Listen Up

Mesmerizing R&B, shimmering synth-pop, outsider folk and more music from the week

MEYY feat. Jelani Blackman: Rain

Belgian-born, London-based R&B artist MEYY teams up with British rapper, singer and songwriter Jelani Blackman on the mesmerizing “Rain.” The track languidly flows across four minutes, with smooth verses from Blackman and ethereal vocals by MEYY. The late-night tune appears on her Neon Angel EP. She says, “It’s about diving into a new love story after a break up as falling in love is way easier than going through the hurtful process of falling out of love… I was inspired by those contradictory feelings and thoughts: do you want to be with this person or do you just not want to be by yourself? I think the track, lyrically as well as musically, embodies that playfulness and subtle recklessness love has. Think escapism and (over) indulgence.”

Pom Pom Squad feat. Matthew Caws: Popular

After tweeting at alternative rock band Nada Surf and then going on tour with them, Pom Pom Squad have teamed up with the band’s frontman Matthew Caws to recreate the band’s 1996 hit single, “Popular.” While the single and accompanying music video are almost identical to the original (shot in the same exact location, Bayonne High School, with the lead singer playing different high school roles), Pom Pom front-woman Mia Berrin’s laidback vocals breathe refreshing life into an iconic song.

Beach House: Over and Over

From dream-pop duo Beach House’s recently released album, Once Twice Melody, “Over and Over” shimmers, shines and ultimately uplifts for more than seven minutes. Throughout the mesmerizing track, vocalist Victoria Legrand beguiles alongside enveloping synths.

Michael Hurley: Se Fue un la Noche

This December, veteran outsider folk singer Michael Hurley released The Time of Foxgloves, his latest full-length album. Of the 11 charmed tracks on the LP, “Se Fue un la Noche” harks back to his work from the ’70s most clearly, while also haunting listeners with its immediate ghostly harmonics. The singer-songwriter, who’s approaching 80 years old, infuses his distinct idiosyncrasies into the narrative of this track.

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 Beach House