5 Songs to Hear This Week: Orbital, Jordan Ward, Sweatson Klank

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Hit all points on the musical map with Jordan Ward, Sweatson Klank, and Orbital. Photos by Ricky Alvarez, Peter Farr, and Kenny McCracken

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

Orbital – “Are You Alive? (Feat. Penelope Isles)”

It’s alive! UK dance music royalty Orbital are back to light a fire under your rave boots. Festival season is actually as close as it seems far away, and this track’s a great soft reentry, coupling a high BPM courtesy of bouncy electronic percussion with delicate, closely-held vocals from Lily Wolter of Penelope Isles. A single to bridge two worlds, this track is a sign of great things to come on Orbital’s upcoming album, Optical Delusion, the first since their 2014 breakup.

Jordan Ward – “White Crocs (Feat. Ryan Trey)” 

Pay homage to the almighty Croc with this lounge-hop track from rising star Jordan Ward and fellow St. Louis artist Ryan Trey. Tastefully spare production runs across both the track and the video — the former combines only a few musical elements under the silky R&B-flavored rap bars, while the latter is an exercise in high-contrast dance appreciation. Ward impresses with his tight execution of ‘90s-vid choreography alongside spinning a story of maintaining one’s image while guarding one’s wallet. 

GIFT – “Share The Present

All we have is now! This skyward-looking track from recent psych-gaze arrival GIFT, headed by TJ Freda, levels out ‘80s-inspired synths and wall-to-wall production with a timely message about staying present and looking forward, not back. With a playful imagined world of a music video, enough echoing production to fill the room, and a hopeful message set to inspire, this track’s a lush treat.

CIVIC – “Blood Rushes”

This is your stop, mate. This track from Aussie rockers CIVIC, the third single from their upcoming album, Taken by Force, sticks with the public transit theme established by End of the Line, firming up the association of their sound with the real world, far from the fantasy metaverse that so much contemporary music lives in. And, given the band’s excellent handling of the fast-and-loose rock sound that paved the way, that tracks. Get on board for long, deep electric riffs, layered, fuzzed-out vocals, double-handed drums, and a follow-me video that’ll have you aching to beat the streets in your favorite city. 

Sweatson Klank – “One for My Friends”

Look — we love electronic music. But there’s something that just hits about an electronic-style production that’s made up of, you know, instruments. This bangarang musical montage from pioneering LA beatmaker Sweatson Klank is just plain great: fun, engaging, richly produced, unexpected, joyful, vibrant, and reeking of skill and experience. Throw this on for an immediate mood lift suitable for any environment.