Listen Up

Lyrics about staring at the sea, glittery love songs, a claymation music video and more new music

Sofia Kourtesis: La Perla

Following her 2020 EP, Sarita Colonia, Berlin-based musician Sofia Kourtesis returns with the soaring “La Perla.” The song will appear on Fresia Magdalena (set for release in March) which will feature several field recordings Kourtesis made in her hometown of Lima, Peru. “La Perla,” she says, “is about staring at the sea. It’s the first thing I’ll do when I return to Peru. My dad used to say staring at the sea is like meditation, it clears your head. This song is for him. It’s hard for me to listen to ‘La Perla’ as it wrote it during a time I lost my dad to leukaemia. This song is for him, descansa en paz papa.” It’s also the first time the DJ/producer has sung on one of her songs, and the vocal samples perfectly complement the uplifting track, which is both mellow and made for dancing at sunrise.

Raveena: TWEETY

Raveena’s whimsical and glittery love song “TWEETY” references sublime ’90s R&B. The track’s music video—which she co-directed with Chris Cadaver—is equally nostalgic, with plenty of candy-colored psychedelic scenes that hark back to kids’ TV of yesteryear.

El Michels Affair: Ala Vida

Founded by Leon Michels, El Michels Affair has been releasing genre-defying music for 15+ years—drawing inspiration from American R&B to Turkish psych-funk, soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop and everything between. Perhaps best known for working with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and Wu-Tang Clan, Michels returns next month with El Michels Affair’s fifth album, Yeti Season—set for release 26 March. From the record comes “Ala Vida,” which starts out somewhat innocuously with tinkling keys before becoming a big horn-heavy tune that still emanates a mellow warmth.

Gilligan Moss: Slow Down

From indie-electronic duo Gilligan Moss (aka childhood friends Ben Cronin and Evan Dorfman) comes “Slow Down,” off their forthcoming self-titled debut album (out 9 April). The relaxed, feel-good track receives a claymation visual counterpart, directed by Italian animator Francesca Morea. In the video, Dorfman and Cronin transform into various representations of themselves—from aquatic to extra-terrestrial and more.

Django Django feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg: Waking Up

From the brand new Django Django album, Glowing in the Dark (out today), “Waking Up” finds the turbo-charged London electronic rockers taking it down a notch to collaborate with actress and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg. The edgy folk-influenced rock number follows three electrified singles from the album, the deep house-influenced title track, the psychedelic “Spirals” and the astoundingly pop-friendly “Free from Gravity.” The album itself is worth a spin from start to finish.

Sarah Neufeld: Stories

Sarah Neufeld, a solo musician and member of Arcade Fire, released “Stories” yesterday. Neufeld’s upcoming album Detritus was born from her previous collaborative work with dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker, and “Stories” is one of the lush, dramatic pieces from that. Minimal but textured, the music comprises ambient synths, haunting violins and otherworldly vocals.

Jessica Wilde: Wasted

From South London recording artist Jessica Wilde’s new double A-side, Wasted / F*ck U I’m Sober Now!, lead track “Wasted” kicks off a two-part tale with wild nights and moments of regret. Through both sharp spoken-word and soulful R&B vocals, Wilde delivers dynamic storytelling—and her ability to oscillate between shattered soul and force of empowerment (one track later) reveals a true depth of talent.

Frankie Animal: Peaches

With lyrics that nod to Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name (and a title that references one of its more fruitful scenes), Estonian lounge pop act Frankie Animal’s “Peaches” is a warm, joyful track that celebrates love. Its accompanying music video, created by Jaan Sinka and Kristjan Taal, depicts an unfolding gay love story—complete with subtle flirtation, a dance party for two and exemplary decor.

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 Gilligan Moss / Francesca Morea