Missy Elliott + G-Dragon: Niliria
There's more to Seoul than "Gangnam Style." While Justin Timberlake pleased Brooklyn at the VMAs, his Korean counterpart G-Dragon (who rose to fame through his pop band Big Bang and whose solo career has been equally influential) was rapping a duet with Missy Elliott at LA's annual KPOP convention. While we were happily stunned to see Elliott—who's kept a pretty low profile these last few years—we were even more impressed by how smoothly the two cultures fused together for the premiere of their collaboration, called "Niliria." The title references a type of traditional Korean folk song, which you can briefly hear in the first few seconds of the video; G-Dragon's opening line translates to "Proud Korea" and he later sums up this powerful moment: "international diplomacy through a rap." The song will be on G-Dragon's second full-length album, Coup d'État, out 2 September 2013, which also features a song with Diplo.
BANKS: Waiting Game
LA-based singer BANKS manages to combine sultry with spooky on her recently released single "Waiting Game." From her debut EP London, set for release 10 September, the song features haunting background hums, blown-out beats and throbbing vibrations. Part trip-hop, part dark R&B and bleak pop, "Waiting Game" was produced by Sohn, and BANKS' alluring, sweetly melancholic vocals—describing a despairing love affair—dance over it beautifully. A Francesco Corrizini-directed video was released this week, with appropriately moody slow motion movements, ash and shadowy shots to perfectly match the essence of the track.
The Beach Boys: Kokomo
This week's #PrivateJam comes to us from The World's Best Ever founder Dave Wilfert, whose own website has been polling the creative industry's musical taste for years in its playlist-based column called Sound Advice. Wilfert exposes his nostalgic side with The Beach Boys' "Kokomo," a tune that made major waves with its classic Caribbean vibes and a guest appearance of John Stamos, better known as TV's melodically talented Uncle Jesse. Wilfert says, "Ever since that special episode of Full House, this song has been a low-key hit for me. I listen to this song whenever I just need to take it slow and get away from it all."
Slow Sundays: Excursion to the Version Special
London Fields Radio recently held a special edition of Slow Sundays, the micro-station's "weekly foray into the slower side of house," by tapping local music savants Michael Morley, Nic Tasker, Lix and the Working Late Tonight DJs to play two hours of extended edits, strange covers, bootlegs, dubs and reworks at Dalston's Shacklewell Arms pub. Called "Excursion to the Version," the spicy mix features rare jams from Gilles Peterson, Elvis, the Motor City Drum Ensemble, Arthur Russell's disco-enthused group Loose Joints and more.
Wild Ones: It's Real
Portland is known for many things: Rain, coffee, craft beer, flannels and indie music. But like much of the entire Northwest, it is not known for sports. With this in mind, videographer—and sole craftsman behind leather camera-strap brand Great State Strap Co—Gary Tyler McLeod directed the video for "It's Real" by Portland-based band Wild Ones. In what may well be an emotional exposé on watching the NBA, the grainy video bounces between close-ups of basketball's elite in moments of despair and contemplation, and Wild Ones' lead woman Danielle Sullivan. An unexpected take, but combined with the beautiful vocals, it's a sure winner.
Published every Sunday, ListenUp takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted about that week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's surprising personal interests—#PrivateJam exposes their musical guilty pleasure.