Listen Up

Simmering art-pop, moody multilingual R&B, danceable dream-pop and more

mui zyu: Ghost With a Peach Skin

London-based Hong Kong British artist mui zyu (aka Eva Liu) released the delightful “Ghost With a Peach Skin” from her upcoming debut album, Rotten Bun For An Eggless Century. The dream-pop-leaning track, led by a blown-out drum machine and gloopy synths, is at once laidback and danceable. Explaining the track, which is about shedding an old life in order to have a kind of rebirth, she says, “even though a peach is a delicate fruit that bruises easily, in Chinese culture it represents longevity and immortality.”

Fever Ray: Carbon Dioxide

Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer) announces their first album in over five years with “Carbon Dioxide,” a simmering art-pop track replete with a frenetic energy that perfectly fits into their canon. Co-produced by Vessel, the track aims to express the feeling of falling in love. And Dreijer told the producer, “I just think that the direction could be nice, happy, full of everything, extra everything.” Dreijer’s brother (and former bandmate in the Knife) Olof Dreijer co-wrote and co-produced four tracks, and Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and others also made contributions to the album.

isomonstrosity feat. Empress Of: take me back

isomonstrosity—a group comprising producer Johan Lenox, composer Ellen Reid and conductor Yuga Cohler—is poised to release their self-titled album on 18 November, and from it comes “take me back” featuring Empress Of. The haunting, minimal track features a piano composition by Bryce Dessner of The National. Reid says, “This track had a long journey. At first we had Empress Of’s vocal line over a pop track, but I felt like it needed something less conspicuous to evoke the mood we were going for. After a few conversations, we threw the vocal line over Bryce Dessner’s hypnotic piano line, and we were immediately excited about this direction.” The resulting track is tense, haunting and cinematic.

Saint Levant: Very Few Friends

Gaza-born Saint Levant (aka Marwan Abdelhamid) is a Palestinian, Algerian, French and Serbian artist whose moniker is a reference to and reclamation of orientalism (“levant,” meaning “to rise” in French, is a term used to homogenize the Middle East). On his latest single, “Very Few Friends,” Abdelhamid’s plainspoken vocals flow from English to French to Arabic over a mid-tempo beat and seductive guitar. It makes for a moody and multilingual R&B track.

Georgia Maq: Samson

Recorded live in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House, a powerful cover of Regina Spektor’s “Samson” finds Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and Camp Cope member Georgia Maq (aka Georgia McDonald) honoring the beauty of the original while accentuating it with her own vocal signatures. “‘Samson’ is a very important song to me, being a Greek woman with a mustache and hairy arms I was always bullied in school about being different, but then I heard ‘Samson’ and it completely changed my perspective of my body,” Maq says in a statement. “I started playing that song when I was 15 and it always brought me back to my power.”

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 isomonstrosity