Listen Up

Six tracks featuring seven talented women this week

Annie: Dark Hearts

11 years after Don’t Stop, Norwegian singer-songwriter, DJ and producer Annie (aka Annie Strand) plans to release her third full-length album in October. The record’s title track, “Dark Hearts,” explores family relationships and features Annie’s familiar saccharine vocals over a dark, pulsating, ’80s-inflected beat. She says in a statement that it relates to “the ongoing question of heredity and environment… If you always end up in trouble, is it related to your family and the past, or is it simply because you always make fucked up choices?”

Charlotte Day Wilson feat. Syd: Take Care of You

Talented Toronto-born vocalist Charlotte Day Wilson collaborates with The Internet founding member and vocalist Syd (aka Sydney Bennett) for the sultry “Take Care of You.” Syd adds an airy accent to Day Wilson’s deeper tones—which dip even lower on the distorted chorus. The track was released as the counterpart to “Summertime” and both were written and produced by Day Wilson.

Sycco: Dribble

Brisbane, Australia-based Sycco (aka Sasha McLeod) returns with her fifth release “Dribble,” a pop tune that the 18-year-old wrote with producer Ed Quinn. She says in a statement, “Ed and I were tired and hungover, which maybe explains why it sounds a little dark. The guitar synth was added at the last minute but I can’t imagine the song without it now.” Inspired by trying to make sense of somebody talking in their sleep, the song blends synth-pop, neo-soul, rock and pop elements to conjure up a satisfying listen.

Ricky Reed, Leon Bridges + Kiana Ledé: Better

Producer Ricky Reed (known for his work with Lizzo, Maggie Rogers and others) taps vocalists Leon Bridges and Kiana Ledé for the third single from his forthcoming album, The Room. A delicate tune, “Better” is about returning home to the people and places you love most. “She said she’d be OK and I had to trust her / Sometimes you gotta leave you don’t even wanna,” the pair sings on the chorus. Watching the video on YouTube also results in funds raised for The Solutions Project, “a non-profit that connects artists and fans with frontline communities to the climate crisis.” Reed’s label, Nice Life, will match the total donation up to $30,000. So far, the video has raised over $10,000 through views (or $20,000, including Reed’s pledged match).

Lomelda: Hannah Sun

From Silsbee, Texas-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Lomelda (aka Hannah Read) comes “Hannah Sun,” the third single from her forthcoming album Hannah (out 4 September). “Hannah, do no harm,” Read sings at the very end with an emotional honesty that, in fact, leaves listeners soothed with its intention and intensity after a lyrical trek from Atlanta to Alaska. Read stars in the track’s glittering but lonely music video, which was directed, produced and edited by Regina Gonzalez-Arroyo.

Izzy Bizu: Tough Pill

With her single “Tough Pill,” vocalist Izzy Bizu (aka Isobel Beardshaw) references classic R&B tunes with her choir-backed verses and sensitive subject matter. Addressing infidelity, regret, and freedom, she uses the track’s title to tell the audience how it felt to be unsure whether a relationship was really over: “You run my heart over like a bulldozer / Don’t know who you’re getting close with on this sofa / Maybe I can answer, you’re moving forward / It’s never over, until it’s over / Tough pill to swallow / My heart gotta know.” The song will appear on Bizu’s forthcoming album, The Things We Do For Love, which is due later this year.

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.