Number One Popstar: I Hate Running
Number One Popstar (aka director, photographer and recording artist Kate Jean Hollowell) offers up a clever, comedic takedown of fitness expectations with her irreverent single, “I Hate Running.” Hollowell directs the official music video, where she stars as an aerobics guru and author who presents her book Work on Yourself, Loser! to an oddball group of color-coordinated attendees. Humor aside, the track itself is a danceable delight.
Anna Leone: Once
Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Leone returns with the tender “Once,” produced by Paul Butler. An ode to naivety, regret and ultimately acceptance, the enchanting folk song is accompanied by a video filmed in the Azores archipelago, Portugal. At once ethereal and grounded in nature, the dark, dreamy visuals come from “the idea of being stuck in your ways, going through the same patterns, but then choosing to break out of that and do things differently,” Leone says. “Towards the end I reconcile with the past, symbolized by the little girl. I choose to embrace what once was in order to move forward.”
Jimbo Mathus + Andrew Bird: Sweet Oblivion (Live)
Friends for 25 years (and former Squirrel Nut Zippers bandmates), Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird returned to collaboration in 2018 after years pursuing independent musical endeavors. Shared sonic fragments grew into their forthcoming album, These 13 (out 5 March), and its first single, “Sweet Oblivion.” “It’s been my dream for years now to make this record with Jimbo. Just guitar, fiddle and our very different voices. I wanted to make sure you can really hear him, as if for the first time,” Bird says in a statement. The track is accompanied by a charming live performance video, shot in Ojai, California and directed by Tyler Manson.
Lane 8 feat. Julia Church: Oh, Miles
Lane 8 (aka Denver-based DJ and producer Daniel Goldstein) taps Julia Church for vocals on “Oh, Miles,” out now via This Never Happened. Atmospheric and engaging, the track incorporates roaring synths, crescendoing drum patterns and floating sonic elements. Church’s ethereal vocals match the otherworldly instrumental, making the track both comforting and hypnotic.
Erick the Architect: Skinny Ramen Freestyle
On “Skinny Ramen Freestyle,” Erick the Architect (of rap group Flatbush Zombies) seems to float over an evolving, Linden Jay-produced beat. The two-minute track acts as a trailer for his forthcoming EP FUTURE PROOF—his first as a solo artist—out 22 January. “Skinny Ramen Freestyle” is a testament to his lyrical ability and bodes well for the upcoming solo debut.
Nomi Ruiz + Sam Sparro: Like a Ghost
Recording artist, actor, author and transgender activist Nomi Ruiz (who sometimes works under the moniker Jessica 6) duets with Sam Sparro on the luscious new R&B track “Like a Ghost.” The collaboration, which Ruiz wrote and Sparro produced, “is about being haunted by a past love even after making a full effort to evolve and move on,” according to Ruiz. The seductive track hails from filmmaker Nick Sasso’s forthcoming motion picture, Haymaker, on demand and in theaters 29 January—which also stars Ruiz.
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 Number One Popstar