Listen Up

Glorious '80s pop by Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie, blues-leaning jazz, Japanese slowcore and more new music

mui zyu: Rotten Bun

From Eva Liu’s debut album under the moniker mui zyu, Rotten Bun For An Eggless Century, comes the track “Rotten Bun,” which follows “Ghost With a Peach Skin” earlier this month. Liu (the vocalist for Dama Scout) says of the gorgeous, expansive ballad, “‘Rotten Bun’ brings us into the fantasy world where the record is set. Me, you, us, we, ‘the protagonist’ takes in their surroundings of moldy vegetation, witchcraft, magic and demons. The ‘rotten bun’ refers to the rotting heart of the lonesome warrior. We have to overcome these initial fiends who mock, bully, hurt by becoming strong enough whereby we are unaffected by their ‘rotten tongues’… A bit like a tutorial to a video game where you are guided through the introduction and still have to destroy a final boss as part of your training. Lots of the metaphors in the record have been inspired by Chinese folklore in particular Pu Songlin’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.”

Emotional Oranges: On My Way

R&B duo Emotional Oranges experiments with new sounds on their latest single, “On My Way.” Grooving on lush percussion and sensual lyrics, the track sees the pair trading their laidback, pop-leaning sound for a fresh, rhythmic and lively soundscape, inspired by South African amapiano. Dance-worthy and bright, it’s the final single for their upcoming album, The Juice Vol III (out 9 December).

Sophie Faith: Pinky Blues

London-based singer-songwriter Sophie Faith shares her five-track EP The Right Side of Wrong, and from it comes the smooth, jazzy “Pinky Blues.” Across a warm bass track, unhurried, blues-leaning percussion and intermittent guitar riffs, Faith’s soulful, silky vocal runs tackle self-preservation within relationships with palpable, candid emotion.

pause: 怠​け​者

Japanese slowcore band pause shares their first single, “怠​け​者,” a pretty, melancholy song whose name translates to “lazy” in English. It begins with intimate vocals with a gentleness that’s punctuated by pulsating drums and atmospheric guitar. Toward the end of the near four-minute track, the soundscape expands and envelops, incorporating transcendent synths and a resonant guitar progression.

Fleetwood Mac: Everywhere

A singer-songwriter, musician and creative force behind Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie has passed away at 79 years old. Born Christine Perfect, she was part of British blues-rock group Chicken Shack before marrying Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie and joining the band in 1970. She wrote some of the legendary band’s most beloved songs, including “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Hold Me,” and “Little Lies.” Their 14th studio album, Tango in the Night (1987), features the gloriously glittery, buoyant track “Everywhere,” which McVie wrote and sang lead vocals on. A warm, soulful pop song, “Everywhere” possesses a certain naivety and allows McVie to truly glow. Her significant, expansive legacy will continue to inspire, influence and delight listeners and musicians alike.

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 mui zyu