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Steve Lacy: Playground

Psychedelic and groovy, Steve Lacy’s “Playground” pays, both visually and sonically, homage to Prince—via merch, a ruffled shirt, and sparkling purple hues throughout. The track appears on Lacy’s debut solo album, Apollo XXI, and while previously best known as The Internet’s guitarist, he has certainly proved himself as a formidable solo artist. Produced by Kathleen Heffernan and Leah Younesi and directed by Alexis Zabe, this …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Culture, The Internet, Prince, Listenup, Funk, Steve Lacy, Alexis Zabe, Kathleen Heffernan, Leah Younesi


Yuna (feat. Tyler, The Creator): Castaway

Pulled from her Rouge LP, Yuna’s “Castaway” glides along, carried by a delicate and lush instrumental and her comforting vocals. Yuna (aka Malaysia-born Yunalis binti Mat Zara’ai) teams up with Tyler, The Creator on the track and, while his style is a stark contrast to hers, the artist fits in seamlessly. His bars are clever and lead into a danceable breakdown that lasts through the …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Uncategorized, Malaysia, Hip-hop, Rb, Castaway, Tyler The Creator, Listenup, Collaborations, New Music, Rouge, Yuna, Mat Zara


Joy Crookes (feat. Jafaris): Early

With a video filmed in her grandmother’s house in Dublin, Joy Crookes’ “Early” depicts a love story doomed or destined to last—depending on how you listen. Aside from Crookes’ soulful delivery, Dublin-based rapper Jafaris contributes a catchy verse and harmonizes with the singer on the chorus. But the pair admits that they “wrote this song called ‘Early’ when were both experiencing the opposite ends of …
Tags: Music, UK, Design, Music Videos, Culture, Ireland, Rb, Dublin, Listenup, Rapper, Crookes, Joy Crookes, Jafaris


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A stirring song by Nick Cave, brand new Caribou, ethereal indie, polished pop and more new music FKA twigs: home with you From her forthcoming album, Magdalene (out 8 November on Young Turks), FKA twigs’ new song “home with you” is dark and distorted, but brimming with moments of piano-led brightness. “I didn’t know that you were lonely / If you’d have just told me …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Rock, Pop, Soul, Hip-hop, Fka Twigs, Indie, Caribou, Nick Cave, Listenup, Electronic, New Music, Art Rock, King Princess


King Princess: Hit The Back (Playboy School of Pop)

Recorded to accompany her appearance in Playboy magazine’s Pleasure Issue, King Princess has released “Hit the Back (Playboy School of Pop)” and it’s an upbeat, seductive pop song—though the beginning prepares the listener for a ballad. King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) impersonates a handful of high-school stereotypes in the accompanying video, and the stills are pulled from it for her feature in the magazine.
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Pop, Culture, Magazines, Indie, Playboy, Listenup, New Music, Indie Pop, Photoshoots, King Princess, Mikaela Straus, Playboy School of Pop, Back Playboy School of Pop


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Bright Horses

Truly stirring, the piano-led “Bright Horses” from Ghosteen by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is mystical, yet universal. The poetic lyrics (poignant and centered on a “horses of love” metaphor) shift from sorrow to hope, and the result is powerful. “And we’re all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are / And horses are just horses and their manes aren’t full …
Tags: Music, Design, Culture, Nick Cave, Listenup, New Music, Art Rock, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Experimental rock


MorMor: Some Place Else

“Another day like yesterday / Where it all just slips away / A change of scene, a change of pace / I’m waiting on some better days,” MorMor (aka Toronto singer Seth Nyquist) whispers on his track “Some Place Else.” It appears on his EP of the same name, but received the video treatment just recently. The visuals are equally melancholy, but add a complexity …
Tags: Design, Music Videos, Toronto, Black And White, Culture, Indie, Listenup, MorMor, Some Place Else, Seth Nyquist


Jakob Ogawa: April

Reminiscent of bygone ballads, Norway-born Jakob Ogawa’s “April” toys with loneliness, even relishing in it along the way. Uplifting piano and buoyant synths contribute to the song, while Ogawa’s vocals are warm and soulful and ultimately the track is playful, as a childlike choir chimes in on the chorus. “Sometimes I’m all alone, even when I hold your hand,” he sings, between carousel-like piano solo—and …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Soul, Culture, Indie, Norway, Synths, Listenup, Pianos, Jakob Ogawa, Ogawa


