Carly Rae Jepsen: Boy Problems
Every track on Carly Rae Jepsen’s powerhouse 2015 album E•MO•TION (it only gets better with time) has its own unique personality, and “Boy Problems” has been an especially addictive standout with CRJ’s voice gliding up and down like a synth. The song about not ruining relationships with your friends now gets a music video, directed by photographer and feminist Petra Collins. “Boy Problems” features tons of on-point eye-rolls, funeral selfies, a cameo from Tavi Gevinson—and not a single boy. (And not to forget, this track was co-written by Sia.)
Babymetal: Gimme Chocolate!! (Live)
“I’m not sure what I’m about to see,” says Stephen Colbert before introducing his next musical guest, “but I’m pretty excited about it!” J-pop trio Babymetal executes their harmonies and choreography with every ounce of cuteness and respect required from a superstar idol group, while their metal band shreds and rocks out hard in their live performance of “Gimme Chocolate!!” It’s the craziest mash-up of two worlds, but listen to Babymetal’s other high-energy tracks like “Megistune” (a legit music video) and “Yava” to understand there might be more to this than brilliant niche manufacturing.
Purson: The Window Cleaner
London-based prog rockers Purson—helmed by Rosalie Cunningham, formerly of all-female mod four-piece Ipso Facto—know how to paint a picture with rhythm and beauty. Each band member has pockets within each songs to show off their instrumental chops, like in the mellow tune “The Window Cleaner,” as Cunningham sings with authority and maturity that feels far beyond her 25 years. We’d believe the band was transported here from the ’70s in a heartbeat. Purson’s second album Desire’s Magic Theatre (“It sounds a bit like it looks,” the band notes) releases 29 April 2016—the same day they play Austin, TX’s Levitation Festival and continue their North American tour throughout the end of May with The Sword.
Classixx feat. How to Dress Well: Just Let Go
LA-based DJ and production duo Classixx (aka Michael David and Tyler Blake) teamed up with How To Dress Well (aka dreamboat Tom Krell) for the new, glittery “Just Let Go” from their upcoming record Faraway Reach. Despite the track’s decidedly ’90s dance vibe, the three musicians’ passion for old school R&B is evident. The big, crisp production coupled with Krell’s always soulful and luminous vocals makes for a gorgeously uplifting dance track. The record is a full trifecta thanks to the bright and trippy album cover by Australian artist Jonathan Zawada (who has also created cover artwork for Flume).
Joon Moon: I Might Be Wrong (Radiohead Cover)
Paris-based Joon Moon (currently made up of Julien Decoret and American expat Krystle Warren, who’s toured with Joan As Police Woman, Rufus Wainwright and more) take on Radiohead’s 2001 single “I Might Be Wrong,”—separating the song from its electronic and more aggressive musical elements, while preserving its intensity and emotion. The tinkling of piano, recorded strings, and the barest brush of percussion shine a spotlight on Warren’s silky lower-register voice; her words reverberate with that kind of authenticity that gives you goosebumps.
Paul Simon: Wristband
In his new song “Wristband,” Paul Simon tells the story of a musician who gets locked out of his own show because he doesn’t have the necessary entry bracelet, with brisk, nimble flamenco-inspired percussion. It’s incredible to realize that Simon is 74; his voice remains smooth, relaxed and timeless. Co-produced with his longtime engineer 81-year-old Roy Halee, Stranger to Stranger—Simon’s 13th solo album—releases 3 June 2016 and will feature recordings of Harry Partch’s custom-made 20th century music instruments like the Cloud-Chamber Bowls and the Chromelodeon as well as other recent influences.
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.