Listen Up

A disco-pop bop, retro soul sounds, Afrobeat and more of our favorite music from the week


Celebrating the fifth anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Ctrl, SZA released a deluxe edition of the LP which features seven unreleased songs, including the long-awaited “2AM.” The soulful track, which gained popularity on the internet since 2016, flips PARTYNEXTDOOR and Drake’s “Come and See Me” to a woman’s perspective. Infusing her own raw, poetic vocals and distinct style, SZA makes the slow-burning track uniquely hers.

Marci: Terminal

Marci—aka TOPS’ keyboardist Marta Cikojevic—finds catharsis on “Terminal,” a breezy disco-pop single from the artist’s forthcoming self-titled debut solo album, out 5 August. The track, produced by TOPS bandmate David Carrier, shines through grooving guitar, danceable percussion and entrancing keys. Cikojevic says, “‘Terminal’ is my joke vapid lingo about being dead because something is soooo cool. The song is about how music can be so overwhelmingly good it allows you to fully escape. David and I wrote the seed of this song while we were pregaming for a party that turned out to be shit.”

Yaya Bey feat. DJ Nativesun: pour up

Experimental R&B artist Yaya Bey’s upcoming album Remember Your North Star (out 17 June) seeks to capture the kaleidoscopic nature of Black women, traversing genres like jazz, hiphop, reggae and soul. With the help of DJ Nativesun, Bey’s latest single “pour up” sees the artist expand her diverse repertoire toward Afrobeat. The infectious, carefree house-leaning track is encapsulated by the self-directed video of Bey dancing playfully around her home.

Danger Mouse + Black Thought feat. Joey Bada$$, Russ and Dylan Cartlidge: Because

A new track from Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s upcoming collaborative album, Cheat Codes, “Because” also features Joey Bada$$, Russ and Dylan Cartlidge. Despite its decidedly retro soul sound, meticulous production from Danger Mouse and effortless vocals from The Roots’ Black Thought, the track leaves plenty of space for the younger talent. Joey Bada$$ shares in a statement, “I’ve always been a big fan of Black Thought and Danger Mouse. I think Black Thought is one of the greatest rappers ever, so when they asked me to get on this record, it was a no-brainer. Plus, the record is fire!” While Russ says, “Being able to collaborate with one of the greatest lyricists of all time is an honor and to do it in unison with Danger Mouse is something I’m just really proud to be a part of.”

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 Danger Mouse/Black Thought