Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, Sampha prays, Allie X dreams, and The Highest Order shuffle and gaze.
Sampha, "Timmy's Prayer"
UK soul singer and producer Sampha has been on the shortlist for go-to features for a while now, and in that time we haven't heard much under his name proper. That changes now, and ideally also more soon. "Timmy's Prayer" starts on a sleek, minimal glow as Sampha does his expressive acrobatic routine overtop. Then, he hits the button, and the whole structure flips into a chopped up electro banger. It's Saturday afternoon to Saturday night in the space of a song. - Chris Hampton
The Highest Order, "Hurry Down"
Toronto space country act The Highest Order trace the land between jangle pop and cow rock on "Hurry Down," the second single from their upcoming Still Holding (the first debuted here a year ago). And while the band turns out a gentle, cosmic swirl with what sounds like backup vocals from Jennifer Castle [correction: that's Meg Remy of U.S. Girls] — you might call it frontporch-gaze — Simone Schmidt calls out to the nightsky in hopes the one she's waiting for might hurry down. - Chris Hampton
The Highest Order's Still Holding is out June 10 on Idée Fixe Records.
Allie X, "Too Much To Dream"
Toronto-born, L.A.-based Allie X continues her art pop streak with a soaring bit of synth glam that might not leave your head until something else lodges it out. Poptimist platitudes about dreaming big might seem like they're reaching straight for the radio dial, but her semi-anonymous outsider perspective leaves a bit of darkness hiding behind the hooks: you dance until you're bleeding, you don't want to wake up. Cruel reality is more thrilling behind your dark sunglasses. - Richard Trapunski