Solange: A Seat at the Table
Since announcing new music earlier this week, Solange Knowles just released her lush, thoughtful and political album A Seat at the Table. Knowles has been working on the record for four years, and the result is powerful, soulful and tender—with a little romance and plenty of the frustrations and fears that come with being a black person in current-day United States. With cameos from Kelela, Lil Wayne, The-Dream, Sampha, Q-Tip and frequent collaborator Dev Hynes, the album is an exquisite artwork that will oftentimes make you think twice.
KAYTRANADA feat. Syd: You’re The One
Never-fail producer/DJ KAYTRANADA has released a video for his sparkly, soulful “You’re The One,” featuring lush vocals from Syd (aka Syd The Kid). Directed by Shomi Patwary (who also made Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty”), the video is based on the “Coming to America” storyline but, according to the director, also pulled stylistic influence from “black sitcoms from the early ’90s—from Martin to Living Single and UPN sitcoms.” The song is from 99.9%, which won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize earlier this month.
Sarah Chernoff: Warm Nights
The first track off Sarah Chernoff’s forthcoming solo album, “Warm Nights” offers a sultry glimpse at what can be expected from the singer (and member of CH favorite Superhumanoids). At times breathy, frequently ethereal and smooth through-and-through, the single feels much like an invitation with the lush orchestration acting as an open door and Chernoff’s vocals as an outstretched hand.
Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør: Never Ever
Röyksopp’s “Never Ever” is a five-minute-long disco dream. The song (which features vocals from Susanne Sundfør) was released earlier this month, but now has a psychedelic, ’70s vibed video to match. With some Tim-and-Eric-meets-Eric-Andre tinges, the clip’s creative director and animator is Blør and it’s glitzy, cheesy and playful—just like the track itself.
Ryan Hemsworth: 3AM O4W Mixtape
Canadian DJ/producer Ryan Hemsworth has just released his “3AM O4W” mixtape, and it’s full of unreleased remixes and reworks of tracks by the likes of Kornél Kovács, Lucas, Kodak Black and more. (His take on Jazz Cartier’s “Red Alert” is especially satisfying.) With some spacey vibes, some pathos and unexpected moments, the 50+ minute mix is a moody journey.
Francis And The Lights feat. Kanye West: My City’s Gone
Francis and the Lights (Francis Farewell Starlite’s project) has just released a gorgeous, minimal but still grand track called “My City’s Gone.” The song features Kanye West, but in a way that might not be obvious or expected: West’s contributions are mostly subtle, auto-tuned back-up vocals—somewhat akin to those on his 808’s and Heartbreak. From the record Farewell, Starlite! (which also features Bon Iver), the song is sentimental without being sappy, and full of tangible pathos.
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.