Listen Up

Traversing musical genres via bangers, ballads and bops

Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow: INDUSTRY BABY

Lil Nas X continues to triumph and tantalize (and torment homophobes in the meantime) with “INDUSTRY BABY” featuring rapper/singer Jack Harlow. The video, directed by Christian Breslauer, is a colorful, vibrant celebration of homoeroticism, Black men, queerness, sex and freedom—all in Lil Nas X’s now-familiar playful style (and even nods to his partnership with The Bail Project). The song itself provides Lil Nas X fans with yet another banger.

Mdou Moctar feat. MC Yallah: Tala Tannam (Debmaster Remix)

Tuareg songwriter and musician Mdou Moctar (aka Mahamadou Souleymane) released his already acclaimed Afrique Victime album earlier this year. From it, the track “Tala Tannam” returns as a remix by electronic producer Debmaster (aka Julien Deblois) that features a riveting guest turn from the rapper MC Yallah. “I’ve loved to work on my brother Mdou Moctar’s track,” Kenya-born, Uganda-based Yallah says in a statement. “Fusing hip-hop with deep desert sounds really took me to a different place. I hope we meet in real life one day!”

Kiana V: Better

Filipina singer-songwriter Kiana V (aka Kiana Valenciano) follows her 2019 debut album See Me with Dazed, an EP released today. From the five-track project (co-produced with Jesse Barrera) comes “Better,” a dreamy, contemplative tune. With ethereal vocals and twinkling synths, it sounds like a love song, but after listing the problems within a relationship, Valenciano repeatedly coos “I could do better” in each chorus.

MUNYA: Pour Toi

French-Canadian singer, songwriter and producer MUNYA (aka Josie Boivin) returns with a new single, “Pour Toi.” The dreamy tune matches synths with Boivin’s delicate vocals, as she sings wistfully (in French and English) about long distance love. She also directed the video with Josh Aldecoa, which was shot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Nico Hedley: Tennessee

From Queens-based alt-country singer-songwriter Nico Hedley’s debut LP Painterly comes the second single and album opener, “Tennessee.” A tender, contemplative reflection on the act of saying goodbye, with exquisite harmonies introduced toward its escalating end, the track was written spontaneously after Hedley witnessed his band members hugging their partners goodbye before the start of a tour.

Casper Caan: Last Chance (Hot Chip Remix)

English synth-pop act Hot Chip has reworked NYC-based electronic artist Casper Caan’s debut single, “Last Chance.” The dance-floor-ready remix blossoms from a minimal but buoyant bop into an all-out party. Hot Chip says in a statement, “Something about the melody and Casper’s voice reminded us of New Order so they became an important reference for the remix. We really enjoyed making it!”

Belaver: 70’s Adventure

A subdued, sometimes humorous ballad, “70’s Adventure” is the latest track to be released from the sophomore album of NYC-based singer-songwriter Belaver (aka B.E. Godfrey), Lain Prone. The album, out 22 October, is set to be structured like a novel; composed of tracks that act as thoughtful, reflective alt-folk chapters. This song’s official music video, directed by Erica Alexandria Silverman, follows the singer on a canoe trip down a fantasy river of the past.

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 Casper Caan and Jonathan Zawada