This week Today’s Top Tune serves up a handful of songs including a dosage of fun from Fenech-Soler. It’s not often that a well-known band decides to back a singer, but that’s just what The Decemberists did with Olivia Chaney on its new project Offa Rex. Café Tacvba drops a brand new album just in time for its Hollywood Bowl and Disney Concert Hall dates. After a five year hiatus Saint Etienne returns to the states with new music and a tour of select cities throughout the country, including stops in Southern California. And musician, storyteller and observer of the messy American experience, Pokey LaFarge makes sense of it all for us.
Monday, June 5
Fenech-Soler: Night Time TV from Zilla
Brothers Ben and Ross Duffy, who play positive and upbeat pop that’s inspired by disco, old soul and harmonies, are Fenech-Soler. We share “Night Time TV,” a KCRW favorite that shimmers.
Tuesday, June 6
Café Tacvba: Me Gusta Tu Manera from Jei Baibi (Hey Baby)
For some 25 years Café Tacvba has led the charge on Mexican alternative music. We look forward to hearing songs like “Me Gusta Tu Manera” from its new album when the band, beloved for breaking down musical and social barriers, hits the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in early fall.
Wednesday, June 7
Saint Etienne: Heather from Home Counties
It may not be a prolific band, but Saint Etienne’s albums are worth the wait. Its first new release in five years was co-produced by Shawn Lee and is all about a day in the life of the “doughnut of shires that ring the capital” of London. “Heather” is one of those tasty electro pop treasures.
Thursday, June 8
Pokey LaFarge: Must Be a Reason from Manic Revelations
Pokey LaFarge describes the title of his album as “the state where artists create.” He said of the process, “I got to the point in writing these songs where I felt like a house on fire that just kept burning.” The 10 songs on Manic Revelations found him confronting demons both within and surrounding him. “Must Be a Reason” is about the politics of romance.
Friday, June 9
Offa Rex: title track to Queen of Hearts
The inspiration for Offa Rex can be traced back to a tweet from The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy who started a dialog with Olivia Chaney because he liked her work so much. Their intense conversations about songwriting and singing lead to the collaboration as The Decemberists back the English singer and become Offa Rex on “Queen of Hearts.“