Listen Up

Enchanting R&B, haunting indie, summery soul and more new music

Gal Musette: Ghost

Folk recording artist Gal Musette (aka Grace Freeman) shares the beautifully haunting track “Ghost” off of her forthcoming full-length album, Backwards Lullaby. The dreamy song blossoms like a bittersweet garden of melody, as Freeman tells a tale of heartbreak, with sonic accompaniment by indie-rock act Coma Culture. Its official music video, directed by Alissa Lise Wyle, includes intimate choreography and performance by Ariadne Fernandez.

Rita Ray: No Greater Love

“‘No Greater Love’ is without a doubt the sweetest song I’ve ever written,” soulful Estonian recording artist Rita Ray tells us of the second single from her forthcoming sophomore album. Beyond her songwriting and enchanting vocals, Ray arranged the symphonic strings in the track, which are performed by the Pärnu City Orchestra. “I used to think I couldn’t write about the good in life, only the bad and the ugly. But when I was writing ‘No Greater Love’ something changed. I think I was finally in the right place to forgive and forget. I guess that everyone in the band felt it too, so the song sounds a bit like saying goodbye to the past and welcoming all the good that’s waiting to come. A bit melancholic, but finally happy.”

Caveman: Work This Hard

Colorful and comedic, New York-based indie rock act Caveman’s video for their new single “Work This Hard” charms with its oddly nostalgic narrative. The melodic track itself radiates positivity. “‘Work This Hard’ is really about finally saying, ‘Alright I have a choice to continue to sit in my depression and sadness or go out and find ways to be happy,'” Caveman singer Matthew Iwanusa tells us, “not necessarily letting go from the memories and the feelings but letting go from the constant weight of sadness.” Regarding the playful video, he says, “I thought it would be fun to connect all the videos for this record together, but in a fun way. So a few friends and I went up to New Haven with our iPhones and said, ‘Let’s film Superbad meets Ferris Bueller meets Billy Madison.'” Smash, Caveman’s forthcoming album, debuts 13 August on Fortune Tellers.

a l l i e feat. Daniela Andrade: DNA

Toronto-born singer-songwriter a l l i e offers up more of her silky, soulful sound on “DNA,” a track featuring fellow Canadian Daniela Andrade. The two artists trade honeyed verses and harmonize together over the slow-burning, enchanting song. a l l i e says the track is “evolving, feminine energy.”

Amelia Meath + Blake Mills: Neon Blue

Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso have formed their own record label, Psychic Hotline, and from it comes a debut single, “Neon Blue.” The track is a collaboration between acclaimed songwriter and guitarist Blake Mills and Sylvan Esso’s own vocalist, Amelia Meath. The hypnotic tune was initially recorded in one session at LA’s Sound City, but its otherworldly presence is ultimately the result of continued experimentation.

Reva DeVito feat. Midas Hutch: One Shot

Breezy and summery, Portland-based Reva DeVito’s new track, “One Shot,” features DJ and producer Midas Hutch. DeVito’s mellow vocals glide over the groovy, laidback beat. With plenty of retro R&B references, the playful but encouraging tune has been released ahead of her US tour.

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 a l l i e