Listen Up

Genre-spanning sonic releases from this week

Andra Day: Phone Dies

Andra Day (aka Cassandra Monique Batie) teamed up with Anderson .Paak for “Phone Dies,” a soulful, samba-tinged, genre-blending tune that builds effortlessly over four minutes. Her rich vocals and .Paak’s polished production work together to create big summertime energy.

BIIANCO: that’s what friends are for

Released as a Black Mirror: Bandersnatch-like interactive video (and as a more straight-forward narrative film embedded below) that everyone can play for free, LA-based producer and singer-songwriter BIIANCO’s “that’s what friends are for” empowers as it engages listeners. Zombies, each of whom represents a toxic ex-relationship, populate the choose-your-own-adventure game and must be navigated to reach the track’s vibrant conclusion.

Peter CottonTale feat. Jamila Woods: Breathe My Name

Peter CottonTale (aka Peter Wilkins) and Jamila Woods link up for “Breathe My Name,” a gentle but lustrous and layered song. The duo have worked together before (Wilkins produced Woods’ 2019 album, Legacy! Legacy!) and their genre-bending styles work together beautifully once again here, with elements of neo-soul, gospel, synth-pop and R&B melding together. Short, sweet and quite ethereal, the song appears on Moog Music’s seven-track EP Explorations in Analog Synthesis, which features Bonobo, Julianna Barwick, Dan Deacon and others.

Mopiano: With U

Stockholm-based singer/songwriter Mopiano debuts his single “With U” ahead of an EP on Majestic Casual Records. Cinematic, emotional and tinged with electronic elements, the song comes along with a video directed by Jean-Luc Mwepu. The film portrays an instance of betrayal, emphasizing Mopiano’s intimate lyrics. Pan African Music premiered the release, and Mopiano tells them, “I also wanted this to be a good representation for people of color, you know, something beautiful we can be proud of.”

Cautious Clay: Karma & Friends

Cautious Clay (aka Joshua Karpeh) announces his debut LP, Deadpan Love, with a video for the single “Karma & Friends.” Beginning with strings and then swelling into a catchy R&B-influenced tune, it’s highlighted by a glitzy chorus and a rich, thumping instrumental that the artist also produced. In the Jason Lester-directed video, Karpeh signs up for a fictional class called Elsa’s Confidence Course, wherein students are told to “Shop Like You’re Already a Success” and “Invest in an Expensive House.” He follows along; buying a car, a house, an exotic cat, furs and jewelry, until he’s in debt and Elsa is arrested.

PWNT: Days in the Summer

From LA-based recording artist PWNT (aka Kosta Galanopoulos), the sunny single “Days in the Summer” exudes a bright psych-funk energy. The poolside-ready track will lead Galanopoulos’ debut solo album, also entitled Days in the Summer, out 25 June on Acrophase Records. It’s an exciting development for Galanopoulos, who’s honed his skills as a touring and recording musician for other acts.

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 courtesy of Cautious Clay