5 Songs to Hear This Week: Durand Jones, Shame, Rahill

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This time, it’s personal with Rahill, Shame, and Durand Jones. Photos by Bailey Robb, Pooneh Ghana, and Rahim Fortune

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

Durand Jones – “Lord Have Mercy”

You already know Durand Jones from his band leadership with The Indications, but he’s striking out solo with a “deeply personal” new album — and this standout single proves that intention strong. Coupled with a striking short film tracing a Black familial history through moments of worshipful joy and deeply-felt strife, the track itself is buoyant, soulful, and hits the groove hard. Watch for the full album Wait Til I Get Over, which promises more music and videos exploring Durand’s relationship with his hometown roots in Hillaryville, Louisiana.

Asake – “Organise”  

How do you get to Nigeria? Thanks to this stellar track from Afrobeat artist Asake, you can do it in just one click. Expertly blending elements ranging from traditional African music to jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and dub, this one’s uplifting, provocative, and crowned by high production chock full of cinematic interest. Get yourself energized with this select as your leader.

Shame – “Six-Pack”

Punk rock with a radical statement? Hell yeah. This fiery piece from UK post-punkers Shame is loud, insistent, and perhaps a bit “thinkier” than your average fast-and-furious punk track. Featuring big, wild sound, confrontational lyrics, and an unexpected bridge that will send chills down your spine before sending you into thrash-dance paradise, it’s just one choice example from the boys’ throttling third album, Food for Worms, which just dropped. This one’s not to be missed by anyone nostalgic for their big-ass boots and safety pin days. Mega bonus points for this brain warper of a video.

Rahill – “I Smile for E”

Man, there’s just nothin’ like a saxophone. And that’s just one honey-smooth brass among many warming up this laidback, feel-good single from Iranian-American singer-songwriter Rahill, a sunny sunday morning vibe captured to take you there any old time. Easygoing singalong vocals and a pervasive, inviting sense of warmth will have you pulling up a chair to join the sesh. If this first single hits for you, stay tuned — Rahill’s debut full-length album, Flowers At Your Feet, is coming this May. 

The Declining Winter – “Really Early, Really Late”

Brew yourself a cuppa, find a beautiful vista ripe for gazing, and engage your contemplative mind for this casually entrancing track from British band The Declining Winter, who describe their sound as (un)popular music and “pastoral pop.” And the pasture is indeed present: The band habitually pair their layered, lo-fi instrumental wanderings with an aesthetic inspired by the idyllic countryside of their native Yorkshire. Now breathe in… and out.