Bobby Womack: That’s The Way I Feel About ‘Cha
Born in Cleveland in 1944, soul singer Bobby Womack got his start like many from his generation: singing gospel with his family in the church choir. With his exceptional voice and talent on the guitar, it wasn’t long until Sam Cooke took notice, and Womack’s ensuing multi-decade career led him to influence a wide range of artists, including Jimi Hendrix and later Damon Albarn. His recent passing comes with much sadness, as it seemed with so much emotion and energy, Womack would somehow defy logic and carry on forever. He’s left behind an unfalteringly beautiful legacy that will surely inspire generations of artists to come.
Dolly Parton: Jolene (Live at Glastonbury 2014)
Cool Hunting is comprised of a diverse range of people, and musical interests don’t always align. But one artist beloved by everyone at CH HQ is the legendary Dolly Parton. It seems we’re not alone, and her golden voice speaks to multiple generations and fans of various genres, because this week she played to some 150,000 fans at England’s rock’n’roll-focused Glastonbury Festival—a first for the jovial country music star. Watch her deliver a heartfelt “Jolene” to a wig-wearing audience that’s clearly happy to have the chance to sing along with the gracious icon.
Award-winning R&B singer Maxwell, as a modern soul singer, is always keeping his ear on what’s current. One such example is the song he selected when CH asked for a track he’s digging at the moment, which he says is “Comatose” by obscure newcomers RKCB. The LA-based duo’s slow and steady vibe speaks to Maxwell’s penchant for baby-making jams, while offering a glimpse at what’s influencing him as he continues to embark on a fruitful career—catch him live on his Summer Soulstice tour; a successful comeback after undergoing surgery for vocal cord edema and hemorrhage.
Shintaro Sakamoto: Birth of the Super Cult
Shintaro Sakamoto further distances himself from his past life as the lead singer of the Japanese psychedelic rock trio Yura Yura Teikoku (which broke up after two decades) with his second solo album Let’s Dance Raw. The first single, “Birth of the Super Cult,” has a simple yet eerie video (featuring Sakamoto on pedal steel guitar, accompanied by a high-pitched ventriloquist dummy) to go along with the equally weird, but gentle track. Transporting the listener to a Hawaiian beach somewhere in a post-apocalyptic world, Sakamoto’s song creates a pleasant daze. Let’s Dance Raw will be released from Other Music Recording Co on 16 September 2014.
Schoolhouse Rock!: The Shot Heard ‘Round The World
Airing 200 years after America signed the Declaration of Independence, on educational television program Schoolhouse Rock!, “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World” taught young ones—and likely a fair amount of adults—about how the United States gained its liberty from Great Britain in one catchy song, backed by a correlating cartoon. As Americans celebrate their independence on the 4th of July, it’s important for the entire world to remember freedom is a right that everyone should enjoy.
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.