Listen Up

Languid R&B, upbeat indie-pop, self-reflective pool rock and more new music this week

Monophonics: Last One Standing California-based band Monophonics makes music that sounds plucked from another era, with tinges of Curtis Mayfield and Al Green. There’s a timelessness to their releases and their newest single, “Last One Standing,” is no exception. The seven-minute song ebbs and flows: there are groovy, cinematic cuts carried by drums, a bass guitar and horns, and crescendoing choruses built around vocalist Kelly …

Okay Kaya’s Valentine’s Day Playlist for COOL HUNTING

"I wanna tickle that little part of the back of people’s brains," the Norwegian musician tells us

“Making a playlist for someone is a big deal to me,” Norwegian singer/songwriter Okay Kaya (aka Kaya Wilkins) says, when discussing the Valentine’s Day playlist she crafted for us. “I wanna tickle that little part of the back of people’s brains.” But ultimately, she says the question “Will it get me laid?” motivated each song choice. Of course, playlists are acutely personal and Wilkins’ reflects …

(Sandy) Alex G: Bad Man

(Sandy) Alex G’s “Bad Man” originally appeared on the artist’s 2019 album, House Of Sugar. Unexpectedly, the artist released an alternate version of the track, and an accompanying video directed by Zev Magasis. The 2020 take on “Bad Man” trades the twangy accent and generated drums for a pared-back piano and mandolin, and far more emotional and resonating vocals. Paired with the lo-fi visuals, the …