Listen Up

Electro-pop, ethereal indie, exceptional collaborations and more new music from this week

Madlib + Four Tet: Road of The Lonely Ones

Madlib (aka Otis Jackson Jr) and Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden) have joined forces for a collaborative album called Sound Ancestors that promises to be an immersive listening experience. As Hebden explains, “He is always making loads of music in all sorts of styles and I was listening to some of his new beats and studio sessions when I had the idea that it would be great to hear some of these ideas made into a Madlib solo album. Not made into beats for vocalists to use but instead arranged into tracks that could all flow together in an album designed to be listened to start to finish.” The first song from the record (set for release next year), “Road of The Lonely Ones” combines tender falsetto, soulful backing vocals and crumbly percussion for a rich, melancholy song that sounds truly timeless.

Danz CM: Idea of You

Electro-pop artist Danz CM (aka Danielle Johnson) worked under the moniker Computer Magic for more than a decade. It’s with a new name, the tantalizing and turbo-charged new track “Idea of You,” and a collaborative video with director Matthew James Reilly (shot with cinematic splendor in Death Valley) that Johnson declares what one can expect of her forthcoming album The Absurdity of Human Existence—and it’s nothing short of spectacular.

Healy feat. Becky and the Birds: Back on the Fence

Memphis, Tennessee-based recording artist Healy (aka Ethan Healy) enlists Swedish vocalist Becky and the Birds (born Thea Gustafsson) for “Back on the Fence,” a single from the former’s forthcoming album, Tungsten, due out 13 January on Braintrust and RCA Records. Produced by Public Library Commute, “Back on the Fence” proves to be Healy’s most pop-forward record—and pleasantly so. A rich grand piano carries his sound to new heights, while Gustafsson’s vocals add an ethereal element.

Little Dragon + Moses Sumney: The Other Lover

At first undeniably Little Dragon, “The Other Lover” soon welcomes Moses Sumney’s familiar, divine vocals as it burns slowly over four minutes. Taking its lyrics from the Swedish band’s previously released song “Another Lover,” this rework feels stripped back but still rich and textured. Sumney says, “I’ve been listening to Little Dragon for a very long time; as a teen, their first album impressed upon me just how infinite modern soul music can be. When they asked me to collaborate I was so honored and surprised (“shook,” as the kids say) that it took me a while to come around. They worked with me, egoless, to craft a new vision for their song. I’m proud of what we came up with.”

Sofie + Miss World feat. Peanut Butter Wolf: Melody

Stones Throw Records artists Sofie and Miss World tap label founder Peanut Butter Wolf (aka Christopher Manak) for a cover of Plustwo’s 1983 track “Melody.” Their version boasts the same sense of satisfying obscurity, while furthering the lo-fi visuals of the original video. It’s altogether upbeat, and entirely danceable—especially once you reach the breakdown midway through the track.

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 Danz CM