King Dream Chorus: King Holiday
On Monday, the US celebrated the legacy of civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr—and his dream of freedom for all. The day was declared an official holiday in 1986, and to mark the occasion several musicians (including Whitney Houston, Run DMC, New Edition and Whodini) joined forces under the name King Dream Chorus, and performed a song called King Holiday. The musical tribute also sheds light on MLK’s accomplishments in an opening sequence with his son Dexter Scott King, who explains his father’s historical importance to a group of curious children.
Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots
Musician Damon Albarn has been influencing pop music for over two decades as the frontman for Blur and the Gorillaz—yet he’s never released solo material. This week he unveiled the highly anticipated first single from his upcoming solo album, due out 28 April 2014. “Everyday Robots” sees Albarn’s trademark melancholy voice appear over a piano-driven downtempo beat. The song addresses the ubiquity of technology in our lives and the overbearing power it has on our existence, which is illustrated in the video by artist and designer Airor Throup. An honest, beautiful look at modern life, the album focuses on the dichotomy of nature and technology and is Albarn’s most autobiographical yet.
EFG: Singing Bridges
Described as part motorik, part psychedelic, LA-based trio EFG is comprised of songwriter and guitarist Imaad Wasif, drummer Josh Garza (from the cult-followed Secret Machines) and Grammy-winning musician and producer Tom Biller. Their distinct sound has already graced two EPs, and this year the poetic rockers are set to release a full-length album, called Amorpha. For a glimpse at what’s to come, have a listen to their demo, “Singing Bridges“—an arousing track boasting addictive guitar riffs, perfectly hazy vocals and a beat that makes you want to turn your fingers into drumsticks and, ultimately, punch your fists.
Disclosure: F For You ft. Mary J Blige
2013 saw South London’s Disclosure go from unknowns to household names with the release of their album Settle. This week the band released a video and new version of “F For You” featuring none other than the queen of R&B, Mary J Blige. Blige’s vocals add a depth and texture to the track that (though the original wasn’t lacking) enhance the brevity of this dance floor-filler. While the track alone is enough to grab our attention, the video was directed by fellow Londoner Kate Moross, known for her bright, colorful illustrative work that draws the viewer into the party.
Terron: Nº 3 Proportion
British label Young Turks has launched an offshoot label, Whities, which will focus on “forward-thinking club music” with NTS Radio DJ and Boiler Room host Nic Tasker overseeing A&R. The first release will be from a new duo called Terron, whose track “Nº 3 Proportion” is a minimalist, hypnotic piece that gets the feet moving—without the use of any reverb-drenched female vocals. The track still has the traditional four-on-the-floor beat but Terron slips in so many changing rhythmic embellishments that it never feels monotonous. Terron’s Whities 001 will be officially released 17 February in a limited edition of 300.
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 personal favorite in a song or album dubbed PrivateJam.