Hot Chip: Down

Anchored by a sample of Chicago-based Universal Togetherness Band’s glorious early ’80s track “More Than Enough,” Hot Chip’s new track “Down” feels both retro and contemporary. The song and its kinetic music video (directed by Pulp’s Steve Mackey and Douglas Hart of the Jesus and Mary Chain) also act as an announcement for the five-piece (Owen Clarke, Al Doyle, Joe Goddard, Felix Martin and Alexis …

Syl Johnson: Different Strokes

An icon of blues, soul, funk and R&B, Syl Johnson has passed away at 85. Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, Johnson was a singer, songwriter, musician and producer whose lyrics often delved into complex social and political issues. His 1969 song “Is It Because I’m Black,” inspired by the murder of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, was a piercing statement on race relations …

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Revisiting a song from a decade ago, an ambient instrumental and more music from the week

Lance Skiiiwalker feat. SiR: Peso Chicago-based singer, rapper and producer Lance Skiiiwalker (aka Lance Howard) teams up with singer-songwriter and fellow producer SiR (aka Sir Darryl Farris) for “Peso,” a languid, dreamy R&B tune that samples Tupac’s “Do For Love” from 1997’s R U Still Down? (Remember Me). The song—from Howard’s recently released EP, Chapter 2: Internal Shine—is more than an ode to making money, …