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.
Fever Ray – “Kandy”
If you’re having some trouble fulfilling your New Year’s commitment to creative self-actualization, behold: Fever Ray is your role model. The Swedish artist, also familiar to your ear as one half of The Knife, presents here carefully crafted image, identity, presentation, and perhaps most impressively, complex and resonant music — all of it steeped in inspiring newness. Play this one twice: first without the video, and again with it.
Yelle – “Top Fan”
Electropop is never better than in the hands of Yelle. The French outfit named for its bedazzled frontperson have been crafting crispy-clean hits since the early 2000s. And this one’s undeniable, fitting as comfortably in your vocally-focused freeway singalong playlist (as long as you’re cool with winging the French) as in a club-ready pregame mix. With razor sharp production, choreography-friendly song structure, and a marching-in-place dance beat, this track’s top-of-the-top.
Jonah Yano – “song about the family house”
Summon your therapist, it’s time to talk about family. Singer-songwriter Jonah Yano invites us deep into his feelings with this delicate and deeply-held track. A soft-spoken memoir of a song — stripped-down and emotionally bare as a newborn baby — this is one for the sentimental among us. Don’t miss the video for a scrapbook montage and intimate home video that’ll have you loving Yano’s family just as much as he so clearly does. Xoxo, mom n’ dad.
Braids – “Evolution”
January blues got a hold of you? Don’t worry baby, spring is coming. This super fresh track from Canadian indie-electro group Braids shines with contented morning light energy, a softly swaying tune that will open even the coldest of winter hearts. Featuring gleaming synths that bring to mind a steel drum on a beach and feathery vocals that feel like a hug from a cloud, this one’s all good in all the ways. Click for sweetness, harmony in nature, and love.
The Murder Capital – “Return My Head”
A post-punk resurgence is a big ol’ yes please from us here at KCRW Music, and this track from Dublin lads The Murder Capital is leading the way — their new album Gigi’s Recovery (Drag City) is already No. 1 on the Irish charts. Click play for dance-friendly percussion, big fast riffs, and say-it-out-loud vocals that’ll have you stomp-singing just like you did in that sticky-floored 18+ venue in the Valley or OC, at that one epic show that everyone in your hometown remembers. You know the vibe; go ahead and catch it.