Listen Up

Absorbing pop, alluring jazz fusion, a lush bilingual track and a farewell to De La Soul's Trugoy


Colombian Canadian artist Tei Shi announces her upcoming EP Bad Premonition (out 17 March), sharing the track “¿QUIÉN TE MANDA?” Co-produced by Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jake Portrait, the lush bilingual song synthesizes the digital and retro, merging swelling synths, rhythmic hand-clapping and floaty vocal runs. As with the EP as a whole, it details the singer-songwriter’s frustration with the music industry and loss of creative freedom. “The saying ‘Quién te manda’ is difficult to translate into English. It means ‘who sent you,’ but in sentiment, it means something like a combination of ‘who told you to do that’ and ‘told you so,'” says the artist. “It’s a way of telling someone they messed up, and the blame is on them. I’ve always loved this phrase, and with this song, it took on an empowered meaning for me—in telling off someone who wronged me. At the same time, there’s a question of ‘quién te manda’ to myself… of realizing my own role in being manipulated.”

beabadoobee: Glue Song

beabadoobee (aka Bea Kristi) returns with the sweet single “Glue Song.” The Filipino British artist’s gentle vocals coast atop tender melodies, a pretty string section and the occasional trumpet. It accompanies an equally saccharine music video—directed by the singer-songwriter and Jacob Erland—that features Kristi’s hometown of Iloilo.

Speakers Corner Quartet feat. Sampha: Can We Do This?

Speakers Corner Quartet—a London-based group that fuses jazz, hip-hop, electronic and more—teams up with singer-songwriter Sampha on the poignant “Can We Do This?” The silky smooth melody and Sampha’s tender vocals are accompanied by a black and white, perspective-shifting video directed by Akinola Davis Jr wherein individuals of all ages jump on a bouncy castle.

Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra: Hilton

Icelandic Italian singer-songwriter Emiliana Torrini and Belgium chamber pop duo The Colorist Orchestra (aka Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans) will release a second collaborative album, Racing The Storm (out 17 March). From it comes the melodic, layered and enchantingly electric third single, “Hilton.” The artful official music video finds Torrini, Jespers, Proesmans and dancers moving about a small room in a scene that has been filmed, projected onto objects in that room and then re-filmed to develop one shot with layers of visual texture.

Eloise: Giant Feelings

From the forthcoming debut album of London-based recording artist Eloise, Drunk On A Flight (out 14 April), comes the expressive, absorbing pop single “Giant Feelings.” The track is accompanied by a Tess Lafia-directed music video, shot in one take in the hills above Los Angeles, where Eloise works through the emotions outlined in the song.

Daddy Long Legs: Silver Satin

With their new single, “Silver Satin,” Brooklyn-based rockers Daddy Long Legs invite listeners to “Lose yourself in a song dripping with tremolo and electric piano.” It’s an enticing narrative-driven number that can’t be pinned to any specific place in time. The track hails from the band’s forthcoming album, Street Sermons (out 17 March), which has been produced by the Black Lips’s Oakley Munson.

Stwo: Prove

French DJ and producer Stwo (aka Steven Vidal) shares “Prove” from his upcoming EP of the same name. With the instrumental track, the artist (who has worked with Sevdaliza, Frank Ocean, The-Dream and others) has created a lush, mellow and mesmerizing soundscape.

De La Soul: Eye Know

David Jolicoeur, who performed as Trugoy the Dove with seminal hip-hop group De La Soul, has sadly passed away at 54 years old. Rapping in a leisurely, thoughtful and soft-spoken manner, Trugoy played a crucial role in what would become “alternative rap,” and hip-hop culture as a whole. In 1988, high schoolers Jolicoeur, Vincent Manson (aka Pasemaster Mase or Maseo) and Kelvin Mercer (aka Posdnuos) created De La Soul and released their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, in 1989. Brimming with hippie-tinged lyrics, countless samples and spirited skits, the record cemented the trio as pioneers of the genre. From the album, “Eye Know” encapsulates De La Soul’s early style, with diverse samples (from Steely Dan, Lee Dorsey, The Mad Lads, Sly & the Family Stone and Otis Redding), clever and playful lyrics, and an effortless exuberance that the trio maintained over three decades together.

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 Speakers Corner Quartet