Sylvan Esso: Coffee
In a song centered around dancing, Sylvan Esso's Amelia Randall Meath sweetly croons "Sentiment's the same but the pair of feet change," conceivably creating a beautiful metaphor for relationships and the woes of falling in love. Meath's delicate vocal harmonies are enhanced by the slight shake of maracas, an occasional strike of a triangle and a simple beat laid down by her bandmate Nick Sanborn. Together, they've made "Coffee" an intelligible tune you can't help but put on repeat, no matter the mood. The recently formed duo's first LP is forthcoming from indie label Partisan Records, and look out for them performing live this summer on a world tour with tUnE-yArDs.
Cyril Hahn: Mix Series #2 Paris
Vancouver-based producer Cyril Hahn's "Paris" mix—much like the great people of the City of Lights—is in no rush and doesn't need to try hard to impress. Over 20 minutes, Hahn effortlessly moves between melodies all grounded in hazy acid jazz and house, lulling the listener into a relaxed—but never dull—state. Throw on this mix, which features a Mount Kimbie remix of Kelis and a team effort from Denmark's Galimatias and Bristol-based Sorrow, and pour a glass of vino for a quick Parisian respite.
Jamie xx: Sleep Sound
Inspired by a fateful encounter on a train, artist Sofia Mattioli's video for Jamie xx's superb single "Sleep Sound" vividly illustrates the ability of music to reach our souls even if we can't physically hear it. Over Jamie xx's signature ethereal Caribbean percussion-tinged ambient house, members from the Manchester Deaf Centre dance to the music based on the vibrations they hear and interactions with Mattioli. Far from the tear-jerking YouTube videos of cochlear implant patients hearing for the first time, Mattioli's piece suggests the opposite: deafness doesn't necessarily mean something's missing, it means experiencing differently. And different, in this case, is beautiful.
Lykke Li: No Rest For The Wicked
Art is inspired by reality in Swedish songstress Lykke Li's music video for her single "No Rest For The Wicked," off her upcoming album. Writing the song after her own particularly hard break-up, Li stars in the narrative video portrait of lovers who eventually separate. Fans will probably spot similar stylistic elements to the video for "I Follow Rivers," as they're both directed by longtime collaborator Tarik Saleh. The slow-tempo ballad works as a cinematic score, as Li's reverb-drenched vocals over a piano line build-up until a choir of voices. The singer's new album I Never Learn drops 6 May 2014.
Various Artists: Space Project
Since their launch in 1977, NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 space probes were gathering more than just data and photographs of the heavens. They also recorded electromagnetic radiation fluctuations that planets, asteroids and more were emitting, essentially capturing their "sound." Thanks to the efforts of Portland-based Lefse Records, 14 different artists—ranging from Beach House, Youth Lagoon, Larry Gus, The Antlers and more—have used the recordings as raw material to create songs and soundscapes, resulting in an out-of-this-world sonic experience. Stream Space Project in its entirety on NPR before its release on Record Day, 19 April 2014.
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.