FKA twigs: home with you

From her forthcoming album, Magdalene (out 8 November on Young Turks), FKA twigs’ new song “home with you” is dark and distorted, but brimming with moments of piano-led brightness. “I didn’t know that you were lonely / If you’d have just told me / I’d be home with you,” she sings over piano, strings and sprawling bass, as the song progresses into something quite ethereal. …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Culture, Fka Twigs, Indie, Listenup, Electronic, New Music, Indie Pop, Magdalene


Listen Up

Contemporary classical, disco remixes, spooky tunes and more new music Chromatics: You’re No Good With neon-saturated, Dario Argento-like visuals, the Chromatics return with a titivating video for “You’re No Good,” the first visual treatment from their seventh studio album Closer to Grey. Referencing the giallo genre, the Johnny Jewel-directed video features the band caught in a glimmering magenta haze with the unexpected and even macabre never far …
Tags: Music, Design, Disco, Music Videos, Pop, Indie, Classical, Listenup, New Music, Chromatics, Indie Pop, Dario Argento, Remixes, Johnny Jewel, Synthpop, Keaton Henson


Electric Guest: More (Franc Moody Remix)

With the original version to appear on the forthcoming album KIN by Electric Guest (aka Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton), this version of “More” is remixed by music collective Franc Moody (London-based Ned Franc and Jon Moody). The original is softer, more R&B- and pop-inflected, while this iteration boasts a disco beat, and crescendoes with a funky breakdown. Taccone’s vocals are afforded new energy in …
Tags: Music, Design, London, Remix, Disco, Pop, Culture, Listenup, Funk, Remixes, Taccone, Electric Guest, Asa Taccone, Matthew Compton, Jon Moody, Franc Moody


Chromatics: You’re No Good

With neon-saturated, Dario Argento-like visuals, the Chromatics return with a titivating video for “You’re No Good,” the first visual treatment from their seventh studio album Closer to Grey. Referencing the giallo genre, the Johnny Jewel-directed video features the band caught in a glimmering magenta haze with the unexpected and even macabre never far away. The LP is the band’s first official complete release in seven …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Pop, Culture, Listenup, New Music, Chromatics, Indie Pop, Dario Argento, Johnny Jewel, Synthpop


!!!: Off The Grid

Their first new music since 2017’s Shake the Shudder, dance-punk band !!! (aka Chk Chk Chk) has just released two new songs: “Off The Grid” and “UR Paranoid.” The former is unsurprisingly frenetic—with a banging bass-line, layered vocals and dystopic lyrics (“The end is near and not a moment too soon”) that all build over the dynamic track.
Tags: Music, Design, Culture, Punk, Listenup, New Music, Post Punk, Dance Punk


Ty Dolla $ign feat. J. Cole: Purple Emoji

Funky, soulful and delightfully emotional, Ty Dolla $ign’s “Purple Emoji,” featuring rapper J. Cole, sings the praises of commitment—specifically, the power of forgiveness and loyalty. In the track’s Olivia Rose-directed video, Dolla $ign and Cole star alongside a dozen or so candidly captured couples—which include representation of differing ages, genders and races, too.
Tags: Design, Music Videos, Soul, Culture, Hip-hop, Ty Dolla Sign, Rb, Listenup, J Cole, Funk, Ty Dolla


Listen Up

Fevered punk, upbeat Caribbean beats, glitzy indie-pop and more new music this week GoldLink feat. Maleek Berry + Bibi Bourelly: Zulu Screams Fusing go-go, African and Caribbean rhythms and hip-hop, “Zulu Screams” is an upbeat bop outfitted with smooth verses from GoldLink and Nigerian-Brit Maleek Berry, with vocals from singer/songwriter Bibi Bourelly (who wrote “Bitch Better Have My Money” for Rihanna). The accompanying video—directed by …
Tags: Music, Design, Rihanna, Music Videos, Pop, Punk, Indie, Caribbean, Listenup, New Music, GoldLink, Ezra Furman, Bibi Bourelly, Rhythm, Go-go, Listen Up


Santi feat. Krisirie: RX-64 (The Jungle)

