Listen Up

Scathing hip-hop, airy indie, soulful folk, and more new music this week

Iggy Pop feat. Bootsy Collins: Family Affair (Sly & The Family Stone Cover)

Back in 1985, Iggy Pop teamed up with fellow icon Bootsy Collins for a cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s glorious, 1971 psychedelic funk/soul classic “Family Affair.” He’s released it for free download today—his 73rd birthday. The Godfather of Punk (born James Newell Osterberg Jr) tells BBC 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, “I’ve always loved this song, it came out when I was kinda on the ropes in 1971. There’s a lot of truth in it, especially in the second verse, about all sorts of questions that are coming around again now.” While remaining mostly faithful to the original, Iggy Pop brings his immediately recognizable baritone to the song—which has a lighter, almost ’80s poolside pop vibe this time around.

Mister Green + Sonos: “High Vibrations” Playlist

In celebration of 420, Mister Green and hi-fi audio company Sonos collaborated on a “High Vibrations” playlist that fuses genres, places contrasting tracks back-to-back, and flows with unexpected synergy. “Beautiful sounds to enjoy at any time, but perhaps even more-so if you are being festive. You could start playing it at 4:20PM, but it will also work just as well at 10:15AM,” Mister Green founder Ariel Stark-Benz says. Cosmic, calming, transportive, and entrancing, “High Vibrations” is a journey worth enjoying—loudly.

Faye Webster: In a Good Way

Faye Webster’s new song (out on Secretly Canadian) addresses a love so strong it makes her want to cry—”in a good way,” the title and chorus declare. Tender moments lead to affirmations, all while a gentle instrumental that melds R&B, folk and soft-rock rolls along. With strings, tinkling keys and classic guitar, the sweet and airy tune ultimately tells the story of joyous, giddy love.

Ab-Soul: Dangerookipawaa Freestyle

Released via Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), Ab-Soul’s newest track spotlights his lyrical prowess atop an ever-changing instrumental that is comprised of samples and splices of Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam,” Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” and Ab-Soul and Zacari’s own “RAW.” Produced by Devin Williams, “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle” is the artist’s first solo track since 2016 and he returns to form with lyrics that mention TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg/Dangerookipawaa” Tiffith, Craig Mack, Michael Jordan, Eminem, the late Mac Miller, John Mayer and more.

Jónsi: Exhale

Hypnotic and meditative, Jónsi’s new song “Exhale” burns slowly over five minutes, as his breathy vocals rise over piano and dreamy synths. With glitches and echoes punctuating the melody, the tune (written and produced by Jónsi and A.G. Cook) reaches a crescendo with less than a minute left. Throughout, Jónsi sings the mantra-like lyrics “It’s just the way it is / it isn’t your fault / it isn’t your fault / just let it go now.”

Postcard Boy: Flight

San Diego-based musician and visual artist Postcard Boy (aka Garrett Seamans, who also photographs under the alias phylm) ruminates on the freedoms found amidst the agenda-less summer days of youth in “Flight.” The second single to premiere in advance of his forthcoming EP, Limbo (out 19 June), the track honors these fleeting sensation and the warmth of summer friendships. Seamans goes so far as to conclude with oceanic sounds he captured during a road trip along the California coast. It’s the self-directed music video—one that supports the freedom of aimless adventure with undeniable beauty—that ties in Seamans artistry on all levels.

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.