Experimental South London pop, Molly Ringwald's favorite jazz tunes, dreamy synth-pop and more in our weekly look at music


Ajukaja & Andrevski: Rare Birds

The Estonians have infiltrated the realm of deep house—duo Raul “Ajukaja” Saaremets (“Aju” meaning brain and “Kaja” meaning echo) and longtime friend Andrevski composed analog jams on hand-built equipment in their studio located in the country’s capital, Tallinn. “Rare Birds” is a single from their three-track EP Levels-002, which is the second production from new record label Levels, founded by NTS Radio DJ Jon Rust. The sparse house track pairs well with the equally subdued music video shot by David Graham. Its slightly off-tune melodies indeed mimic the songs of some rare birds, living in a lush, electronic forest, and has us itching to hear more.


Small Black feat. Frankie Rose: Lines of Latitude

Brooklyn-based band Small Black add a little more sombreness to their dreamy synth-pop sound with their new track “Lines of Latitude,” from of their upcoming EP Real People. Harmonies with fellow Brooklynite Frankie Rose’s ethereal voice gives this track a Superhumanoids-meets-Shy-Girls (albeit more laid-back) vibe. This mystical love song takes its time without dragging down, thanks to a blend of electronic and acoustic percussion. (Rose has also just released a new song, “Honey Do” as part of her duo Beverly, with similar layered vocals but in an entirely different category of grunge rock). Real People will be released on 1 April 2014 from Jagjaguwar.


Classixx: Borderline

In light of Cape Town’s Design Indaba, this week’s #PrivateJam comes from Craig Durrant, drummer of South African indie-rock outfit Desmond and the Tutus. Calling on hectic tour experiences in Japan, Durrant opted for the electro ballad “Borderline” by American duo Classixx. “I heard it for the first time when we had just missed our connecting flight to Tokyo,” Durrant explains. “We were probably going to miss the first show of the tour. It was super-exciting but then super-stressful. In the end, we took a later flight and arrived at the venue half an hour before we were going to play, tired as shit. The song makes me think of that every time.”


Molly Ringwald’s Jazz Favorites

In honor of the ’80s teen star’s birthday and recent interview, AnOther Magazine featured an unlikely rundown of Molly Ringwald’s favorite jazz tracks. As the interview implies, Ringwald hasn’t exactly followed the traditional post-Hollywood path; she moved to France and back, wrote a few books and even released her own jazz record. Lucky for us she also has impeccable taste in the genre, counting artists like Anita O’Day and Django Reinhardt among her favorites. Fans of Ringwald won’t find any deep cuts from “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack, but if you’re in the mood for some carefully selected jazz from well-known and obscure artists, this playlist is worth a listen.


Beaty Heart: Kanute’s Comin’ Round

Colorful, theatrical and existing in a minimal psychedelic world all its own, the video for Beaty Heart’s latest release is new ground even for this experimental South London outfit. “Kanute’s Comin’ Round,” finds two masked and costumed dancers drawing vibrant chaos from the tracks powerful percussion. The video delivers a trippy whimsicality, all the while supporting a song as upbeat and endearing as it is wildly inventive. Altogether, it’s zany but effective—and you can’t help but want to move to the drums or wail along with the chorus.

ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we’ll include a musician or notable fan’s personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.