Listen Up

One of Aretha Franklin's best performances, a glittery Sade remix, and plenty more new music this week

MOORS feat. tUnE-yArDs: Mango

If “Mango” affirms anything, it’s that Lakeith Stanfield has mastered more than one craft. The track sees the acclaimed actor partnering with music producer HH (Hrishikesh Hirway), under the moniker MOORS, and the result is electrifying. tUnE-yArDs features on the song, amplifying the magnetism and underlining the strange magic of it all. Visual artist ruffmercy directed the video, which incorporates pop art visual manipulation that truly rounds out the experience—which tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus is quick to point out is, in fact, altogether weird.

Locksley: Black Ajax

From Forward, the first full-length album released by NYC-based Locksley in nine years, “Black Ajax” marries many beloved indie-rock styles from the last decade to great effect. It’s a bit flashy, a bit rollicking and undeniably catchy from the beginning. As for the 15-track album, it’s really a compilation of work from years’ worth of their recordings that never made it onto other albums, assembled by Nick Stuart. It’s as lovable as the track and the band’s many memorable performances at CBGB just prior to the iconic venue’s closing in 2006.

Sade: Kiss of Life (KAYTRANADA Remix)

Just about everything DJ/producer KAYTRANADA (aka Louis Kevin Celestin) touches turns to glittery gold, so it’s no surprise that his remix of Sade‘s sublime “Kiss of Life” is a bop. The song (from 1992’s Love Deluxe) has been given KAYTRANADA’s signature infectious, dance-floor-ready touch—which doesn’t take away from the original’s groove. He also shared a rework of A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Midnight” (from 1993’s Midnight Marauders) as well as two new original tracks.

Cat Power feat. Lana Del Rey: Woman

The final song recorded for—and the second song released from—Cat Power’s forthcoming album Wanderer, “Woman” floods the ears with a bluesy beating heart. Lana Del Rey guests on the track, underlining Chan Marshall’s mantra-like repetition of identity. Visuals come from Greg Hunt, and focus on several beautiful performances of the song. The album will be the first release from Marshall in six years—and all early indicators point to one that will be both powerful and sonically diverse.

Aretha Franklin: Live on Midnight Special 1976

A true icon, Aretha Franklin passed away this week at 76 years old. Winner of countless awards, Franklin was a legend not just because of the accolades she achieved, but for the way she made her audiences feel. While her vocals can seem, at times, effortless, there’s such emotion and power driving them that listeners can’t help but feel their heart swell. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Franklin thrilled audiences and broke boundaries (especially for black Americans) over her half-century career—and was declared a national treasure. The Queen of Soul gave countless phenomenal performances—and this electric 20-minute bonanza for Midnight Special in 1976 is one of the best. The legacy she leaves behind—musical and political—will continue to impact all of us.

Peluché: Figure Me Out

Recorded straight to tape during the band’s second take, “Figure Me Out” dances with an escalating instrumental frenzy. Synths and drums dart in, out and around the steady, repetitious vocals and groovy bass of the Peluché song. The London trio dots the track’s momentum with sonic quirks and jangles. This is the first glimpse at music from Unforgettable, Peluché’s debut album, out 28 September.

Guerilla Toss: Green Apple

With their latest single, “Green Apple,” the members of Guerilla Toss seem to be employing some form of kaleidoscopic songwriting—instruments tumble in and out as colorful sonic shapes form and fall back into pieces. Amidst all the chaos (and discord really) nothing feels outside of the realm of the song. It’s lovable world, fully-formed and catchy. Even as the weirdness ramps up and up, the vocals and synths endear until the very end.

Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel.

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