On this volume of our Listen Up series, we discover why two is almost always better than one. Apologize to your neighbors in advance, cause you’re gonna want to turn this sh*t way up.
We’ve all wanted to be a twin at some point—whether it was a full on Mary-Kate and Ashley moment or Lindsay (pre-breakdown) in The Parent Trap. Recently, we found the twins we’d trade in all the other ones to be: Ibeyi. Born in Paris and raised between their hometown and Cuba, the duo features Lisa-Kaindé Diaz on vocals and keys and Naomi Diaz on vocals and traditional Cuban percussion. Oh, you might have seen them in all of their beautiful, big-haired glory on Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
Ibeyi literally translates to “twins” in Yoruba, their native language and one you’ll find mixed in with English on their self-titled debut. But the album does so much more than display their multilingual skills—it’s one of the most transcendent records we’ve heard in years; so intimate that you can feel every silent breath, every hymn-like lyric, and every emotionally-charged instrumental performance. If you close your eyes and listen to the haunting, deep percussive elements of “River” and “Stranger/Lover,” you almost feel like for just a moment, you’ve stepped into Ibeyi’s cinematic world—and it’s somewhere you might never want to leave.
Favorite track: “Ghosts”
For more on Ibeyi + upcoming tour dates, check out their website here.
Does your hook up playlist need an upgrade? I mean, how many times can you keep playing D’Angelo, Sade, or that good ol’ Boys II Men go-to? Luckily for everyone, we just met our playlist saviors: dvsn. We’re talking the steamiest lyrics mixed with intense, buttery-laden beats that make you crave a night in. If you hear dvsn’s gospel-trap-inspired grooves and every single bone in your body doesn’t want to, well you know, then you’re probably not human.
The Canadian duo features singer Daniel Daley and record producer Paul Jeffries AKA Nineteen85—you might have heard a few of his hits: Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” are just the beginning. As part of Drake’s OVO crew, the duo was also featured on Views (check out “Faithful”). But don’t be fooled, this isn’t your average R&B—dvsn’s tracks are extended past normal song lengths to create vibes that make you want to hang onto every beat. Each song’s structure is unexpected and innovative, and the robust gospel background vocals meld everything together perfectly. When the duo dropped “With Me” and “The Line” last fall, we all felt the start of the good R&B feels we’d been missing for years. Lucky for us—they’re here to stay.
Favorite track: “Too Deep”
You know the girls that make the rest of us look like we’re trying too damn hard? The ones that always have their shit together, make everyone laugh, and kill it at everything they do? Well Sara Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett, the ridiculously talented duo who front the five-pive piece band Nimmo, are painlessly-cool personified.
Hailing from Northwest London, they have an undeniable chemistry that translates directly back to everything they do—which makes sense considering they’ve known each other since high school and have been playing together for over ten years (AKA longer than you’ve had your favorite Levi’s). From synth-driven, anthemic tracks like “Jaded” and trance, vocal-led moments on “My Only Friend,” Nimmo teaches us that big choruses, intimate lyrics, and intensely strong, almost chanted, female vocals have a place in music that only they have mastered. Trust us, you’ll be dancing your ass off one minute and feeling all the feels the next—but at least you’ll be going through all of it with Nimmo.
Favorite track: “My Only Friend”
For more on Nimmo + upcoming tour dates, check out their website here.