Noa vs AK Paul: So Good
Fans of the mysterious Jai Paul and his seldom but exceptional singles will delight in knowing there’s another way to hear more. Turns out, Jai has a brother named Anup (who goes by AK) and his talents are equally outstanding. With an ultra-sleek, hip-hop-infused approach to producing, it comes as no surprise to learn that AK has collaborated on albums with Jessie Ware and Big Boi, and has this week released a track with East London singer Nao on “So Good.” The song lives up to its name by combining Nao’s sensual, high-pitched vocals with a booty-shaking beat. Consider this one a musical aphrodisiac.
Larry Gus: With All Your Eyes Look
Brooklyn-based animator and friend of CH, Seth Brau added a visual layer of context to the sentiment behind Larry Gus’ track “With All Your Eyes Look” from his album Years Not Living. In fact, between the captivating vocals laid down by the Greek DFA artist and Brau’s mesmerizing graphics, it’s hard not to just lose yourself entirely to the music video, which makes a trance-inducing sequence out of simple geometric shapes and scribbles. Plug your laptop into a solid set of speakers, expand to fullscreen and sit back and let your eyes enjoy their beautifully chaotic synthesis of sound and art.
Simply Red: Stars
London-based musician Jonny Nash took a turn at selecting this week’s PrivateJam, which is a surprise given Nash’s strong interest in more abstract, ethereal melodies. Demonstrating the fact that true musicians can appreciate all types of genres, Nash tells us:
“Simply Red‘s something I’ve been jamming out to behind closed doors at the moment. They’re a pop band from the ’80s to ’90s, with this guy, Mick Hucknall, who’s got a massive, ginger sort-of afro—I watched this documentary about how they made their album Stars. He’s got such a great voice; they get hated on by so many people, but I kind of like it, I have to say.”
School of Seven Bells: I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)
School of Seven Bells’ cover of the Joey Ramone song “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)” is beyond bittersweet. As a listener, it would be hard enough not to be taken by the lyrics, which describe Ramone’s seven-year battle with lymphoma toward the end of his highly successful career. But compounded by the fact this version is the last song recorded (from his hospital bed) by School of Seven Bells’ Benjamin Curtis after losing his life to lymphoma himself, it’s heart-wrenching. Serene, masterful and timeless, the song is best heard in the video, which “celebrates life while displaying its cyclical and inexplicable properties.”
Cascine: So Goddamn Guilty Summer Mix
For this week’s rendition of Impose Magazine’s Friday Night mixtapes, Jeff Bratton—founder of NYC and London-based independent record label Cascine—crafted together an hour’s worth of his current alternative pop music favorites. A genre that doesn’t get enough credit and continually reinvents itself, alt-pop is what his label specializes in. From Lemonade’s steamy “Minus Tide” to Melbourne-based Retro Culture’s synths-meet-R&B beachy “Weekend,” this “So Goddamn Guilty Summer Mix” shows off how diverse the genre can be. Keep your eyes peeled for a mini Cascine & Friends tour in July, along with 100% Silk, Ghostly and Arbutus.
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.