Pussy Riot: CHAIKA
If you don’t know who Yuri Chaika is, Pussy Riot’s song “CHAIKA” can help fill in the blanks. The punk-rock protest collective, whose performances have gotten a few members jailed, bravely ridicules the Russian General Prosecutor through music video and spoken word (entirely in Russian). Just last December, Chaika was the subject of an investigative article, in the form of a film, by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. In it, Chaika is tied to corruption as well as violent organized-crime families. It’s Pussy Riot’s sleekest production yet (with TV on the Radio’s David Sitek contributing), a contrast to the raw spontaneity in “Putin Will Teach You How To Love,” but the outrage still emanates from underneath the make-up and costumes.
Originating in Berlin, German electronic music explorers Modeselektor and Apparat are back with their third album as power trio Moderat. From III, they release the single, “Reminder,” which opens with Apparat (Sascha Ring) revealing something intimate through his bare voice, accompanied by a light, breakbeat percussion pattern. Moderat has well-earned a reputation for balancing the experimental with the dancefloor rockout, and all of the subtleties within this track beg for repeat listening. III is out 1 April on Mute/Monkeytown, but it’s really the upcoming live shows we should get excited about.
Primal Scream + Sky Ferreira: Where the Light Gets In
Prevailing Scottish band Primal Scream has enlisted Sky Ferreira for a track off their upcoming 11th LP Chaosmosis—set for release 18 March. “Where the Light Gets In” blends sparkly synths and an upbeat track for a thoughtful dance rock tune. And Ferreira’s signature vocals (as she exchanges lines with frontman Bobby Gillespie) are innocent and tame and, at the same time, just a little heavy-hearted.
Throwing Shade: hashtag IRL
Throwing Shade (born Nabihah Iqbal), who contributed the insanely catchy vocals for SOPHIE’s pop tune (slash McDonald’s jingle) “Lemonade,” is a producer in her own right, with a thirst for knowledge. The London-based musician (who also hosts a bi-weekly NTS radio show) received an MPhil from Cambridge specializing in South African history, later traveling to Cape Town to work in human rights law. Now focusing efforts on music full-time, Throwing Shade will release five-track EP House of Silk 4 March 2016 from Ninja Tune. The lead single “hashtag IRL” will hit home for anyone who’s ever drowned in Twitter feeds, internet acronyms and social media blackholes to only choke on loneliness.
Rihanna: Same Ol’ Mistakes
For those who don’t have a TIDAL subscription, Rihanna’s new album ANTI is now available on Spotify. Whether you’re tearing down the highway to “Desperado” or grooving to the nostalgic, soulful “Love on the Brain” the tracks are delightfully diverse. It’s her rendition of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” (from their most recent album Currents) that sticks immediately, despite the similarity in accompaniment. With Rihanna tenderly confiding through the rushing waves of reverb, it’s as if she’s dueting with the ghost of Kevin Parker, as she shows off a whispery lightness to her typically raw, dauntless voice.
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.