5 Songs to Hear This Week: Summer Nights all-stars

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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 

Summer Nights szn is finally (FINALLY) back in full swing. For the first time in the history of the series, you’ll be able to catch a set from every single one of your favorite KCRW DJs — if they’re on our air, they’re also spinning an official KCRW party for you this summer!

But wait, there’s more: Almost all of the bands and artists headlining our nights at the Hammer Museum in Westwood and One Colorado in Pasadena are based in our own backyard. 

Every Thursday in July, the Hammer Museum will host an LA-based artist, and we’re sampling all of ‘em for you right here. Plus, a bonus track from Tolliver, who you’ll want to clear your schedule to vibe with at One Colorado in September. See you under the stars! 

Ambar Lucid – “La Torre”

Just ahead of kicking off our 2022 edition of KCRW’s Summer Nights, 21-year-old recent LA transplant Ambar Lucid has revealed a super sweet new single with “song of the summer” written all over it. The bouncy-yet-gentle rhythm, catchy melody, and ultra-expressive vocals have us reaching for the repeat button. RSVP now so we can all swoon together when she drops this in her set at the Hammer on July 7!

Pachyman – “Sunset Sound”

The further we get into our schedule of free shows at the Hammer, the more the vibes multiply. Bathe yourself in the relaxing, dub-infused waters of this standout cut from Pachyman’s latest full length, “The Return Of…” While you’re at it, revel in the throwback atmosphere of the video, and then get yourself on the list for his July 14 soiree

Thee Sinseers – “It’s Only Love” 

Quick! Can you come up with anything that sounds better than swaying to a doo-wop tune under a crisp desert night sky? Neither can we. That’s why we are so ready for a set from East LA’s Thee Sinseers, beloved practitioners of the “souldies'' sound that has turned large swaths of our fair city into true believers. Press play on their recent single “It’s Only Love,” then sigh yourself on over to the Hammer on July 21 for one seriously dreamy night. 

Hana Vu – “Crying on the Subway”  

This might be the deepest cut on this list. Fitting, as Hana Vu is the local artist closing out our Hammer residency. We’ve flexed her in 5 Songs fairly recently, so you’re already familiar with her haunting bedroom pop sounds. This back-catalog number takes the effect up several notches by not only referencing crying on the subway (iconic), but referencing crying on the LA subway (legendary). We’re fully expecting to shed some open air tears along to this one on the last Thursday in July. Join us, won’t you?

Tolliver – “Say What!” 

Just because we’ve reached the end of the list of Hammer showcases, doesn’t mean we’re out of live bands at Summer Nights to spotlight. Tolliver’s recent session for KCRW’s FREAKS ONLY earned him a booking agent for live performances so naturally we had to get in on that action ourselves. He’ll bring his freaky, funky freneticism to One Colorado in Pasadena on Saturday, September 10. Peep the “Say What!” video for the most tantalizing taste of all the delirious fun he has in store for us.