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.

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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 …

Matthew Dear: Bunny’s Dream

Matthew Dear has been releasing new tracks from his upcoming Bunny LP (out 12 October) for over a year, and today two more: “Echo” and “Bunny’s Dream.” The genre-spanning DJ/producer/vocalist once again blends pop and minimal electronic in the deliciously slow-burning seven-minute “Bunny’s Dream.” The song ebbs and flows effortlessly, punctuated by Dear’s echoing baritone and glitchy effects—the result being a sultry, synth-heavy, ultimately uplifting …