Five Songs to Hear This Week: Slacker jams, a retro Spanish ballad, and endless summer synth pop

Written by Adria Kloke

Dig into fresh tunes from Kate Bollinger, E-Prime, Los Retros, and more. Photos (L-R) by CJ Harvey, Mary Chen, and Ross Harris.

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 every Monday for a rundown of the five songs that you need in your life immediately, curated by KCRW Music staff. 

Recent alumni include Mercury Prize nominee Arlo Parks (who also delivered a phenomenal virtual live session for us earlier this year), the eternal zen that is Caribou’s latest single and video, and LA local legend in the making Petey.

Get caught up and follow along with the best songs from this year’s newsletters with our Top Tracks Spotify Playlist. Be sure to give it a follow to stay in the loop. While you’re at it, go ahead and follow KCRW across the board on Spotify. It will make you happy.

Don’t want to wait till Mondays for your latest taste of fresh tunes? Sign up for the Friday newsletter here, and always be the first to know.

MUNA - “Silk Chiffon” (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) 

Behold — the queer bubblegum anthem of your dreams. Classic pop stylings guide the wall of good-time sound heard here, but the message is firmly rooted in 2021. This track is LA band MUNA’s first release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, and the whole squad teamed up for a video skewering queer conversion camps.

Kate Bollinger - “Shadows” 

Prepare your sea legs, because Kate Bollinger’s effortless songwriting is fluid matter. Eliciting the perpetual motion of a rolling sea, or, as the video suggests, the undulating concrete waves of a skate park, this breezy gem features gentle campfire strums and long-neck guitar slides under the sweet and sticky whispers of your teenage crush (her name is Kate).

Los Retros - “Solo Tú”

The bad bunch at Stones Throw Records have done it again with Los Retros — a delightfully misleading name for a band of one: singer and multi-instrumentalist Mauri Tapia. This track is the youthful crooner’s first release en español, an homage to the classic Spanish ballad bands that inspired his moniker.  

E-Prime - “August Is An Angel” 

World, meet E-Prime: the sibling electronic pop project breathing new life into obscure Canadian new wave singles. Didn’t know how badly you needed that, right? Don’t miss this track’s video to see the duo and their cohorts of cool spend a perfectly aimless day messing about in their stomping grounds of Montreal, stretching out the summer just one more day.

Anthony Joseph - “Who Will Save the World?” 

We’ve all known moments of uncertainty, but these days count as a whole era of unknowns. Don’t worry, there’s a track for that: an ode to unclear skies and murky waters. Curiously tense while sonically satisfying, this improvisational jazz track supports the seeking words of British poet and musician Anthony Joseph. Dive in, but don’t expect any answers.