Listen Up

A dreamy tune from Girlpool, Yoko Ono's new take on "Imagine," genre-spanning Phony Ppl and more in this week's musical round-up

Phony Ppl: somethinG about your love.

From their new album mō’zā-ik. (available to stream in its entirety on NPR today), Phony Ppl‘s “somethinG about your love.” is a sunny tune that—like all of the BK-based band’s music—bounces between several genres. The entire album spans neo-soul, hip-hop, funk, bossa nova, pop and just about everything between, in a delightfully satisfying and infectious manner. While the five-piece has gone through a few line-up changes since 2015’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow, the music remains unfettered and playful without feeling hollow.

Yoko Ono: Imagine

In 2017, Yoko Ono won co-writing credit for the song “Imagine,” 46 years after the iconic track was released. For what would have been John Lennon’s 78th birthday, Ono has released a delicate new rendition—produced by Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett—which is set to appear on her forthcoming album of original material, Warzone. Ono’s video for the song features the lyrics, many of which she’s handwritten, and cloud animation by Jonny Sanders.

Girlpool: Where You Sink

First appearing as an acoustic Harmony Tividad track, “Where You Sink” has grown since Tividad joined forces with Cleo Tucker. Together, Girlpool’s dreamy iteration hovers about like heavy clouds before a storm. There’s a gravity to the lyricism, driven by a desire for the impossible—loving someone caught up in themselves.


Samaria: Shy Girl

Premiering on The Fader, Oakland-based Samaria’s “Shy Girl” is a sweet, lush ballad. Incorporating tidbits from Biz Markie’s classic “Just a Friend” (and maybe Mario’s 2002 version too), the track avoids becoming gimmicky. It will appear on Samaria’s upcoming mixtape Adventures of LoverGirl.

Benedict Sinister feat. Miss Beltran: Ne Dramatise Pas (16 Lines From Bryan Ferry)

An homage composed by someone who truly understands the depths of his subject matter, “Ne Dramatise Pas (16 Lines From Bryan Ferry)” calls upon several distinct and obscure Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music references. Australia-born, Paris-raised artist and musician Benedict Sinister crafts the tune, guided by his earnest spoken-word delivery. LA’s Miss Beltran rounds out the track with a house-lounge beat—and together something beautiful has been born.

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.