconic music video producer Sophie Muller along with director and Jesus and Mary Chain bassist Douglas Hart bring the song to life with neon-saturated visuals and kaleidoscopic choreography.

Kylie Minogue: Say Something

Following 2018’s country-inflected Golden, Australian dance-pop singer Kylie Minogue announces her 15th studio album, DISCO—and from it, shares the lead single, “Say Something.” Written and recorded with frequent collaborators Richard “Biff” Stannard and Ash Howes (and others) the bop debuted on BBC 2 where Minogue said, “It’s like a galactic disco. I think this song is about all of our eternal quests for love and the searching and the knowing there’s someone out there.” With whispers, soaring synths, a squiggly riff and a lofty choir-led climax, this banger feels delightfully sparkly and grandiose—in a very Minogue manner.

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.