Kero Kero Bonito: Break
Light-hearted London-based trio Kero Kero Bonito have composed this summer’s go-to lounging anthem. “Break” finds Sarah Midori Perry switching between English and Japanese lyrics at her own whim, at a soothing, lazy tempo. “Just move very slowly to the beat,” she guides via rap. “Now get down and put up your feet.” KKB shows us how easy it is to take things slowly and do nothing at all in the accompanying music video, which finds Perry frozen throughout high-traffic public areas as confused passers-by shoot glances. Catch KKB doing the summer music festival circuit; and they’ve just announced a North American tour this fall.
El Perro Del Mar: Breadandbutter (Karaoke Version)
Despite her Spanish-named moniker El Perro del Mar (“Dog of the Sea”), Sarah Assbring in fact hails from Sweden—though her experimental pop music of late is more globally influenced than ever. Her upcoming album KoKoro, set for release in September, features Arabic strings, Shakuhachi and other Asian flutes, Chinese zither Guzheng, and Ethiopian-influenced rhythms. Off of it, “Breadandbutter” becomes a chant for self-reflection and empathy, and this new karaoke version music video really hammers her lyrics in: “We all come from the belly button, belly button / We all come from the same same pattern pattern / We all start from the bottom, the very bottom.”
Peter Gabriel: I’m Amazing
Peter Gabriel’s new song “I’m Amazing” doesn’t take cues from Kanye West, but the legendary boxer and political activist Muhammad Ali, who recently passed away at the age of 74. Gabriel writes in a Facebook post that it was “inspired by Muhammad Ali’s life and struggles and, at the time of his death, when so many people are celebrating his life and thinking about all he achieved, it seemed the right time to release it.” The stunning production on the track (swelling prog-rock guitars duet with chanting women in another language toward the end) unexpectedly hits you like a KO.
Shock Machine: Something More
In March of this year, former Klaxons frontman James Righton began releasing music under the moniker Shock Machine. His brand new track “Something More,” not released on his April EP Open Up The Sky, represents a departure from expectation. The accompanying video, a thoughtful and metaphoric piece, addresses loneliness, heartbreak and recovery by way of a sad clown motif turned upon itself. And the trope delivers engaging visuals, eccentric flourishes and even a bit of comedic beauty—all from director (and comedian) Simon Amstell. The track itself moves forward with the emotional gravity of Righton’s lyrics and vocals, but coupled with the video, there’s something both relatable and also delightfully unfamiliar afoot.
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.