Listen Up

A seance story, Sam Mason's surreal visuals for a Mac Miller track, Renaissance references in a nightclub and more this week

Jamila Woods + Peter CottonTale: WYD (You Got Me)

Singer and poet Jamila Woods teams up with producer, musician and vocalist Peter CottonTale (aka Peter Wilkins) for the languid “WYD (You Got Me),” which will appear on the soundtrack for the upcoming movie SUMMERTIME. The film’s director Carlos López Estrada also helmed the music video, which carries the same leisurely, nostalgic mood as the track.

Montell Fish: moon and stars (demo)

The opening drum beats in New York-based artist Montell Fish’s latest demo immediately seduce, setting the scene for the rest of the song. As textured guitar chords and Fish’s pitched vocals converge alongside the percussion, the track quickly evolves into a transformative soundscape. The release comes paired with a video loop of the artist waiting for the L train in New York, shot on a grainy Sony A6500. In its sonic and visual entirety, the demo feels almost spiritual, haunting toward a forever kind of love.

Rick Moon: Faulty Design

From Miami-based recording artist Rick Moon comes the smooth, soulful single “Faulty Design,” which the singer and producer Luis Alfredo Del Valle recorded in their home studios. The track’s clever music video, produced by The Florida Room and directed by former CH video staffer Gregory Stefano, pairs nightclub sequences and warm, woozy dance numbers with references to classic Renaissance paintings—setting Moon amidst a series of stereotypical and unexpected characters found within.

Amb. Parsley: Heavy Metal Stacy

Based on a true story from the childhood of recording artist Amb. Parsley (fka Ambrosia Parsley), in Reseda, CA circa 1982, the new single “Heavy Metal Stacy” chronicles the friendship between the singer-songwriter and the title character, as well as their path to a seance upon the death of Randy Rhoads, the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne (who is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this month). Released from Eye Knee Records and produced by frequent Parsley collaborator Chris Maxwell, the track comes along with a retro reenactment music video, filmed and directed by Greg Lastrapes.

Jack White: Taking Me Back (Gently)

Recording artist Jack White’s first new solo material since 2018, “Taking Me Back (Gently)” is the (unsurprisingly) gentler, folksier second song on a new two-track release that begins with a raucous, percussive rock number of the same name. The latter also appears within the trailer for the Call of Duty: Vanguard video game. With nods to bluegrass, and impeccable violin playing, the softer iteration feels jovial and carries the boisterous spirit of some of White’s strongest story-like songwriting.

Mac Miller: Colors and Shapes

Mac Miller’s 11th and final mixtape, Faces (2014), has begun streaming online and will also be available on vinyl. The project comprises 23 songs—most produced by the Pittsburgh-born artist himself—and from which “Colors and Shapes” has been given a new visual treatment by Sam Mason. Featuring a dog traversing various realms, the animated video includes elements from Mac Miller’s childhood. “The track felt very visual to me—like it had its own world. This atmospheric nighttime place that was sometimes dangerous, sometimes comforting, then I saw a picture of [Mac Miller’s dog] Ralph and a story emerged,” Mason says. “To build it out I asked Malcolm’s family to send me bits and pieces from his childhood, scenes from the town where he grew up, objects, toys from his room—little pieces of his life that I extrapolated outwards and used to inspire the story. In the abstract, it’s meant to be a video about childhood—growing up as an artist and the highs and lows of that experience. It’s sort of a look at the emotional and difficult and perilous but noble path of an artist.”

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 image courtesy of Sam Mason/Mac Miller