A whirlwind tour performing with French synth-pop duo Juveniles prompted Senegal-born, Paris-based musician Ousseynou Cissé to create a song about his experience. The emerging artist—who now goes by Clarens—told Interview magazine his new track “Trust” is “a song about lost friendships.” Set to a downtempo beat that feels like raindrops falling on a snare drum, his sweetly melancholic voice perfectly complements the lyrical sentiments of loneliness and life on the road. “Trust” will feature on the anniversary compilation album for indie dance label Partyfine, formed a year ago by French producer Yuksek.
Toumani & Sidiki: Rachid Ouiguini
The beautiful sound of West Africa’s 21-string kora instrument is fully realized in a historic merger of father and son. Renowned Malian kora player, Toumani Diabaté—who learned from his legendary father Sidiki (senior)—has collaborated with his son Sidiki (junior) on an album of unrehearsed songs recorded at north London’s RAK studios. Dubbing their musical relationship as master and apprentice, Sidiki tells the Guardian, “My father is my idol.” Their intuitive and seamlessly fluid interplay can be heard throughout the entire 10-track LP, which is available for purchase from their website. For a peek at their brilliance, listen to “Rachid Ouiguini” on Spotify.
Harry Nilsson: Ain’t It Kind of Wonderful
For this week’s guilty pleasure song, Dennis McNany of Museum of Love revealed to CH: “I keep my Nilsson secret… When you listen to Harry Nilsson, he can put you in a melancholy mood. I like my melancholy.” While “Ain’t It Kind of Wonderful”—featured in the 1977 Gene Wilder comedy “The World’s Greatest Lover”—is much happier than Nilsson’s usual style, there’s something too perfect and almost satirical about the lyrics that hides something darker within. As the bonus track off of Knnillssonn, purportedly Nilsson’s favorite, this song (and the entire album) is one you play right before bedtime, with the doors closed and a glass of wine in your hand.
Tanner Ross: Live at ELITA Festival Milan
Milan Design Week isn’t solely focused on showcasing the latest in furniture and decor; for the past eight years the ELITA festival (which stands for Electronic ITAly) has served as Fuorisalone’s well-founded music component. The 2014 lineup had fair-goers cutting loose early to catch a range of international artists, like Moodymann, Todd Terje, Daphni, Tony Allen, DARKSIDE and so many more cult favorites. One such for CH is Boston-based Tanner Ross, whose dance-inducing Milan set is now streaming on SoundCloud via Soul Clap records.
Chuck Berry: Johnny B. Goode
One of the first musicians inducted into the Hall of Fame, Chuck Berry has long-been widely recognized as an arbiter of rock’n’roll. This week the trailblazing musician received another critical honor, the prestigious Polar Music Prize. The award is given to artists who “break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music” and nothing could be truer of Berry’s legacy which includes turning the electric guitar into a mainstream instrument. Have a look back at a young Berry performing “Johnny B. Goode” live on the T.A.M.I. Show, where his stage energy is as charged as his guitar strumming.
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.