5 Songs to Hear This Week: 070 Shake, Girlpool, Khamari

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(L-R) 070 Shake, Ruby Red, and Girlpool Photo by Eddie Mandell, Photo by Callum Walker Hutchinson, Photo by Amalia Irons

Hey! Did you know that there’s an entire aspect of KCRW music discovery that you might be missing out on? Fear not, because our 5 Songs to Hear This Week newsletter is now a weekly feature on our website. Watch this space for rundowns of the five songs that you need in your life immediately, curated by KCRW Music staff. Don’t want to wait for your latest taste of fresh tunes? Sign up for the Friday newsletter here, and always be the first to know.

Follow us on Spotify to keep up with our current obsessions, including 5 Songs to Hear This Week, Bent By Nature: Deirdre O'Donoghue and The Lost SNAP Archives (The Music), and our weekly sampler of KCRW’s Top 30 most played records

070 Shake – “Cocoon”

Block party, baby! Rapper, visionary, Kanye collaborator, and inveterate cool-girl 070 Shake (Shake to her friends) is back with the follow up album to her 2020 debut. The fiercely titled “YOU CAN’T KILL ME” is a richly produced alternative rap and R&B statement on pain — feeling it, causing it, recovering from it. This single, while offering a dark intensity grounded by a bone-rattling beat, is magnificently balanced by Shake’s strong-yet-gentle vocals and the abundance of joy displayed in its made-in-NY music video.

Ruby Red – “Eat Me (Feat. Clayjay)” 

Here’s a delicious groove for your weekend, served piping hot. The boys from Ruby Red, a self-described “lifelong duet” hailing from Oakland, give the impression of a couple creative pals given access to every studio production toy, unlimited playtime, and perhaps some low-dose psychedelics. Delightful synth chords, smile-inducing vocal features, and head-bop percussion make this an irresistible first course. Complete the meal with their debut EP, “Saboteur,” out now.

Khamari – “Doctor, My Eyes”

Take a deep breath… tapping into this powerfully emotive, deeply vulnerable storytelling track from rising R&B star Khamari is sure to leave you feeling some type of way. Built from basic elements executed with near perfection, the stripped down and approachable tune features expertly-handled acoustic guitar supporting Khamari’s stunning vocals. Just when you thought it couldn’t get realer, words of encouragement from a loved one drop in for a final yank at your heart strings. Crying yet? Nah, there’s just something in my eye…

Girlpool – “Dragging My Life Into A Dream”  

Girlpool’s had our hearts since the mid-‘20-teens, and bearing witness to the duo’s stylistic evolution and creative growth as artists brings an air of appreciation for their latest releases that borders on the glow of parental pride. This track stays true to their core values: soul-baring, gutterally real, and absolutely… pretty. This is music for caressing: yourself, your lover, your chosen family. It’s all about feelings with these two — even, and perhaps especially, the hard ones — but always with a warm embrace.

Brad Stank – “Watering the Garden” 

This relaxed track’s the bouncing-ball talkalong for your lazy weekend drifting on a pool noodle. Evoking heavy-lidded vibes akin to Mac DeMarco and Nick Hakim, UK loverboy Brad Stank crowns easygoing, goodtime production with marvelously mellow baritone vocals in this winning single. Maybe it’s the jazz roots, maybe it’s the Scouse appeal, maybe he’s born with it… the kinda dude you just wanna kick back with and roll a j.