RJD2's private holiday jam, Rollo Grady's CMJ mix, Shit Robot and more in our look at music this week


Poliça: Shulamith

NPR Music gave readers a first listen to Poliça’s upcoming sophomore album, Shulamith, which the erudite outlet has dubbed “nearly perfect.” Channy Leaneagh’s silvery vocals have the magical ability to both soothe and probe, while the lyrics take listeners on a philosophical journey “about rejection and questioning cultural ideals.” Complexly arranged and simply beautiful on the ears, Poliça’s latest work shows this blossoming Minneapolis-based band has a steady future ahead.


Future Punx: Livin’ In A Movie

The latest musical incarnation from Jason Kelly of Fergus & Geronimo, Future Punx are starting to garner underground love for their modern swipe at retro ’80s soundscapes. Dancey and drawn from New Wave greats, their track “Livin’ In A Movie” chops and hops forward on synths, drum and guitars. There’s more than a hint of futurism and a reveling in the angst that reformed post-punk. It’s altogether a fun track, with darkly celebratory vibes. Keep an eye out for this Brooklyn quintet as they play around NYC with rising stars like Parquet Courts and Yuppies.


Paul McCartney: Wonderful Christmastime

“I generally try not to acknowledge the existence of a musical ‘guilty pleasure’ because I think treating music as some kind of cultural trophy hunting, or game of cool, denigrates the role music can play in our lives,” explains musician RJD2 in our request for his #PrivateJam. “But I’m going to play along on this one song, only ’cause I’ve heard multiple people say that enjoying the song should be shameful, even if I don’t agree: ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ by Paul McCartney. It’s got a killer synth line, it’s simple yet interesting enough not to make you bored, and, I don’t know, I just like it. Go ahead, let the hate flow through you freely!”


Rollo Grady Best of CMJ 2013 Mixxx

NYC’s CMJ Music Marathons have grown in popularity over the years, rising up from the underground to the mainstream, all without losing their credibility and reputation as a legit source for new music. LA-based agency Rollo & Grady did all the hard work (if hard work is attending back-to-back concerts for a week) for you with their Best of CMJ 2013 Mixx. Featuring indie favorites like Cults and Father John Misty alongside promising newcomers, many of whom are unsigned, check out the playlist for some familiar tracks and loads of new music, like Theo Verney’s lo-fi garage rock that calls to mind a mix of Nirvana, Iggy Pop and Tame Impala.


Shit Robot: We Got A Love (feat. Reggie Watts)

This week DFA dropped three new singles from their crew of talented artists; the Juan Maclean, Museum Of Love (Dennis McNany and LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney) and Shit Robot each offered hints at forthcoming albums with their respective electronic tracks. Each tune lends its own alluring vibe, but Shit Robot’s “We Got A Love“—featuring the limber vocal stylings of the musically inclined comedian Reggie Watts—delivers a “Shaft”-like dance groove but with a speedier tempo perfect for strutting your stuff.

ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that 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.