Single Spotlights

Stranger Things’ Joe Keery (AKA Djo) Releases Surprise New Single “Keep Your Head Up”

September marks the unofficial start to fall. Which also means that Starbucks has already started selling their infamous Pumpkin Spice Lattes, department stores are whipping out the fall-inspired decor, and everyone is starting to wonder how (and more importantly IF) they’ll be able to celebrate Halloween this year. I’d like to make a bet that the most popular costumes we’ll see on October 31 via Zoom celebrations are going to be cast members from Tiger King, Selling Sunset, or a meme from a viral TikTok video.

This transition into fall also means that we’d normally be getting a brand new season of Netflix’ smash tv show Stranger Things, which made its debut in July 2016 . However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, season four has been delayed, with no official season premiere date on the horizon.

Hopefully Stranger Things star Joe Keery’s brand new single, “Keep Your Head Up,” can give you an equally satisfying start to the new season. Keery, who is also a founding member of the Chicago-based band Post Animal, released his first album as a solo artist towards the end of 2019, under the moniker Djo. The self-released album, titled Twenty Twenty, was a classified sleeper hit, racking up over 40 million streams to date.

Keery helped form Post Animal during his time enrolled at DePaul University (s/o to my Alma mater), where they performed in the basements of student apartments and eventually transitioned into playing Chicago’s club scene. The band eventually released a self-titled EP and two albums via Polyvinyl, and had success touring with artists like Twin Peaks, Wavves, and Cage The Elephant.

“Keep Your Head Up” is engulfed in psychedelic rock and funk, a sound that has been prominent in all of Keery’s musical endeavors. The song brings a certain feel of laidback positivity, which are two words that are probably the least likely way to describe how the year 2020 has been for the majority of the world. Though the song feels new and solidifying of where music is today (re: Hippo Campus or Portugal. The Man), the backbone of the sound feels retro, developed on a melody that certainly could be playing in the background of Stranger Things during a particularly comedic moment.

Later today, Keery will participate in a conversation with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips with The Talkhouse podcast at 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET.

Stream “Keep Your Head Up” here.

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