Kishi Bashi: Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!
The imitable Kishi Bashi (aka K Ishibashi) has created yet another delightful pop song with "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!" Set to appear on his upcoming album Lighght (out 13 May 2014), the song is bubbly, sweet and joyous, while the gentle string melodies on the slightly melancholy undertone. It's a delicate balance that the artist and classically trained violinist has shown he can accomplish over and over again. The just-released colorful, psychedelic and beautifully oddball video matches the sweeping soundscape perfectly.
SQÜRL: Funnel Of Love feat. Madeline Follin
"Only Lovers Left Alive" promises to be a very different kind of vampire film—Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are centuries-old, long-distance lovers who buy, rather than suck, blood in a civilized manner. Director Jim Jarmusch happens to be in the band SQÜRL and, along with Jozef Van Wissem and Yasmine Hamdan, has made the film's Cannes award-winning soundtrack. "Funnel of Love" is a gritty rock tune that opens the film and sets its raw, sexy (and deadly) tone. The soundtrack is available in the US on 8 April 2014 from ATP Recordings; New Yorkers can attend a preview screening and live music from the soundtrack on 1 April, hosted by Cinema Paradiso.
De La Soul: Smell the Da.I.S.Y. Mixtape
After releasing snippets all month, NYC hip-hop trio De La Soul dropped their entire "Smell the Da.I.S.Y." mixtape, featuring never-before-heard beats from the late great producer J Dilla considered by many to be the most influential beatmaker of his time. The acronym—which stands for Da Inner Soul of Yancey in reference to Dilla's birth name James Dewitt Yancey—is immediately infectious. From the first bar to the last beat, the creative chemistry between the artists is palpable. Few MCs rhyme with the effortless flow of De La Soul (who were trailblazers in the genre) and, when given a Dilla beat, better hip-hop is hard to come by.
Hot Chip: Atomic Bomb (William Onyeabor cover)
The mysterious Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor—who all but disappeared from music after releasing eight highly influential, if not obscure, albums in the '70s and '80s—has amassed quite a talented following. London's electro-pop outfit Hot Chip released a rendition of "Atomic Bomb" from the upcoming cover and remix compilation WHAT?! – William Onyeabor Remixed (out 19 April 2014 on Luaka Bop in collaboration with Moog) and injects the funk anthem with just enough synth. Lead singer Alexis Taylor's svelte, indoor-voice vocals add a new level of intimacy to the Cold War-inspired track.
Take synth-driven electro-pop charm, bolster it with a riotous bass line and a healthy dose of danceability and the result is Swedish quintet Colleagues' "Tears." With synths fit for a stadium, hypnotic vocals and a radio-ready chorus, the track is accessible without losing soul or individuality. Following up the band's breakout track on London's latest In Stereo Records—where they were one of the first to sign on—it's easy to get lost in the upbeat melody and surely your feet will follow. Amidst all the positivity and dance floor flurry of the melody lie heartfelt, melancholy lyrics that warrant multiple listens.
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.