Connan Mockasin: Caramel
Take a psychedelic journey through New Zealand native Connan Mockasin's second album Caramel, which he recorded entirely in a Tokyo hotel room and has made available for streaming on Soundcloud. Pitch shifting, guitar slides and carefully controlled reverb create the ambience of a softly babbling, cosmic brook. Within the waters, you'll find echoes of those sex-filled songs of the '70s and '80s, heard in "I'm The Man, That Will Find You" and "I Wanna Roll With You." Overall, Caramel is an experimental treat that will leave a strange but seductive taste in your mouth.
Arcade Fire: Afterlife
No longer a little band from Montreal, Arcade Fire has earned enough respect to do almost anything in recent years, all the while holding strong to their humble beginnings and keeping their independent credibility alive. They've maintained that spirit with a totally original live music video of "Afterlife," directed by Spike Jonze, performed at this past week's YouTube Music Awards. Actress Greta Gerwig starred in what began as a theater-like performance and transitioned into a collaborative, lighthearted experience, complete with dancing kids and a quick serenade from Win Butler. The unsung hero is the camera men—it's incredible to think it all aired in real time.
Saves the Day: At Your Funeral
An emo anthem unlike any other, 2002's "At Your Funeral" by the band Saves the Day is this week's #PrivateJam, from Molly Hamilton of Widowspeak. Hamilton, hot off the release of Almanac and the brand new, magical follow-up EP The Swamps admits, "I definitely still do the occasional super-loud car sing-along to it sometimes. Old habits die hard." The power-pop of Saves the Day definitely warrants that, and we kind of wish we could be in the car with Hamilton to hear her rendition.
Axel Boman: Hello
After remixing for the likes of house heavyweights John Talabot and playing sets at London's Red Bull Music Academy, Stockholm's Axel Boman is releasing his highly anticipated full-length release Family Vacation on Monday, 11 November. His first single "Hello" dropped this week to praise from critics and fans alike. The eight-minute chilled out house track is less sweaty dance floor EDM and more like Sunday morning (very early morning) loft house jazz. Combining elements of world music with carefully picked vocal samples over a steady bass line, Boman's ability to span the breadth of the genre is evident and his potential is promising to say the least.
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (Album Stream)
Blood Orange aka Devonté Hynes has kept his latest project, Cupid Deluxe, under tight wraps—until now. This week Hynes made his fourth record available for streaming in its entirety. Hynes continues to refine his style since we caught up with him in 2012, producing for names like Solange Knowles and Florence and the Machine. His latest effort reveals his ever-evolving songwriting abilities and synth-laden pop production skills. Hynes has nothing to prove musically, but we continue to expect big things from him.
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that 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.