Listen Up

Jaunty pop, infectious indie, joyfully chaotic rap and more

Sobs: Air Guitar

From Air Guitar, the second album by Singapore-based rock band Sobs, the delightfully infectious lead single and titular track is drenched in influences from ’90s power-pop and ’80s new wave. Within, the trio (Celine Autumn, Jared Lim and Raphael Ong) tells a bittersweet tale through a euphoric melody and dramatic pop chord progressions.

Tanukichan: Make Believe

Tanukichan—the music project from Bay Area singer-songwriter Hannah van Loon—returns with their first new offering since the 2018 debut album, Sundays. “Make Believe” is a shoegaze-leaning ode to not believing in anything, and it opens with crisp drums before erupting into fuzzy production and van Loon’s dreamy vocals. The track is made with frequent collaborator Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) and is accompanied by a hazy and distorted music video.

Hemlocke Springs: girlfriend

23-year-old, North Carolina-based artist Hemlocke Springs shares her second single, the buoyant and charming “girlfriend.” Gliding on playful vocals, ’80s influences and jaunty pop production, the unique track dreams of a love not yet experienced and solidifies Springs as an artist forging her own path.

Brockhampton: Big Pussy

LA-based Brockhampton announced their indefinite hiatus earlier this year, but have returned with the joyfully chaotic “Big Pussy.” Beginning with a snippet that sounds like the Germs, it swiftly runs rampant with jazz samples before shapeshifting into a rap banger and then morphs again with a chill, funk-inflected beat that’s reminiscent of ’90s progressive hip-hop, briefly borrowing from a Smoothe Da Hustler track. It features vocals from group leader Kevin Abstract, was produced by Bearface and Nick Velez, and will appear on the upcoming album The Family.

Andrew Bird feat. Phoebe Bridgers: I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

Sublime singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird sets a macabre Emily Dickinson poem to music with contributions from Phoebe Bridgers. The duet, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” was originally developed for Bird’s 2022 album, Inside Problems, but was withheld. Its recent debut came complete with pensive black-and-white music video.

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 of Andrew Bird courtesy of David Black