Life Sim: IDL
PC Music has stayed mostly quiet this summer but finally rewarded those patiently waiting with a new track, “IDL,” from the mysterious artist Life Sim (whose IRL identity has yet to be disclosed). The simple electronic instrumental channels early EDM with its ambition to transcend, but “IDL” continuously builds over six minutes, with no satisfying “drop.” Drawing nothing more than mere moments from hundreds of recognizable faces and scenes from cinema, the accompanying music video creates a narrative of universal emotional resonance and understanding. Beginning with vast landscapes before shifting to individuals and ultimately kinetic moments (only to pull outward once again), the editing (by multimedia artist Daniel Swan) synergizes incredibly with the music for a cathartic experience. It’s kind of like a film trailer for films in general.
The Japanese House: Clean
19-year-old Amber Bain, performing under the moniker The Japanese House, releases “Clean,” a downtempo electronic pop track with her lower-register, stirring voice as the driving force. It’s impossible not to compare Bain’s love for the vocoder to Imogen Heap’s harmonizing technique in “Hide and Seek,” but it’s a compliment in the best way. Bain experiments with pitch-shifting even further to create beautifully subtle textures on this song about an apology to a friend.
Tame Impala: Let It Happen (Soulwax Remix)
Unusually for a rock song, Tame Impala’s “Let It Happen” is a dancefloor jam in and of itself. But Soulwax turns down the lights and gets the disco ball spinning with drum machine breakdowns, arpeggiated synths and more—extending the song even further than its original eight minutes into a deep, sexy burner of a remix. The Belgian brothers behind Soulwax (and 2manydjs) also announced the launch of their new label Deewee, so long-waiting fans can expect to hear more of their production soon.
Christine and the Queens feat. Tunji Ige: No Harm is Done
Through her trouser-suit-outfitted stage persona, Christine—of Christine and the Queens—French singer-songwriter Héloïse Letissier finds the courage and freedom to sing of melancholy, anger, her scars and her desire to take back power. Her debut LP Chaleur Humaine has already become a sensation in France, and an English version is set for release this October 2015, simply titled Christine and the Queens. It will feature three new tracks, one of which releases this week: the dark and restrained “No Harm is Done” features Philadelphia-bred rapper Tunji Ige. Letissier describes the song as “a picture of the moment before: before something happens, before we choose in which fight we want to engage.”
LA Priest: Lady’s In Trouble With The Law
Sam Dust—aka Sam Eastgate of the mid-2000s band Late of the Pier—moved to Wales and finally finished a debut album, Inji under the name LA Priest. The summery yet strange dance-pop single “Oino” felt like it came out of nowhere—or out of the sky like a falling meteor—and piqued curiosity in the solo project. There’s now a music video to accompany his more ballad-like (yet equally quirky) “Lady’s In Trouble With The Law,” that begins with an epic sunset and ends with dawn—with nighttime swimming in between.
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.