Okay Kaya: Ascend And Try Again
Set to appear on Norwegian-born, NYC-based Okay Kaya’s next album (which is due out next year), “Ascend And Try Again” combines multiple genres, melding them together with haunting songwriting. The track itself literally describes the artist’s attempt to becoming scuba-certified for a role in a Swedish film—she was prone to ear infections and had to bow out—but it also stands in as a meditative guide to easing stress and battling the ups and downs of everyday life.
Danny Brown: Best Life
Backed by a rich bassline and a select few samples, Danny Brown’s “Best Life” combines the artist’s charismatic cadence with Q-Tip’s illustrious production. It’s certainly jazz influenced but it also harkens back to the golden era of hip-hop—and Brown (aka Daniel Dewan Sewell) does far more than hold his own. “Best Life” will appear on his forthcoming album uknowhatimsayin¿, out on 4 October via WARP.
The Delirians, Katzù Oso, É Arenas, Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas + Ulises Lozano: Los Ángeles Lindo Y Querido
Several Mexican-American musicians unite for “Los Ángeles Lindo Y Querido,” a three-track EP—and mash-up compilation, produced by Ulises Lozano— that celebrates bicultural identity. Commissioned by Tecate, the collaborative project draws attention to Mexican-Americans’ influence on the culture of Los Angeles, and pride over Mexican roots and Mexican Independence Day. The song’s diverse sonic spectrum reflects many genres, but all of them toast to the same spirit.
Eddie Money: Baby Hold On
Singer/songwriter Eddie Money (born Edward Mahoney) has died aged 70 years old. After initially aspiring to be a police officer, Brooklyn-born Money moved to California in the late ’60s, took on his stage name and became a regular fixture performing in the Bay Area. Money is perhaps best known for 1986’s “Take Me Home Tonight” (a duet with Ronnie Spector) and “Two Tickets to Paradise” from his self-titled debut studio album, which was released in 1977. From that same record, “Baby Hold On” was written by Money and guitarist Jimmy Lyon and builds upon a simple but wildly infectious guitar riff.
The Cars: You Might Think
Ric Ocasek, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and frontman for iconic New Wave band The Cars, has passed away. The pioneering act—which also included Benjamin Orr, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson—was founded in Boston circa 1976. They garnered commercial attention and critical praise over the next decade, satisfying a range of listeners with their complex, polished pop tunes. Ocasek also had a successful solo career as a singer, songwriter, and musician, with his debut Beatitude a more experimental take on New Wave pop-rock. He also produced albums for a diverse bunch of artists, from Bad Brains to Weezer. “You Might Think,” from The Cars’ fifth studio album Heartbeat City was written and sung by Ocasek, a man who helped pioneer the New Wave genre. He leaves behind a glorious and significant legacy.
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.