5 Songs to Hear This Week: SOPHIE, La Femme, Fana Hues

Written by

SOPHIE’s artistry lives forever. Photo by: Renata Raksha

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 Tuesday newsletter here, and have ‘em delivered directly to your inbox.

SOPHIE – “Reason Why (Feat. Kim Petras & BC Kingdom)” 

Inject your summer with some big pop energy in a meaningful package with this slick and sensual electro-pop track — a posthumous release from late producer and visionary SOPHIE, who died in 2021. With infectious pop production and empowering lyrics, it’s easy to imagine this track slaying on club dance floors and at festival sets. Close listeners might recognize this one from SOPHIE playing it live, but this is the official release. In the words of “Reason Why’s” vocalist, Kim Petras: “Soph, you’re still changing music!!!” And there’s more where this one came from: SOPHIE, a full album of unreleased tracks curated by SOPHIE’s brother Ben Long, is set for release on Sep. 27.

La Femme – “Ciao Paris!”

French psych-poppers La Femme are packing up and going global. In this dreamy lo-fi synth-pop track, the band bids “adieu” to their home city, presumably to embark on the big bold career shift that is international stardom. The high-stakes nature of that ambition aside, this track’s presented in a delightfully unserious, camp-adjacent way. It’s a genuine acknowledgment of gratitude and ambition delivered with humor and (relative) humility. Click play for a musical romp and your chance to say “ciao!” 

Fana Hues – “Rental”

Unlock your sexy tropical summer with this gem. Fana Hues first caught our attention after being featured by Tyler, the Creator. This latest release confirms her main character excellence. Featuring velvety smooth vocals and hazy-cool production drawing on R&B, soul, and Latin-Caribbean vibes — this track earned a swift spot on our poolside playlist. Don’t miss the “let’s-go-girls” video to bask in the warmth of girl-squad BFF vibes. Want more? Fana Hues’ LP Moth is out now.

Brontez Purnell – “Forgive Me, Phillip (Trio version)”

Undone indie-punk-rock is having a moment — and thank God for that, because all the arguing about which high-production pop single is the official “Song of the Summer” is giving us a toothache. Enter Brontez Purnell: author, activist, musician, and all-around artiste. “Forgive Me, Phillip” is a “make it look easy” production that merges our love for that bop-along energy of summer singles with our need to get a little rough and rowdy. The surf-rock-coded song structure and a video showcasing activist highlights of the 1960s make this track infinitely worthy of your attention.

Mermaid Chunky – “chaperone”

Squares: do not enter here. Appreciators of the weird ‘n’ wonderful: welcome home. UK duo Mermaid Chunky present as performance artists as much as musicians, spinning a surrealistic fictional reality into existence through this journey of a track. It’s spoken word, it’s ecstatic dance, it’s the raw and vigorous freak-flag-flying we need. And we’re not the only ones: LCD Soundsystem frontman and tastemaker James Murphy heard their music being played at a Brooklyn café and promptly invited them to open for LCD… the rest is sure to be a rad history. And you won’t be waiting long for the next chapter, their forthcoming debut album slif slaf slof is due on Sep. 13 — big thanks to KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe for steering us to this one.