Active Child: Subtle (Feat. Mikky Ekko)
Video-game textures and delayed synths meet choir music in “Subtle,” the first official single from Active Child’s upcoming EP. It’s an unusual departure for Active Child’s Pat Grossi, an LA-based electronic music artist and classical harpist, whose songs such as the Ellie Goulding-covered “Hanging On” feature his harp skills and drawn out vocals. At a much more club-friendly tempo than usual, Grossi’s distinctive falsetto pairs well with the warm voice of Southern gentleman Mikky Ekko (heard in “Stay” with Rihanna). This sonic exploration will make listeners eager to hear what he has in store; Active Child’s six-song EP titled Rapor (which means “sun house”) will be out 22 October.
Hunters & Collectors: Talking to a Stranger (Avalanches Rework)
The aloof Avalanches reared their heads for a moment this week. The Australian band hasn’t released an album since their first and only Since I Left You came out 13 years ago. The brilliant record was praised by critics and listeners and was heavy on sampling—over 3,500 vinyl samples appear on the album; from obscure and strange soundbites, to snippets from Françoise Hardy, comedy duo Wayne and Shuster and Madonna’s “Holiday.” The band looked a little closer to home for this release: Reworking fellow Aussie band the Hunters & Collectors’ 1982 classic “Talking to a Stranger.” The track is haunting at first, with the original’s alarm-type sounds fading in and out, but soon softens sweetly with disco samples and horns—taking the once post-punk song to an entirely different place. A playful but tender and thoughtful interpretation, it’s quintessentially Avalanches.
Justin Timberlake: Justified
Likely influenced by Timberlake’s 15-minute solo medley performance at the VMAs, Boiler Room’s music director Thristian Richards chose Timberlake’s first album Justified for this week’s #PrivateJam. As—what appears to be—a longtime JT fan, Richards adds, “I’m also jealous of his dance moves.” Seeing as the Boiler Room is a staunch supporter of underground music and scouts nonconformist artists to perform in intimate settings, it’s nice to learn that Richards has a soft spot for the mainstream—and perhaps he was inspired by Grimes’ recent controversial Boiler Room DJ set featuring pop hits from Venga Boys, Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift.
Ryan Hemsworth: Opening Ceremony SS14
In case you didn’t get enough of New York Fashion Week and want to keep the party going—or if you just love a good mixtape—the soundtrack to Opening Ceremony’s high-profile runway show by electronic producer Ryan Hemsworth is a must. The soundtrack (like its commissioner) is, at the same time, pop and obscure. Hemsworth’s 11-minute mix spans bass-heavy hardcore to smooth R&B into glazed-eyed trip-hop and finishes with an upbeat electro-pop banger. Blasting Hemsworth’s soundtrack, it’s easy to get into the glam headspace of the show with its exotic cars, cutting edge fashion and of course supermodels.
Shy Girls: Still Not Falling
Don’t let the name fool you—Shy Girls is actually an R&B project led by Portland-based producer Dan Vidmar, whose sultry vocals in his new slow-jam “Still Not Falling” make it impossible not to make a Frank Ocean or The Weeknd comparison. “I’m not an athlete, I sit at home and make beats,” Vidmar croons over bare percussion, showing off his high range prowess during choruses. He’s honed his style and production methods since previous singles like “Under Attack,” which borrowed from retro genres. The result is a perfect soundtrack to your next bedroom session with plenty of room to breathe—a welcome break from today’s BPM-centric hits. LA-based record label Hit City USA, who released some of the earlier Superhumanoids EPs, will be producing the forthcoming Shy Girls EP Timeshare due out on 29 October.
Published every Sunday, ListenUp takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted about that week. Often we’ll include a musician or notable fan’s surprising personal interests—#PrivateJam exposes their musical guilty pleasure.