Aretha Franklin: Live on Midnight Special 1976

A true icon, Aretha Franklin passed away today at 76 years old. Winner of countless awards, Franklin was a legend not just because of the accolades she achieved, but for the way she made her audiences feel. While her vocals can seem, at times, effortless, there’s such emotion and power driving them that listeners can’t help but feel their heart swell. Born in Memphis and …

Neneh Cherry: Kong

Singer/songwriter/rapper/DJ Neneh Cherry has teamed up with Four Tet and Massive Attack’s 3D for her first new track in three years, “Kong.” A protest song that’s concurrently an atmospheric, dub-inflected soundscape, the track is a response to the refugee crisis in Europe. The soft sound is contrasted with Cherry’s biting lyrics, “Goddamn guns and guts and bitter love still put a hole in me,” she …

ListenUp

A beautiful tune by Blood Orange, mesmerizing music from Muna Ileiwat and more

Muna Ileiwat: Baby Hypnotic, methodic and measured, London-based Muna Ileiwat’s “Baby” is a slow-burning tune that builds beautifully—layer upon layer. With a sharp staccato rhythm at times, the song is balanced with Ileiwat’s smooth and seemingly effortless vocals. VRWRK: Different Crowd London electronic trio VRWRK offers another taste of their forthcoming debut album On The Outside with the video for “Different Crowd.” From the sun …

Anderson Paak: Bubblin

With a little extra drama than his usual offerings, Anderson Paak’s new track “Bubblin” features some sweeping violins over a trap beat—creating a little contrast and cinematic flair. The rapper/singer/songwriter/producer’s raspy and playful vocals bounce over the booming bass, while the accompanying video stars Paak—and a cash machine.

Peter Fenn: Most Days

Peter Fenn’s jazz-inflected R&B tune “Most Days” is about the familiar, internal conflict between liking someone and wanting to be single. The minimal arrangement and pared-back nature of the track contribute to its breezy, vintage feel, as Fenn ponders “I don’t want nothin’ to do with love, most days / if that means being by myself / always being lonely, that’s OK / I don’t …