Listen Up

A crying-at-the-club banger, a sparse yet enveloping arrangement and more music from the week

Romy + Fred again..: Strong

Brimming with ’90s house influences, the pulsating new track “Strong” by Romy (musician, vocalist and frontwoman of The xx) and producer Fred again.. (aka Fred John Philip Gibson) possesses that familiar and beloved feeling of dance floor deliverance. The cathartic, crying-at-the-club banger is accompanied by a Vic Lentaigne-directed music video, in which Romy and her cousin Luis embrace. “Whilst writing the lyrics I was thinking about my cousin Luis, we both have the shared experience of our mums passing away when we were young. I recognize in him the same trait I have which is to try and hold emotions down and put on a brave face,” Romy shares in a statement. “The song was a way to connect with these feelings, offer support and ultimately find a sense of release in the euphoria of music. Luis is with me on the single cover and in the music video too which was really special.”

serpentwithfeet: The Hands

Featuring contributions from Animal Collective, production by Sensei Bueno and vocals from StemsMusic Choir, serpentwithfeet’s new track “The Hands” proves once again how adept the R&B artist is at creating rich, evocative compositions that still leave space. The minimal track appears during the closing credits of A24’s new film, The Inspection, which is based on director Elegance Bratton’s experiences as a gay man in the Marine Corps. The film’s score was composed by Animal Collective. “‘The Hands’ is a devotional song,” says serpentwithfeet (aka Josiah Wise). “By the film’s end, Ellis French has a strong sense of self but doesn’t lose his sensitivity or optimism. I wanted to reflect that lyrically and musically.”

Raquel Martins: Fragile Eyes

Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Raquel Martins comes for fragile masculinity in her vibrant new track. Portugal-born, UK-based Martins blends alt-soul and jazz with Latin-influenced percussion to create an upbeat, infectious song that comes for feeble men who are intimidated by strong, successful women. The track is set to appear on her upcoming EP, Empty Flower.

Marcus Paquin: Until It’s Gone

From Our Love, the forthcoming debut solo album of producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Paquin, the track “Until It’s Gone” pairs a sparse yet enveloping arrangement with exquisite vocals. Paquin—who’s contributed to tracks by The National, Local Natives, The Weather Station and more—edited the accompanying music video, which was directed by Genevieve Albert. “I made the video for ‘Until it’s Gone’ as an illustration of the varying states of our consciousness,” Paquin tells COOL HUNTING. “As we weave our way through this complicated thing called life, we can oscillate between an illuminated state of awareness in which the senses are fully engaged and a state of darkness where it is difficult to decipher even what is right in front of us.”

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 Marcus Paquin