Five Songs to Hear This Week: Good Old Fashioned Pledge Drive edition

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Fun times in the KCRW basement from the Pledge Drive days of yore. Photos courtesy of the KCRW archives.

Hey! Did you know that there’s an entire aspect of KCRW music discovery that you might be missing out on? Well 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.

This week we’re guiding you through some of the most memorable jams of KCRW’s pledge drive past. Today is the final day to show your support for our Good Old Fashioned Pledge Drive, and we’re hoping that this sonic nostalgia tour will inspire your donation during these crucial final hours.

Follow us on Spotify to keep up with all of our current obsessions, like Songs to Hear This Week, your new favorite Aussies, and our Top 30 most played records each week.

Me’shell Ndegeochello - “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)”

Hey… where’s your man? We’re kicking off this special throwback edition of 5 Songs To Hear with a track (and video) that were both ahead of their time and perfectly of it. Over a solid foundation of ‘90s tropes — flirtation disguised as sass, romanticized angst, and militant truthiness — Grammy-winner Me’shell Ndegeochello lays bars and positively abuses the bass. And what are you gonna do about it?

Los Lobos - “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” 

Back in ‘92, East Los Angeles heroes Los Lobos spun an original fairy tale out of childhood memories, spiritual intuitions, and gypsy-camp instrumentation. On the track’s 20th birthday, they played it live on KCRW. Nearly a decade later, as autumn crests, this moody tune still slips on easy, like all the heavy shoes you stowed away for summer. This one’s for all you kids ready for Halloween to come early.

Sneaker Pimps - “6 Underground”

Brace yourself, we’re going deeper…into your feelings. This 1996 gem, a radio-play hit for U.K. band Sneaker Pimps, snags the street cred earned by trip-hop pilots like Massive Attack and Portishead and coats it with pop-forward sex appeal. No matter what era you hail from, you’ve likely made out to this sensual track... and if you haven’t, give it a try.

Peter Bjorn & John - “Young Folks” 

There are catchy tunes, earworms, and camp songs… and then there’s “Young Folks.” That whistle. The sing-along lyrics. This 2006 global smash was, and is, brazenly irresistible in its simplicity. Languid minor chords and frenetic bongos preserve a sense of teenage cool in this moment-defining track like an insect trapped in amber, so we can all be young folks again.

SBTRKT - “Pharaohs” 

Come on now, we couldn’t end this list without a dancefloor hit! And what a hit it is. Simply put, this track is so f*cking cool. The anonymity-inclined English producer behind SBTRKT is usually known for remixes, but if you missed the project’s debut album when it hit like an asteroid back in 2011, rinse it front to back to get your body movin,’ and thank us with a donation before the Drive ends just before the stroke of midnight TONIGHT!