Hailing from Berlin, Bearcubs is a beatmaker straddling the worlds of electronica, R&B, and indie. His forthcoming album, Early Hours, is due out on May 15, but you can hear a brand new single “Everyplace is Life” out today. To set the mood for your weekend, and in anticipation for the new Bearcubs’ record, we asked Jack for a playlist of tracks he’s recently had on repeat. So hit play and fade away into the weekend.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Operations Manager
The Future Sound Of London — “Papua New Guinea”
It had been a while since I had released anything when I started writing the music for my album Early Hours. I wanted to try and revisit sounds I had heard when I was growing up, like the ’90s dance and hip hop music my brother would be playing upstairs in my parents house, and the pop/R&B music being played constantly on the TV and radio. This is just one song of many examples that gives me a real ’90s nostalgia, especially the jungle-y breakbeats in there.
Toro y Moi — “New House”
I was listening to Toro y Moi since his debut Causers of This, I think he used to be like the God of chillwave or whatever but he’s transcended that in so many ways. I always have respect for artists that can switch up their sound on each project but you still can hear that it’s uniquely them. The mix of modern trap drums and ’80s synths caught me on this one, it’s like a non-rapper making a rap track, which is cool.
Andy Stott — “Faith in Strangers”
The almighty algorithm presented this one to me a while back on YouTube. There’s something so moody and lonely about it, it feels like perfect city music to me, like everyone is living in these little boxes next to each other but not interacting, being afraid of connection.
Blood Orange — “Chewing Gum ft. ASAP Rocky”
Another artist that has inspired me a lot in recent years. I think Negro Swan is his best release to date, the blend of modern sounds with ’90s hip-hop and ’80s R&B. It kind of fit in with things I was also trying to do musically with my album. Been a fan of ASAP for a while too, I would say the vibe on this one is like ethereal rap mixed with a Sting song, haha.
Young Fathers — “Sirens”
Young Fathers to me sound like a sort of mad choir prophesying the apocalypse. It’s like a marching band with synths got drunk and started making music, but in the best possible way.
Homeshake — “Just Like My”
Again I think the internet showed me this one, I like the way it sounds like it’s been recorded in a bathroom, and there’s something fragile about his singing which I think makes it quite relatable.
Guru, Mc Solaar — “Le Bien, Le Mal”
My dad showed me this Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 album when I was around eight probably, I remember thinking how cool it was because it mixed these old school jazz players with hip hop music. This was another kind of style I wanted to fuse into the songs on my album.
Frank Ocean — “Nikes”
One of my big vocal inspirations of current times, the word-play in his lyrics and his melodies inspire me a lot. Franky can do no wrong.
Moodymann — “The Thief That Stole My Sad Days [Ya Blessing Me]”
I’m a big fan of Detroit house, DJs like Moodymann and Theo Parrish in particular. I’ve always tried to incorporate elements of house music into my own songs, I like the mixture of gospel, funk & soul put into a club track in these tunes. I think that sort of inspired the last track on my album which switches between a housey feel and more of a soul track.
Mount Kimbie — “Marilyn ft. Michachu”
There’s something very comforting about this Mount Kimbie track, Michachu’s lyrics and delivery are so simple, it feels like lounging about on a lazy summer day.
(Photo Credit, left: Nicolas Blanchadell)