Listen Up

A soulful meditation, a mysterious release, an anthemic debut and more new music

Yola: Stand For Myself

“Stand For Myself,” a soulful country-influenced track off of British singer Yola’s forthcoming album of the same name, arrives with a neon-accented official music video, partly inspired by Missy Elliott visuals. Yola’s powerful vocals bolster the track’s message. “This song is about a celebration of being awake from the nightmare supremacist paradigm,” she says in a statement, “truly alive, awake and eyes finally wide open and trained on your path to self actualization.”

Daniel Avery: Hazel and Gold

English DJ and producer Daniel Avery recently released Together in Static, an album composed specifically for a live performance (taking place this Friday) at Hackney Church. “As with many things this past year, the project took on a power and a life of its own right in front of me,” he says in a statement about the work. “The original idea was to simply play a couple of small gigs at Hackney Church during the last lockdown. I started to make music specifically for the shows yet, as plans continued to shift, I fell deeper into the waves. I considered a 12-inch or maybe an EP, but by the time I came up for air, I realized I had a complete record I wanted to share.” From the album, “Hazel and Gold” has a decidedly optimistic vibe. For those who can’t make the socially distanced concert, Avery has a livestream planned for 23 June.

Patrick Paige II: So They Say

Musician, rapper, singer and producer Patrick Paige II (also The Internet’s bass player) has just released his second album, the 17-track If I Fail Are We Still Cool?. From it comes “So They Say,” a soulful meditation on self-doubt, creativity and success. Bouncing between bravado and uncertainty, the entire album proves itself to be self-reflective without being self-indulgent—replete with velvety vocals, juicy bass lines and an overall effortless vibe.

mynameisleonidas: elevate in the village

Not much is known about producer and recording artist mynameisleonidas except that he’s signed to Parisian label Kitsuné Musique and his debut track, “elevate in the village,” is a charming fusion of soul, pop and hip-hop. With interweaving vocals and a slick, bouncing beat, the song emphasizes the mystery around the artist, while leaving listeners hoping for more new tunes.

Joseph Reuben: Life in Colour

LA-based recording artist, composer and fine artist Joseph Reuben recorded one song every day for a month while in lockdown with his family in London last year. Earlier in 2021, he asked his social media audience to listen to one-minute slivers of these tracks and vote on which he should release. As a result, “Life in Colour,” a soaring pop anthem, is Reuben’s debut track. Though the artist played shows as early as 2010 in NYC, this is his first solo release—and with its inspiring sonic palette and empowered vocals, we look forward to more.

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 mynameisleonidas