Listen Up

A dub icon, evocative electro-pop, a spacey cover of an '80s ballad and more music from the week

Kiefer: i love my friends

New from LA-based pianist and producer Kiefer comes a loose, funk tune that OkayPlayer astutely says “could have easily been pulled from the Voodoo sessions” by D’Angelo. This silky smooth, jazzy track, “i love my friends,” appears on Kiefer’s just-released album When There’s Love Around.

Angel Olsen: Eyes Without a Face (Billy Idol Cover)

From Aisles, her EP of ’80s covers, Angel Olsen’s version of Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” (from his 1983 album Rebel Yell) turns the already brooding ballad into a dark, spacey dirge. While it’s dramatic, Olsen’s version of the tune feels softer (partly because she removed Idol’s sing-rap and replaces it with a muffled spoken-word) but remains mostly faithful to the original.

Tachys: Signify

Danish electro-pop duo Tachys—aka Tobias Wilner of Blue Foundation and Jonas Bjerre of Mew—return with their second-ever single, “Signify,” an experimental, otherworldly addition to their tiny catalog of tunes. The official music video, directed by Wilner, begins with footage of both band members as children (they are longtime friends) before flickering into exploratory, evocative and unsettling imagery that matches the moody tone of the track.

Kid Arth: FastLife

From Rome-based recording artist Kid Arth (aka Arthur Marco Barbut), the pithy track “FastLife” ensnares with emotional vocal delivery atop a melodic soundscape. “The song talks about the way that we young people live in the streets,” he tells us, “the way that, between love and our unresolved problems, we are on the run, trying to achieve something for ourselves.” Lostlukex produced the single, which is Barbut’s first to debut on Spotify, though they released music together on YouTube and Soundcloud earlier this year.

Lee “Scratch” Perry: Disco Devil

Innovative and influential record producer, singer and songwriter Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away in Jamaica this weekend, aged 85. The prolific artist (who produced records for the Congos and Bob Marley & The Wailers) is not only respected for pioneering dub and reggae, and helping spread Jamaican music around the world, but also for his unique production techniques and experimentations—done mostly at his iconic Black Ark studio. Perry’s career began in the 1960s and he seemed to never stop working, with his sound proving altogether timeless. One of the best-known tracks Perry co-wrote and produced, Max Romeo’s 1976 hit “Chase The Devil” was recorded with Perry’s band, The Upsetters, and has been sampled by everybody from Madness to Kanye West. Decades later, Perry released a dub version called “Disco Devil.”

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. Hero courtesy of Tachys