Listen Up

A quintessential summertime bop, 11 minutes of space rock, a brand new Beyoncé duet and more

Adam Melchor: Turnham Green

Another dreamy alt-folk single from LA-based singer-songwriter Adam Melchor, “Turnham Green,” sets exquisite vocals on gently enveloping instrumentals. An official music video, directed by Francisco Covarrubias, transforms the track’s themes into metaphoric scenes. “‘Turnham Green’ is a song about listening to someone’s reason for hurting you, taking every step they took in your own mind and realizing you’ll never be able to see the same colors they saw when they hurt you,” explains Melchor.

Secret Machines: The Fire Is Waiting

From Secret Machines—who are perhaps best known for releasing bold, conceptual and critically acclaimed rock albums in the early aughts—comes a remastered version of their 2008 track “The Fire Is Waiting,” featuring Tony Visconti on recorder. The larger-than-life, 11-minute song layers cosmic-psychedelic sonic elements onto mighty, masterful drumming by Josh Garza. “When we recorded the demo for this song, everyone told us it was too long,” vocalist and songwriter Brandon Curtis tells COOL HUNTING. “We decided it wasn’t long enough. Sometimes you wait for the fire. Sometimes the fire waits for you.”

Anna Mieke: For A Time

Accompanying the announcement of Irish multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Anna Mieke’s forthcoming, eight-song LP, Theatre (out 18 November), comes the mesmerizing single “For A Time.” The alt-folk track balances sensations both gentle and engulfing. “It’s a song of humid heat, burning summer, a pool,” says Mieke. “Rotting fruit, flies, the density of a greenhouse in August, carpeted stairs, a diving board. But also loss, and that feeling of fading and forgetting, of passing on. It reflects that feeling of nostalgia for a time you never actually experienced, or a person you never had the chance to meet, but feel you know well.” Mieke also lent creative direction to the official music video (directed and edited by Louise Gaffney), which features a shimmering, mystical performance by a “Disco Yeti.”

Rex Orange County: Threat

Following Who Cares?, the second studio album of Rex Orange County (aka Alex O’Connor), “Threat” is a breezy and synth-laden departure from the English recording artist’s previous oeuvre of quirky, jazz-tinged bedroom pop. The one-off single marries relaxed percussion, easygoing melody and uplifting guitar with lyrics of insecurity, paranoia and vulnerability. Despite the somber themes, the song’s laidback yet cheerful energy makes for a quintessential summertime bop.

Ronald Isley + Beyoncé: Make Me Say It Again, Girl

Following the chart-topping debut of her seventh studio album, Renaissance, at the end of July, Beyoncé returns this week in a timeless duet with Ronald Isley of the legendary music group The Isley Brothers. The soulful collaboration, “Make Me Say It Again, Girl,” is a cover of an Isley Brothers’ classic from 1975, which Beyoncé infuses with her exquisite vocals.

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 Rex Orange County