Listen Up

Folk-inflected soul, playful hip-hop, shimmery avant-pop and more music from the week

Yaeji + OHHYUK: 29

Singer, DJ and producer Yaeji (aka Kathy Yaeji Lee) teams up with OHHYUK (aka Oh Hyuk) from Seoul-based indie-rock band Hyukoh on two new songs, “29” and “Year to Year.” The former begins with playful percussion before a hulking, fuzzy bass line and synthetic drums appear, only to give way to a buoyant indie tune. The two artists credit each other with helping overcome a kind of creative slump, with Yaeji saying, “When I was feeling a bit stuck and stagnant with music, Hyuk helped me find the joys of creating again, and this was my first time collaborating with someone so closely on music.” While Hyuk says, “Yaeji and I first started to jam when Yaeji visited Seoul last summer. At that time, I was experiencing a kind of ‘musician’s block’ and the jams with Yaeji acted as a catalyst for me and brought back the joy of working on music again.” The duo worked with directors DQM and Nam Eunuk for the songs’ videos.

Aminé: Charmander

Portland rapper Aminé blends techno and rave-inspired beats with witty rhymes on his latest track, “Charmander”—his first release since his 2020 album, Limbo. The fun bop sees Aminé joyfully experimenting with new sounds, resulting in a natural vibe that the accompanying music video whimsically captures. Co-directed by the artist and Jack Begert, the trippy video finds Aminé holed up in an Oregon cabin, playing chess and lounging next to a giant dog. Fans of his previous music will delight in the video’s Ricky Thompson cameo, a throwback to his hilarious feature in Aminé’s “REEL IT IN.”

Helado Negro: Hometown Dream

Possessing a luminescent element, Helado Negro’s “Hometown Dream” overflows with silky, shimmery tranquility. The song is one of 15 on the Brooklyn-based avant-pop artist’s seventh album, Far In—his first since signing with 4AD. Hypnotic and lush, the record was made with contributions from L’Rain, Kelly Moran, Kacy Hill and others. In an interview with Pitchfork, he says, “When you’re trying to escape something, it’s always far in. Whatever problems I have, all that shit gets packed away in invisible luggage. I’ve been thinking about how to express those themes in multiple ways—not in a melancholy or sad way, but dancing it out a little bit.”

Dijon: Rodeo Clown

Dijon (aka Dijon Duenas) weeps quietly toward the end of “Rodeo Clown,” a gently twangy song on which the LA-based artist’s wounded vocals make pain palpable. The track will appear on the singer-songwriter’s debut album, Absolutely—out 5 November—which promises the same compelling blend of soul and R&B tinged with folk, country and rock that Duenas brought to last year’s How Do You Feel About Getting Married? EP.

Aimee Man: I See You

Following the release of two critically acclaimed songs earlier this year, “Suicide Is Murder” and “Burt It Out,” Aimee Mann returns with a third advanced listen to the exquisite emotional magic that will be found within her forthcoming album, Queen of the Summer Hotel (out 5 November). This new track, “I See You,” offers hope as Mann sings to a girl awash in dread and despair, affirming her that she is seen.

Wet feat. Blood Orange: Bound

Brooklyn-based outfit Wet (Kelly Zutrau and Joe Valle) teamed up with Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes) for a hazy, bedroom-pop-tinged R&B song, “Bound.” Appearing on the band’s just-released album Letter Blue, the song comes accompanied by a moody video directed by frequent Blood Orange collaborator Gia Coppola. The album features production and co-writing cameos from Buddy Ross (a Frank Ocean collaborator) and Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bear.

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 Helado Negro