5 Songs to Hear This Week: Sleaford Mods x Dry Cleaning, Kelela, The Fall

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Everything’s cool with Florence Shaw and Sleaford Mods, Mark E. Smith., and Kelela. Photos by Beggars Group, Lenny LaSalandra, and Justin French

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

The Fall – “Flat of Angles”

KCRW suffered an enormous loss this week with the passing of former DJ, music librarian, and friend, Eric J. Lawrence (known to us all as EJL). His DJ show for KCRW, Dragnet, was named in equal parts for the 1950s police procedural television drama, and the album of the same name by his favorite band, The Fall. The show’s tagline, “criminally underlooked music,” honored both. 

EJL’s Dragnet was an epic revue of his deeply-held fandoms, and encyclopedic research into all genres of music. Every week the show opened with the same snippet from The Fall’s “Flat of Angles,” followed by a list of artists to be played which ritualistically concluded with, “and, of course, The Fall.” We remember him through their music across the board, and through his theme song in particular. 

Sleaford Mods – “Force 10 From Navarone (Feat. Florence Shaw)” 

Utterly radical UK duo Sleaford Mods are back to tell you what the fook is up. And one better, they’ve teamed up with Dry Cleaning’s Florence Shaw — an artist somehow just as singular in her vocal style as the Mods’ Jason Williamson is in his. Shaw’s signature deadpan is chef’s-kiss perfect paired with Williamsons’s lingo-laden rhymes. Charged with rebellious creative energy that only the innately cool can summon on command, and paired with a casually perfect music video… This track’s a level up on the standard collab. 

Bondax – “Yabaal to London (Feat. Dur-Dur Band)”

UK-based electro duo Bondax have cranked out poolside party jam so good it should be prescribed to every sad-sack suffering from a chronic case of the winter bummers. Featuring a textbook dance beat, flavorful samples, and joyful vocals pulled from 1980s Mogadushi disco scene leaders Dur-Dur Band, this track’s the surefire cure for whatever’s been ailing you. 

June McDoom – “The City”

Dewy-eyed and sparkly fresh, relative newcomer June McDoom sings ethereal bedroom folk that’s far more savory than sweet. It’s a complex amalgamation of influences and personal style that will leave you feeling inspired. This love-hazy, exploratory track features layers of hushed vocals, harp strums, gleaming bells, and the very neat effect of vintage-y feels in a youthful package. More from McDoom: Catch her singing alongside Nick Hakim, live on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Kelela – “Enough for Love”

Nobody said making good art was easy. This holds true even for artists whose work is imperative, and feel they must create in order to live. Kelela has been on an artistic journey in the making of her new album, Raven (out now via Warp Records). Taking the adequate time to look after her own essential life force which powers it all, the singer and musical experimenter brings the weight of personal intersectional experiences along with our shared human experiences to her latest work. This sultry, confident single is the proof that putting yourself first yields the best results. It’s been six years since her dance music breakout, and what we have here is well-informed and deeply-felt new ground. Dig in.