OZY Playlist: Big Grams and Bawa

OZY Playlist: Big Grams and Bawa

Big Boi and Sarah Barthel of Big Grams perform at the Treasure Island Music Festival on Oct. 17, 2015, in San Francisco.

Why you should care

Because music is life.

Every other week, our Performance editor shares what’s happening in her earbuds.

This 23 minutes holds Philly, old and new; the results of a Brooklyn duo’s trip to Ghana; the oddest collaboration since Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus; and a French earworm from the archives.

It sounds like a street drug, but Big Grams is the collaboration between Outkast’s Big Boi and Phantogram. At its best, as with “Fell in the Sun,” it’s great hip-hop with shimmery synths and dream-pop vocals.

Bridget Kearney and Benjamin Lazar Davis have just released an EP, Bawa, based on the month they spent in Ghana studying with gyil master Aaron Bebe. Kearney’s scratchy, gentle vocals are powerfully fetching. In September, I caught the duo live at Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 3 in New York City — when Kearney removed an upright bass from a cover made of Lazar’s oxford shirt, what followed was an unforgettable dance.

Roots collaborator and Philly native Son Little is breathing fiery new life into the blues with his first full-length album, just out on Anti-. From the archives, a lesser-known force from Atlanta, STS may be familiar to some as Philly’s rapper–poet laureate. Listen to him slinging verse from Don McLean’s “American Pie” — a stellar and under-known American musical moment. As for French visual artist and film composer Etienne Charry, he once had a band, Oui Oui, with filmmaker Michel Gondry. The quirky dance-pop of “Je Tue Le Temps” (“I Kill Time”) has been stuck in my head since 1999. You’re welcome.

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