Poolside: And The Sea
Put a paper umbrella in your cocktail and dip your feet in the water; Poolside’s new jam “And The Sea” is made for summertime. The LA-based duo’s self-proclaimed “daytime disco” brand of music (their take on Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is a must-listen) is tropical and breezy—and this new track delightfully follows suit. Something we expect to hear on an island cruise ship that floats through an outer-galaxy, the chilled-out but uptempo song only oozes positive vibes.
Vulfpeck: Back Pocket
“Funky Duck” old-school jammers Vulfpeck have made a lighthearted music video for perhaps their cutest song ever: “Back Pocket.” The band’s Theo Katzman and guest vocalist Christine Hucal fondly recall high-stakes elementary school romancing as two young dancers strut their choreographed stuff. The supremely talented band mixes in congas and clarinets for some carefree, good vibes. Catch Vulfpeck at SummerStage in NYC’s Central Park this September.
Die Antwoord: Banana Brain
The crazy kids are back! South Africa’s Die Antwoord (made up of alter-egos Ninja and Yo-landi Visser, plus mysterious producers) release their latest middle finger to the pop world. “Banana Brain” juxtaposes hardcore techno rhythms with Visser’s hair-raising whisper chants, leaving you feeling anything but lukewarm. Their fourth album Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid, featuring Jack Black, Dita Von Teese and more, is set for release in September 2016, and Die Antwoord describes how it changed over the course of two years: “another layer exploded out of our dark wild juicy core like a giant supernatural mega aura and suddenly our album was so epic and sometimes vulnerable and sometimes sweet and romantic and so brave and full of mystery and win.”
Sleigh Bells: Hyper Dark
While there might be echoes of “Infinity Guitars” in the intro, Sleigh Bells’ new track “Hyper Dark” proves to be a divergence from their regular programming. There’s lush space around Alexis Krauss’ soft and forlorn vocals, while the moody bass line and glittery synths lend the song a bittersweet but almost sinister vibe. In addition to releasing the rowdier single “Rule Number One” last month, the band has announced a US tour that will take place this fall.
Suicide: Dream Baby Dream
Alan Vega—solo artist and one half of Suicide—passed away last weekend, aged 76. Vega (born Boruch Alan Bermowitz) and his bandmate Martin Rev influenced countless musicians (most notably Bruce Springsteen) with their minimal and experimental take on punk music. Their sublime song “Dream Baby Dream” (1979) is one of their best known and most ethereal. At the time, their music sounded quite unlike anything else—proving Suicide to be as misunderstood as they were appreciated.
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.