5 Songs to Hear This Week: Alvvays, Foamboy, Paul Cauthen, and more

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Alvvays, Foamboys and Immortal Nightbody. Photo by Eleanor Petry, Nathan Schmidlin and Tara Dilloughery.

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

Alvvays – “Pharmacist”

Let your indiepop prescription run out? Dr. Alvvays has your back. This loud n’ proud single — the lead off their latest, “Blue Rev,” out this October — features the Canadian band’s signature mix of fuzz-tastic alt-rock careening around lead singer Molly Rankin’s pristine vocals. There, there, darling… take your pills!

KaiL Baxley – “Coyotes”

South Carolina troubadour KaiL Baxley may appear polished, but his music belies a rich and storied past — one threaded with secrets and woes, like the velvet lining of an old jewelry box. It’s all the more fitting for the gothic Americana style infused in this single. Featuring winsome strings and pitter-patter percussion topped by Baxley’s raspy whispers, this track is earnest yet elusive. You’ll find Baxley’s voice hovering just out of reach for the duration. Hit play, lean in, and you just might catch it. 

Foamboy – “Not A Go” 

Funky, precise, and layered with icy-cool summertime vibes, this disco-hued track is your jam for extended daylight fun. Foamboy are the Portland duo keeping their dance-pop offerings tight and well-defined. With “Not A Go,” producer Wil Bakula and vocalist Katy Ohsiek display the kind of creative wavelength alignment that leads to effortless success. We say it is a go! 

Immortal Nightbody – “Glendale Bridge”  

We first got hipped to Immortal Nightbody by a KCRW music-head last summer. In the year since, the deeply LA, former punk/goth-artist-turned-rapper has continued to refine his lo-fi, DIY aesthetic – particularly in the form of videos laced with locals-only commentary, hip-hop flavored webspeak, and incisive bars. What we have now is a highly distilled single that lands with sneering confidence, underscored by spectral, metronomic production that’ll writhe its way into your ears and make itself right at home

Paul Cauthen – “Country As F***” 

For his latest album “Country Coming Down,” East Texas crooner Paul Cauthen — a.k.a. Big Velvet — set out to “to fulfill a good sonic balance between Merle Haggard and Funkadelic.” Achievement unlocked. Don’t let the video’s winking, outrageous vibe fool ya — there’s no doubt this track’s as country as the big hats and satin jackets Cauthen himself sports with cowboy aplomb. And it better be — behind the baritone bravado, Cauthen has a whole herd of country and gospel releases under his big-buckle belt. Giddy up for a playful yet all-too-serious take on music, identity, and the important reminder that “real cowboys don't rock to Kenny Chesney”... they make their own definition.