Listen Up

Future-pop, fluid R&B, hip-hop with a bossa nova-like beat and more music from this week

India Shawn feat. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Too Sweet

With a trademark smooth, gooey bass line and crisp beat from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, India Shawn’s languid “Too Sweet” seamlessly blends genres to create a divine love song. The LA-based singer-songwriter teamed up with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and producer D MILE for the soulful, indie-pop- and psychedelia-infused R&B track. Her sweet vocals add a breezy brightness to the tune, the result begging for repeat listens.

Noname: Rainforest

Noname’s new track “Rainforest” remains true to her staunchly anti-capitalist spirit while referencing the vulnerabilities, conundrums and joys that can exist alongside those beliefs. Over a jazzy, bossa nova beat, she name-checks Marxist political philosopher Frantz Fanon and Huey P Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide, questions how we can champion billionaires, and notes how capitalism is inherently racist. “Dyin’ on stolen land for a dollar like that ain’t fucked up / It’s ‘fuck they money,’ I’ma say it every song / until the revolution come and all the feds start runnin’,” she raps alongside breathy back-up vocals. Her seemingly effortless, deft rhymes pack a punch.

Menahan Street Band: Devil’s Respite

Menahan Street Band’s first album in nine years, The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band, arrived last week via Daptone Records. The powerful, downtempo “Devil’s Respite” contrasts other upbeat tracks on the album. A mix of slow-burning city jazz and an expanding drum beat, the track presents several feats of analog instrumentation, including a memorable, horn-led chorus and a meditative outro with tinkling keys that slowly fades to an end.

Alice Longyu Gao feat. Mura Masa + Bülow: She Abunai

Featuring Mura Masa and Bülow, NYC-based songwriter, DJ and performance artist Alice Longyu Gao’s new track “She Abunai” begins with whispers, giggles and bubbly, latex sounds, but eventually unfurls into a more melodic track than her previous offerings. The catchy tune boasts a distinctly avant-pop vibe, replete with industrial and dance influences that create a simultaneously metallic and sugary sound.

Celia Hollander: 5:59PM

LA-based multidisciplinary artist Celia Hollander works within various mediums (from performance to installation and text) and her ambient track “5:59PM” teases to a forthcoming debut album Timekeeper. Blending elements of electro and acoustic, the otherworldly soundscape takes listeners on a tranquil trip.

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 Alice Longyu Gao