SG Lewis feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: Dusk

London-based SG Lewis (aka Sam Lewis) has just released another enthralling track, this time teaming up with fellow British DJ/producer and vocalist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for “Again.” The song is from the second chapter of Lewis’ three-part concept album Dusk, Dark, Dawn and is a textured electronic track that’s a little heavier than the releases from Dusk. Still, it’s warm and rich—thanks in part to the tender …

Toro y Moi: Freelance

From his forthcoming album Outer Peace (out 18 January on Carpark Records), Toro y Moi‘s “Freelance” is a g-funk-inflected tune that’s a bit surprising from the artist—considering his previous chillwave offerings. Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) delights listeners with this layered, synth-heavy bop. Funky and playful, the song was apparently written as a response to Bear’s return to the Bay Area after living in Portland. Ahead …

Listen Up

Acoustic, atmospheric, indie and more in this week's releases

Julia Holter: Words I Heard

With “Words I Heard,” Julia Holter embarks upon an almost seven-minute-long vocal stroll through a landscape of strings. Even as the lyrics beg for salvation, the song’s dark depths yield beauty. All of this is emphasized through the Dicky Bahto-directed music video–a montage of dizzying switches between forest scenes and live performances. The track will appear on Aviary, out 26 October on Domino Records. It’s Holter’s much anticipated follow-up to her previous full-length, Have You In My Wilderness, from 2015.

Dominic Fike: 3 Nights

Dominic Fike, a recent Columbia Records signee and a Naples, Florida native, just released his debut EP, Don’t Forget About Me, Demos. A standout on the six-track release is “3 Nights,” an acoustic guitar-backed alternative hit. It hums along to a recognizable beat (with loads of personality). Fike displays his vocal ability and flexes a bit of his star-power potential here—which is impressive considering it’s his first true release.

Troye Sivan + Jónsi: Revelation

From the upcoming film Boy Erased, comes “Revelation” by Troye Sivan and Jónsi. A minimal and gentle ballad, the song blends the two familiar talents seamlessly and the result is hypnotic and powerful. Between its lofty strings, minimal piano, and Sivan’s pared-back vocals, the song ebbs and flows ethereally. Sivan also appears in the film (out in November) about a young man sent by his pastor father to conversion therapy to “cleanse” him of his homosexuality.

Angelo De Augustine feat. Sufjan Stevens: Time (Live at Reservoir Studios)

From lyrical lacework to a whistling hook, Angelo De Augustine’s “Time” acts as a powerful introduction to the singer/songwriter’s forthcoming album Tomb. Both the track and album were produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, and his complex warmth once again blankets listeners. De Augustine has released two videos for the track—an official music video, directed and filmed by Jess Calleiro and a live version from Reservoir Studios, with Sufjan Stevens on piano.

Millie Turner: Night Running

London-based singer/songwriter Millie Turner has released a steady new tune, “Night Running.” With deep chords and a floating chorus, the song churns along almost reaching anthemic heights. The latter moments of the song encourage listeners to dance and sing along. It’s youthful, independent and even prophetic: “When the dark and day meet in the image of stars / is where we’re gonna find out who we are,” she sings out. Catch Turner at one of her two London shows later this year.

Alfie Templeman: Like an Animal

Its chemistry doesn’t just come from the fact that UK teen Alfie Templeman plays every instrument on “Like an Animal” (and all the other tracks on his just released, debut EP of the same name); it’s that the singer’s voice carries such soul. Templeman assembled the EP in his bedroom amidst school and a job in construction. There’s an honesty to its presentation—and the wisdom of someone youthful understanding the steps they’re taking and having fun with it all. It will be interesting to see where his artistry goes from here.

Continue reading “Listen Up”

Holy Ghost!: Anxious

Holy Ghost! (aka Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel) has been making synthpop, nu-disco bops for a solid decade and after two years of no new music, the duo has just released a new tune. For their new track “Anxious,” they’ve worked with pioneering disco label West End Records. The tune is a flawlessly produced, almost-five-minute disco jam—with soaring, dramatic synths and a wildly satisfying, juicy bass …

Listen Up

Fast-paced dance, reflective hip-hop, a sublime rework and more in our weekly musical wrap-up

Empress Of: Love For Me

Empress Of (aka Lorely Rodriguez) is preparing to release her second full-length album Us—the follow-up to 2015’s Me—and has just dropped the super-catchy “Love For Me.” The track, co-produced by the duo DJDS (Jerome Potter and Sam Griesemer), is sweet and dreamy. And, like most Empress Of tunes, it’s infectious—warranting repeat listens. Her new album will be out 19 October on Terrible Records.

MØ: Imaginary Friend

Ahead of her sophomore album Forever Neverland (out 19 October on Columbia Records), singer/songwriter (and frequent Major Lazer and Cashmere Cat collaborator)  released a fast-paced single titled “Imaginary Friend.” The track, produced by Illangelo, is sure-fire proof that MØ can turn any track into a solidified, unique dance tune. Her voice, at times more an instrument than an accompaniment, resonates emotionally and seems more irreplaceable than most electro-vocalists. On this one she sings, “Just watch me / watch me with your hands / let my body be your brail / I’ll be your imaginary friend,” while the sounds of a harp, a ticking clock and rhythmic bass embody the background.

Brockhampton: Tonya

Brockhampton, a multi-member rap group forged from the chatroom of a Kanye West fan site, just released their major label debut, Iridescence. After dropping a string of album-like mixtapes, this work comes amidst a turning point. Their most outward-facing member was dropped amidst abuse allegations; they signed to RCA Records; they battled with promising to hopeful fans about whether an album on a major label could carry the same youthful, and at times rootless, energy that their early releases did; they grappled with the fact that with the departure of their (arguably) most talented member, sonic space needed to be filled. “Tonya,” the second-to-last track on the album is a wonderfully woeful, piano-backed track about regret, self-worth and letting down those closest to you. In the first minute of the track, a direct reference to the tale of Tonya Harding, group member bearface raps: “There’s no money on my mind, but my money or my mind, what’s the first to fall?”

St Vincent: Slow Slow Disco

Stripping away all the original synths to effortlessly morph her track into a piano-led ballad, St Vincent has offered up yet another version of her glorious “Slow Disco.” The song—from 2017’s MASSEDUCATION—has been renamed “Slow Slow Disco” and it’s a seductively melancholic take. St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) says, of her rework, “Songs are living things. They grow, they evolve, they change their moods and personalities over time.”

Continue reading “Listen Up”