5 Songs to Hear This Week: The Softies, Matty, Orion Sun

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The Soft(ie)-est touch. Photo by: Alicia J. Rose

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.

The Softies – “I Said What I Said” 

Long dormant indiepop legends The Softies woke up this morning with something to say. This track’s sweet, filtered sunshine and forest bathing visage belies its resonant, therapized message: You don’t owe anyone an explanation. When you’re ready to leave, go. Musically, this track fits neatly into their storied catalog, with its essentials-only blend of gauzy vocals and light-touch guitars. But this song is more than its parts, as the duo’s first new music in 24 years, it’s an occasion — innately feminine, sewn with wisdom, and offering a warm embrace.

Matty – “MADLY”

Tired of the same old love songs? Express your devotion with this punk-show-in-the-basement style track from Matthew Tavares (aka Matty), founding member of highly-lauded instrumental group BADBADNOTGOOD. With languid guitar riffs, understated vocals enveloped in reverb, and steady percussion that hangs out just outside the mosh pit — this track’s the coolest way to say “you’re the one.” Bonus points for a fun and colorful video featuring feline proxies for Matty and his lady love.

Orion Sun – “Already Gone”

Here’s one for your heartstrings. The latest from Philadelphia artist Tiffany Majette, making music as Orion Sun, is a stunning lamentation on being just a little too late. And there is so much more to this one than its beautiful melody. The standout R&B composition includes trip-hop beats, a prominent sitar, and Majette’s skillful handling of lyrical composition, rhyme structure, and vocal flow. This track is pure poetry, and Majette’s innate talent is clear to hear. She’s long been one to watch, but something tells us she’ll soon be at the center of everyone’s attention.

Orquesta Akokán – “Pan Con Tíbiri”

LA’s recent June gloom got you down? Shake it off with this lively single from NYC-Cuban big band Orquesta Akokán, a spicy blend of mambo and Mozambique that’s making waves among the brass and bongo crowd. Bandleader José “Pepito” Gómez, lends not only his bright and striking vocals to the proceedings, but also the moooves. Follow his lead and get on your feet. Plus, this video is a must for the very image of taking joy in music. The players’ expressions as they unite through song say it all.

urika's bedroom – “XTC”

Have you heard about Gen Z and shoegaze? It’s a whole thing. Young musicians have their own spin on the once-upon-a-time niche genre, and this latest track from LA newcomer urika’s bedroom further convinces us that this is a very good thing. Click play for layers of suede-and-flannel vocals, inventive percussion, and guitar-led melody that’s distinctly ‘90s while simultaneously sounding super fresh. We don’t know much about urika’s bedroom yet, but if this multi-tiered track was indeed assembled in a bedroom… we salute them and we’re ready for more.