From Lagos-based alté artist Santi’s debut album, Mandy & The Jungle, comes “RX-64,” a track that fuses dancehall with afrobeat and hip-hop influences. Santi and Barbados-based guest vocalist Krisirie cruise atop the beat, which features prominent bass and drums. “While I was recording, each time I closed my eyes I saw a jungle,” Santi told i-D. “It felt very unsafe, but still very wild and …
Tags: Music, Design, Nigeria, Culture, Lagos, Listenup, New Music, Barbados, Dancehall, Santi, Alté


Vanishing Twin: Magician’s Success

Part psych-folk, part whimsical indie, London-based Vanishing Twin’s (comprised of Cathy Lucas, Valentina Magaletti, Elliott Arndt, Phil MFU and Susumu Mukai) “Magician’s Success” is a vintage-tinged tune. The track, from their forthcoming record The Age of Immunology (due 7 June) floats along, filled to its brim with quirky honking sounds, delicate strings, a steady guitar and easy-to-remember lyrics. It’s easygoing but delightfully grown.
Tags: Music, Design, London, Culture, Indie, Folk, Listenup, New Music, Vanishing Twin, Psych


Ezra Furman: Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone

Another catchy number from musician Ezra Furman, “Calm Down” (aka “I Should Not Be Alone”) clocks in at 2:22 and doesn’t dip in its dramatic delivery at any point. The animated video, directed by Beth Jeans Houghton, swirls comic book color into the mix. After a milestone year for the songwriter, 2019 will see the release of his latest album, Twelve Nudes, out 30 August …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Culture, Animation, Beth Jeans Houghton, Listenup, New Music, Ezra Furman, Animated Videos


GoldLink feat. Maleek Berry + Bibi Bourelly: Zulu Screams

Fusing go-go, African and Caribbean rhythms and hip-hop, “Zulu Screams” is an upbeat bop outfitted with smooth verses from DMV-raised GoldLink and Nigerian-Brit Maleek Berry, with vocals from singer/songwriter Bibi Bourelly (who wrote “Bitch Better Have My Money” for Rihanna). The accompanying video—directed by Meji Alabi—takes place in a dark, chaotic warehouse party and features a hologram version of GoldLink, who seems summoned by the …
Tags: Music, Design, Rihanna, Music Videos, Culture, Hip-hop, DMV, Caribbean, Listenup, GoldLink, Bibi Bourelly, Go-go, Maleek Berry Bibi Bourelly, Brit Maleek Berry, Meji Alabi


Heather Strange: Ruthless

Baby Alpaca frontman Chris Kittrell returns as Heather Stranger, his moniker for a glitzy solo project that strikes deep. With production by Dave Sitek and Christopher Hines, lead single “Ruthless” tucks Kittrell’s Morrissey-like vocals into thoughtful, pop-friendly instrumentals. Underneath it all, however, is a song about doubt and defying insecurity. A message that works well with the glittery Bryan C. Watkins-directed video.
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Culture, Morrissey, Listenup, New Music, Kittrell, Dave Sitek, Baby Alpaca, Chris Kittrell, Heather Strange, Heather Stranger, Christopher Hines, Bryan C Watkins


Listen Up

Soulful hip-hop, upbeat disco-pop and more of our favorite new tunes Men I Trust: Norton Commander (All We Need) With a muffled bass line and airy vocals, Men I Trust’s “Norton Commander (All We Need)” is an enveloping, downtempo love song. The Montreal-based trio’s lead Emma Proulx whisper-sings over the slow-burning song—setting an intimate scene. Adding to the laid-back and breezy vibe, the video places …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Pop, Hip-hop, Rb, Ambient, Listenup, New Music, Indie Pop, Atmospheric, Listen Up, Disco Pop


Slow Pulp: Do You Feel It

Roaring and somewhat reminiscent of a staticky space transmission, Slow Pulp’s “Do You Feel It” turns from a minimal soundscape into a classic—almost hair metal—anthem. Guitars slowly creep in as steady drums keep it all together. There’s an almost live quality to the track—which emits incredible energy over its short but sweet two mintues.
Tags: Music, Design, Culture, Indie, Listenup, New Music, Shoegaze, Atmospheric, Hair Metal, Big Day


Tyler, The Creator: A Boy Is A Gun

Off Tyler, the Creator’s newest album, Igor, “A Boy Is A Gun” is a genre-blending track that highlight’s Tyler’s best qualities: his ability to slip into deep-voiced verses soon spliced with an imperfect falsetto, all to form intricate soundscapes and, most of all, to make his tracks instantly recognizable. Undoubtedly his most anticipated release, Tyler delivers and then some with Igor.
Tags: Design, Culture, Hip-hop, Tyler The Creator, Listenup, Tyler, Igor, A Boy Is A Gun, Tyler Okuna


