Listen Up

An emotional music video, a Califone cover and more new music this week

Sylvan Esso feat. Collections of Colonies of Bees: Funeral Singers (Califone Cover)

This cover of experimental folk-rock band Califone‘s “Funeral Singers” (from 2009’s All My Friends Are Funeral Singers) by Sylvan Esso and Collections of Colonies of Bees sublimely blends all three outfits’ distinct styles. The tune fuses moody electro-pop and indie rock, beginning with Amelia Meath’s gorgeous, familiar vocals—which are then layered with more and more voices. The song builds rhythmically and eerily, ultimately creating an emotional three-minute journey.

Omar Apollo: Erase

20-year-old Omar Apollo, fresh off a US tour, offers “Erase”—a supernatural, wavy tune inflected with soul and R&B. As the song bounces along, Apollo can be seen, in the accompanying music video, scooping up empty liquor bottles and recalling scenes from the night before. “I still think about the time I spent just trying to grow with you,” he sings. Maturity meets youthful habits in this one, and it’s clear that his next releases—succeeding his EP, Stereo, from earlier this year—will show signs of growth.

Metric: Now Or Never Now

The third release from Metric‘s forthcoming album, “Now or Never Now” delivers bright guitar melodies for more than six danceable minutes. It’s big, bold and beautiful—with lead singer Emily Haines’ vocals very much a call to action. The band has been playing the track live for some time now but the studio version is a true taste of what we can expect from their first effort with outside producer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen.

The Blaze: Queens

Queens” is the latest single—and movie-like music video—from French electronic duo The Blaze. Cousins Jonathan and Guillaume Alric comprise the band’s entire creative team—helming everything from lyrics to production to music video direction. The song is a bellowing, haunting combination of dark house music and electronic stadium anthem. And the accompanying video is a harrowing tale of human experience told through a candlelit memorial, tormented love and a fringe youth existence. “Queens” is the latest of a handful of singles that will appear on the pair’s debut album, Dancehall, out 7 September on Animal63.

Continue reading “Listen Up”

Listen Up

Playful hip-hop, atmospheric electronic, kooky indie-pop and more in our weekly musical round-up

Skylar Spence: Carousel

From his upcoming EP, “Carousel / Cry Wolf,” out 5 September, Skylar Spence (aka Ryan DeRobertis) releases the title single, “Carousel”—a tune about the whirlwind, roundabout feeling of falling in love and the excitement that comes with finally finding it. The track is crammed with sparkling layers, an infectious melody and disco-like high points. The release comes after a brief hiatus, one that Spence plans to detail in full on his forthcoming album, Festival Music, due to release early next year on Carpark Records.

Tobi Lou: Buff Baby

Rapper Tobi Lou and director Glassface have been on a streak. After collaborating on videos for “Solange,” “Troop,” and “Lounar,” the pair have released possibly their best video yet for Lou’s joyful jam “Buff Baby”—with animation help from artist Ronald Grandpey. Packed from start to finish with Adventure Time references and Lou’s dancing baby character, the video shows off Glassface’s prowess as a force in the industry and accentuates Lou’s rapidly growing popularity. The song is reminiscent of recent feel-good raps but Tobi Lou’s personality shines through in his playful lyrics and references.

Brigade: From Dogs We Come

Released a few days ago on Majestic Casual Records, Brigade’s “From Dogs We Come” is an atmospheric and dreamy tune from the Berlin-based duo. Hazy and slow-burning, the track eventually leads to an eerie chant: “From dogs we come, from dogs we go.” With some glitchy, heady moments, this six-minute creation is downtempo, but still rich and layered.

Disclosure: Where Angels Fear To Tread

Disclosure (English-born brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence) has released a pair of singles in preparation for their upcoming LP. The most recent, “Where Angels Fear To Tread,” is a funky, upbeat rework of The Four Freshmen’s 1961 a cappella rendition of “Fools Rush In”—a hit penned by Tommy Mercer in 1940. While the duo isn’t the first to cover the song (Elvis, Etta JamesFrank Sinatra and others have too) this version is certainly the most contemporary. In typical Disclosure fashion, airy lyrics complement a relaxed, downtempo house beat.

boygenius: Bite The Hand

A supergroup formed by three of the most exciting voices in the singer/songwriter community right now, boygenius taps into each and every known strength (and more) of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. The trio has offered up three of the six songs that will appear on their debut self-titled EP, out in November. Both the Bridgers-led “Me & My Dog” and the Baker-led “Stay Down” feature meticulous, emotive storytelling. The Dacus-led “Bite The Hand” is our favorite, however, for its magnificent harmonies and delicate but powerful conclusion.

The Marías: Cariño

For “Cariño,” LA-based five-piece The Marías brings a nouvelle vague-like visualization to their chic summertime lounge-style of music. Both the song and video tug at the heart, from the bilingual beckoning behind the gentle, invitational vocals to the swooning horns. It’s dreamy—and a bit silly—and makes for a lovable first single off of the group’s forthcoming EP, Superclean Vol. II.

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: Don’t You Forget About Me

Orlando Tobias Edward Higginbottom, better known by his stage name Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, has released his first new music in four years on a new label, Nice Age. One of the two singles is “Don’t You Forget About Me,” a sprawling, airy ballad that acts as a haunting plea. The finiteness of the track’s lyrics are a beautiful juxtaposition to the song’s length—an astonishing six minutes of electric guitar solos, rising synths and vocoded vocals.

Continue reading “Listen Up”


A beautiful tune by Blood Orange, mesmerizing music from Muna Ileiwat and more

Muna Ileiwat: Baby Hypnotic, methodic and measured, London-based Muna Ileiwat’s “Baby” is a slow-burning tune that builds beautifully—layer upon layer. With a sharp staccato rhythm at times, the song is balanced with Ileiwat’s smooth and seemingly effortless vocals. VRWRK: Different Crowd London electronic trio VRWRK offers another taste of their forthcoming debut album On The Outside with the video for “Different Crowd.” From the sun …


Electronic, synthpop, neo-classical and more in this week's musical wrap-up

Wild Nothing: Partners In Motion From Wild Nothing’s fourth album Indigo, set for release in August, comes “Partners in Motion” which blends ’80s new wave influences with gauzy dream-pop and flawless contemporary production styles. The result is rich, but hazy, and ultimately, dynamic. Wild Nothing will be touring the new record across the US in October. Polo & Pan: Canopée Stepping up to the challenge …

Wild Nothing: Partners In Motion

From Wild Nothing’s fourth album Indigo, set for release in August, comes “Partners in Motion” which blends ’80s new wave influences with gauzy dream-pop and flawless contemporary production styles. The result is rich, but hazy, and ultimately, dynamic. Wild Nothing will be touring the new record across the US in October.