Lykke Li: Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake Cover)
Leave it to Swedish indie-pop dreamboat Lykke Li to turn Drake’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home” into a heartbreaking song that oozes sex and sadness. This unpolished, live version lets the singer’s raw vocals do most of the work over delicate electric guitar—and builds in a dramatic but subtle way.
Panda Bear: Sirius XMU Mix
Across nine studio albums with Animal Collective and five solo albums under the moniker Panda Bear, Noah Lennox has contributed unprecedented dimension and layers to the music world’s cumulative consciousness. After creating a recent Sirius XMU Mix—now released on Soundcloud—Lennox makes clear that his taste in music is equally broad. From the rising choirs of playlist opener “Like a Ship (Without a Sail)” to the potent use of Elvis Presley, the 47-minute set is thoughtful, powerful and pretty chill.
Blur: Lonesome Street
Brit pop mainstays Blur refuse to slow down. With seven records under their belt over their 27-year history, the band that personifies ’90s London is set to release their eighth record The Magic Whip on 27 April 2015. The lead single “Lonesome Street” sees Damon Albarn and his bandmates in top form. There are novel elements of funk, but this is largely the Blur of the ’90s: guitar-driven upbeat rock that is distinctly British. For the video, director Ben Reed tapped the Phoenix Fly Line Dancing Group of San Francisco making for an unexpected but endearing juxtaposition between indie rock and Chinese folk dancing.
Tame Impala: ‘Cause I’m A Man
Rock’n’roll will never die and Australian band Tame Impala is making sure of that. After their critically acclaimed 2012 sophomore album Lonerism topped charts around the world, the band recently announced their follow-up EP Currents and released a promising single. “‘Cause I’m A Man” sees the band’s layered, ’70s-tinged sound further evolve into a style of its own. Moving from the garage to the studio, the sound is noticeably cleaned up yet manages to retain its soul of a seemingly bygone era of psychedelic rock music.
Jhené Aiko: Eternal Sunshine
LA-based Jhené Aiko has returned with an emotional video for “Eternal Sunshine” off her Souled Out album. It’s a pared-down ode to loved ones that blends melancholy and joy. The video (directed by Jay Ahn) is striking and tells the stories two tragic events in Aiko’s life: her brother Miyagi’s death, and a car accident she was in with her family. All the while, Aiko (who floats serenely above the crash scene) sings lyrics focused on happy memories; tugging on listeners’ heartstrings in a most disarming way.
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that rounds up the music we tweeted throughout the week, also found in Listen. Hear the year so far via Cool Hunting Spotify.