Johnny Utah: Honeypie

Upbeat and playfully awkward, Philadelphia-based Johnny Utah’s “Honeypie” is equal parts disco-pop and indie delight. Though brief (at just over two minutes long) the song is infectious, thanks to a glitzy beat, handclaps, tambourine, and the overlying falsettos.
Tags: Music, Design, Culture, Indie, Philadelphia, Listenup, New Music, Johnny Utah, Discopop, Honeypie


Men I Trust: Norton Commander (All We Need)

With a muffled bass line and airy vocals, Men I Trust’s “Norton Commander (All We Need)” is an enveloping, downtempo love song. The Montreal-based trio’s lead Emma Proulx whisper-sings over the slow-burning song—setting an intimate scene. Adding to the laid-back and breezy vibe, the video places Proulx and friend (actor Lawrence Dickerson) driving and dancing through southern California at dusk.
Tags: Music, Design, California, Music Videos, Culture, Indie, Montreal, Listenup, Funk, New Music, Norton, Proulx, Men I Trust, Emma Proulx, Lawrence Dickerson


Kaiit: Miss Shiney

Melbourne, Australia-based Kaiit blends R&B, hip-hop, neo-soul and funk for the delightful “Miss Shiney.” The track’s lyrics detail a few of her flaws: overthinking, being her biggest critic, pointless stressing. But the pressure, she assures, produces diamonds—hence the song’s title. Altogether, it’s a smooth and cruise-y tune, anchored by Kaiit’s gleaming aura and jazzy, soulful vocals.
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Pop, Soul, Culture, Rb, Listenup, New Music, Neo-soul, Kaiit


Listen Up

From electropop to zouk, some of our favorite songs from the week Jonah Yano + BADBADNOTGOOD: Nervous Japan-born, Toronto-based Jonah Yano connects with BADBADNOTGOOD on a track that’s a delightful and seamless combination of their styles. Yano’s raw and relatable lyrics float comfortably atop BBNG’s rainy instrumental—one that employs acid jazz and blues. “Cigarettes make me nervous,” Yano proclaims. And it all burns smoothly until …
Tags: Music, Japan, Design, Music Videos, Toronto, Pop, Jazz, Carly Rae Jepsen, Listenup, Funk, New Music, Psychedelic, Calypso, Yano, Zouk, BBNG


Mac Demarco: Here Comes The Cowboy

Sparse and repetitive, though tender and altogether pretty, “Here Comes The Cowboy,” the first track off Mac Demarco’s album of the same name, ambles along, lulling the listener. The track’s sole lyrics, “Here comes the cowboy,” are repeated a dozen or so times, but viewers lose count when entranced by the song’s music video. Cole Kush directed and animated the absurdist visuals, wherein a misfit …
Tags: Music, Design, Music Videos, Western, Culture, Animation, 3D, Listenup, Mac Demarco, New Music, Animated, Cole Kush, Here Comes The Cowboy


Jonah Yano + BADBADNOTGOOD: Nervous

Japan-born, Toronto-based Jonah Yano connects with BADBADNOTGOOD on a track that’s a delightful and seamless combination of their styles. Yano’s raw and relatable lyrics float comfortably atop BBNG’s rainy instrumental—one that employs acid jazz and blues. “Cigarettes make me nervous,” Yano proclaims. And it all burns smoothly until the track slips into a psychedelic spiral around the two-minute mark. Afterward, it picks up right where …
Tags: Music, Japan, Design, Toronto, Culture, Blues, Jazz, Listenup, Electronic, New Music, Yano, Badbadnotgood, BBNG, Acid Jazz, Jonah Yano


Kassav’: Love and Ka Dance

Best known for popularizing zouk, Kassav’ gets their first album, Love and Ka Dance, reissued with both the original and the rare US version inside the set. This version (out 10 May, on Heavenly Sweetness) also dons new album art—a photograph taken by the late Rudy Jabbour. The title track is a lively summation of the group’s sound which blends cadence rampa, calypso, funk, merengue …
Tags: Music, Design, US, Culture, Records, Listenup, Funk, Kassav, Zouk, Guadeloupean, Rudy Jabbour



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