A surreal offering from Perfume Genius, Amandla Stenberg's Mac DeMarco cover, a sparkly tune by Phoenix and more in our musical round-up
Perfume Genius: Die 4 U
Last week, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) released his fourth record No Shape and now, the video for "Die 4 U"—directed by the remarkably talented Floria Sigismondi. The song alone is a slinky, dark and minimal tune that Hadreas's sultry voice teeters over. Subtle erotic asphyxiation, the lyrics don't give much away. The music video is equally full of contrasts: an almost abandoned warehouse space is sparsely lit, while Hadreas dances on a chair in glittery fringed pants and bright make-up. The movements are exaggerated but slowed down, while shadows and smoke snake around the room. It's perfectly understated and too much at the same time.
In the four years since Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City we've learned one thing about the band: every member is capable of putting out exciting, well-made and unexpectedly diverse solo or collaborative work. The latest, "PHILOSOPHY!" by Baio (VW's bassist Chris Baio), feels tropical, funky and celebratory. Baio's debut solo album came out back in 2015. This fun new single hails from his forthcoming Man Of The World LP out 30 June on Glassnote.
Amandla Stenberg: Let My Baby Stay
Paired with a moody, minimal music video, Amandla Stenberg's "Let My Baby Stay" cover is a thoughtful deconstruction of Mac DeMarco's 2014 original. The song will appear on the soundtrack of Stenberg's forthcoming film "Everything, Everything." With a captivating vibe and lyrical conviction, Stenberg demonstrates she's more than just a popular actor.
Perhaps not immediately recognizable as Phoenix, the French band's new track "J-Boy" is a sparkly synth-pop treat. The song is from the upcoming Ti Amo which is set for release 9 June—their first album since 2013's Bankrupt!. Lead vocalist Thomas Mars' lyrics mention everything from disco lights, to Michelangelo and masquerade balls, but the song's message is deeper than it first seems. The swirling, irresistible and summery tune is the record's opener. Phoenix also recently announced a 33-date tour.
Broen: You (Detective)
With funk and soul wrapped in an eclectic electronic package, "You (Detective)" by Norwegian five-piece Broen makes for a glittery genre-whirlpool. This is the band's second single, expected to appear on their forthcoming debut LP. Based on vocalist Marianna Røe's attune energy, and the organic oscillations between R&B and psychedelia, this is a band to watch.
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that rounds up the music we tweeted throughout the week.