Listen Up

An artful Tierra Whack video by Alex Da Corte, house music from Tkay Maidza, Earl Sweat's collaboration with Mavi and more this week

Tierra Whack: Dora

It comes as no surprise to Tierra Whack fans that her latest release, “Dora,” provides an off-kilter, playful and captivating listen. Her first solo single since 2019’s “Unemployed,” the song comes accompanied by visuals from conceptual artist Alex Da Corte. Pulling plenty of inspiration (and some characters) from Sesame Street—which Whack has cited as an influence before—the video enthralls viewers with bold colors and surreal imagery. At times, Whack appears as a pink half-horse or a lamp, riding a plastic tortoise, floating in a can of soup or surrounded by a cast of puppets and various anthropomorphic characters. Short, sweet and drenched in Whack’s charm, it’s a welcome return for the talented Philadelphia rapper, singer and songwriter.

Balthazar: Losers

“We are losers on the verge of something great,” Balthazar (aka Belgian bandmates Maarten Devoldere, Jinte Deprez, Simon Casier, Michiel Balcaen and Tijs Delbeke) proclaim on their new single, “Losers,” which will appear on their forthcoming album, Sand. Disco-tinged, filled with falsetto and twangy guitar, the indie-pop tune remains sonically similar to past releases but also demonstrates the band’s evolving confidence.

Earl Sweatshirt feat. Mavi: EL TORO COMBO MEAL

Earl Sweatshirt’s two-and-a-half-minute “EL TORO COMBO MEAL” showcases the talents of the LA-based rapper (aka Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) and his collaborator Mavi, who eschew their signature chopped-and-screwed styles in favor of quicker cadence. Mavi’s stream of consciousness continues just past the halfway mark, when Earl Sweatshirt offers up a fuzzy, filtered verse—in which he references late record producer and DJ Ras G.

Tkay Maidza: 24k

Tkay Maidza’s upbeat “24k” appears on the Australian artist’s newest EP, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2. An electronic, infectious house tune, it comes accompanied by a Nicholas Muecke-directed video that matches Maidza’s energy, pairing dimly lit dance scenes in boxing rings with fisheye lensed performances in warehouses. The third installment of her Last Year Was Weird series is due next 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. Hero image courtesy of Tierra Whack / Alex Da Corte