Listen Up

From alt-pop to uplifting electronic and beyond, some of our favorite new music

Snoh Aalegra feat. Tyler, The Creator: NEON PEACH

Tyler, The Creator joins singer-songwriter Snoh Aalegra on two tracks from her just-released album, Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies. Iranian-born, Swedish-raised Aalegra melds R&B and hip-hop throughout the record, and one standout is “NEON PEACH,” which includes touches of funk and ’80s pop. The somewhat faster-paced tune sees the two artists spar, going back and forth about flaws that led to the demise of a relationship.

Caroline Polachek: Bunny is a Rider

Recording artist Caroline Polachek returns with the single “Bunny is a Rider,” her first new track (aside from a cover of “Breathless” by The Corrs) since the release of her critically cherished 2019 album, PANG. Buoyant, optimistic and upbeat, the single is a sonic evolution for Polachek, and incorporates a charming, well-placed whistle and the voice of producer Danny L Harle’s baby daughter. Polachek says the song “is a summer jam about being unavailable. Bunny is slippery, impossible to get ahold of. Maybe it’s a fantasy, maybe it’s a bad attitude. But anyone can be Bunny, at least for three minutes and 17 seconds.”

Charlotte Day Wilson: Wish It Was Easy

From Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Charlotte Day Wilson’s Alpha comes the captivating but heartbreaking “Wish It Was Easy.” The sparse, raw percussion leaves space for listeners to reflect on the lyrics, which Day Wilson delivers in sublime, velvety tones. Across the album, listeners will hear shades of Day Wilson’s many influences—from soul to folk, gospel and beyond.

Tycho + Ben Gibbard: Only Love

Multi-talented composer, musician, producer and visual artist Tycho (aka Scott Hansen) teamed up with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard for “Only Love,” a track that’s a seamless blend of the two artists’ sounds. The lyrics (“Only love will save this place”) are sweet, and Tycho’s glitchy effects and brilliant production round out the song into a hopeful anthem.

Butch Dawson: Get Money

West Baltimore-based rapper, producer, songwriter and Telfar model, Butch Dawson once again showcases his precise, rhythmic delivery within the single, “Get Money.” “It’s about getting money any way possible and just the perfect montage to get money to,” Butch says. “The inspiration came from a Kendrick Lamar cadence on ‘ELEMENT.,’ and I created the beat around my vocals. This song feels like an anthem for Baltimore and reminds me of the late single from Tim Trees called ‘Bankroll.’ It’s a simple beat but creates room for a catchy wordplay.” Dawson will release his first major label EP, Stardust, on 20 August via Asylum Records.

Motel 7: Messing With Fire

LA-based alt-pop duo Motel 7 (aka Anton Khabbaz and Dylan Jagger Lee) follow up their anthemic debut single, “Are We There Yet,” with “Messing With Fire,” a layered, genre-defying track driven by emotion and sincerity. “This was one of the first songs we wrote for this EP. I remember it setting the tone for lots of the other tracks in terms of bass and drum energy,” the band explains in a statement. “Once we got the instrumentation and production locked in, we went ahead and recorded our verses.” These verses are composed of varying melodies, which “started as a result of the pandemic and us having to record our parts in our own homes compared to being in the same room together.” Paris Brosnan directed the projection-art music video, which was shot on four different types of cameras—including a classic VHS cam.

Thom Yorke feat. Radiohead: Creep (Very 2021 RMX)

Replete with eerie effects and ghostly echoes, Thom Yorke’s new take on Radiohead’s 30-year-old hit “Creep” amps up the gloom. Officially titled “Creep (Very 2021 RMX),” the track features an almost chopped and screwed element that makes it seem strangely paced. Frontman Thom Yorke made the new version for Jun Takahashi’s Autumn/Winter 2021 show, and shared the full nine-minute version along with a statement: “Here is my re-imagined remix version of Creep for 2021, 30 years later. Done for my friend Jun Takahashi, and for a world that is seemingly turning upside down.”

Inhaler: Slide Out The Window

A dreamy track from Dublin-based indie-rock act Inhaler, “Slide Out The Window” endears with its bright, bold and thoughtful sonic layers and the way they coalesce from start to finish. The four-piece band released their debut full-length this July, and it’s a trove of energized ear-worms and intricate pop-rock numbers like this one.

Tyler, The Creator: WUSYANAME

Short and sweet, “WUSYANAME” by Tyler, The Creator features on the artist’s upcoming album, Call Me If You Get Lost. Its sound is a departure from his previous offerings, with elements of old-school R&B and New Jack Swing. In the track, Tyler, The Creator tells the tale of a planned romance, wherein he wants to cook breakfast, travel to France and watch independent films. The artist also self-directed the video.

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 Tycho