Listen Up

A haunting cover of a disco hit, imaginative avant-pop, transportive folk and more new music

Lotic: Come Unto Me

Otherworldly and genre-bending, “Come Unto Me” by Lotic (aka Berlin-based, Texas-raised artist J’Kerian Morgan) will appear on her upcoming album Water, following her 2018 debut called Power. The tension-filled track invokes elements of countless styles (from industrial techno to R&B and avant-pop) to create something entirely unique. The accompanying video, directed by Matt Lambert, is equally magical. On the visuals, Lotic says, “1.8 million Africans died on the Middle Passage; their bodies were thrown into the Atlantic. Had their cells been able to adapt to this new ecosystem, and thrive and multiply, perhaps a glorious new culture and history would have been possible.”

Kevin Abstract feat. Ryan Beatty: SIERRA NIGHTS

Working with longtime collaborator Ryan Beatty, Kevin Abstract returns with “SIERRA NIGHTS”—a timely release about the end of summer. The song switches up at the three-minute mark, with Abstract rapping and the energy increasing. Accompanying the mellow tune, a retro-tinged video (also directed by Abstract) follows the two artists dancing at gas stations, driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, and stargazing.

Miloe feat. Jamila Woods + Vagabon: Winona

“Winona” by Miloe (aka Bob Kabeya) first appeared on his Greenhouse EP last year, and has just been reimagined with Jamila Woods and Vagabon lending their distinct, sublime vocals to the track. The song, a shoegaze-tinged pop tune, remains mostly faithful to the original, but with a few more twinkling dream-pop elements, which—along with the three singers’ gorgeous harmonies and ad-libs—lend an ethereal quality.

Perfume Genius: I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor Cover)

In typical Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) style, this cover of Gloria Gaynor’s classic disco hit “I Will Survive” is equal parts sultry and haunting. Of the rendition, Hadreas says, “I suppose the cover is a little deathbed-y, I was very serious that day, but I like how it turned out. In particular the last moment… I might stretch that in to something new.” He also made the off-kilter video, splicing together parts of an old Bowflex commercial with footage of forest fires—an odd, but somehow very Perfume Genius pairing.

Joshua Crumbly: The See

LA-based songwriter and producer Joshua Crumbly—a highly sought-after musician who’s lent his bass skills to the likes of Bob Dylan, Leon Bridges and Kamasi Washington—will release his second full-length solo album, ForEver, on 8 October through Shahzad Ismaily’s figureight records. From it comes “The See,” a moody, mesmerizing track that features a meandering alto saxophone contribution from Sam Gendel. The official music video, directed by Giraffe Studios, contributes further to the spaciousness of the sonic exploration.

Olivia Reid: Take in the View

With the enchanting, transportive track “Take in the View,” folk-pop recording artist Olivia Reid paints a lush and thoughtful sonic scene. Director Zach Youngberg channels the song’s emotional cadence into a beautiful video set among the splendors of nature; its artistry is harmonious with the Reid’s compelling production. The song will appear on the 22-year-old artist’s debut EP, Earth Water, which will release on 27 August.

John Glacier: Boozy

From London-based poet and rapper John Glacier’s SHILOH: Lost For Words comes “Boozy.” The ambling, mesmerizing song feels like the soundtrack to a dream, and Glacier’s introspective lyrics align impeccably with the sound.

Gift of Gab: Vice Grip

Rapper Gift of Gab—born Timothy Parker, one half of celebrated hip-hop duo Blackalicious and member of the Quannum Projects collaborative—sadly passed away in June, but was poised to release his fourth solo album, Finding Inspiration Somehow. The record’s lead single “Vice Grip” wholly showcases Gab’s remarkable cadence and style. His immediately recognizable voice bounces meticulously over the jagged beat, made by frequent collaborator Nick Andre. The fellow Bay Area artist says of the track, “‘Vice Grip’ isn’t the type of beat that I would normally send Gab, but I’m glad I did because he absolutely destroyed it in my opinion… I’ve never met anyone that had that same kind of drive and passion for what he did as Gab did.”

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 Kevin Abstract