Executive Producer, Music Department & Today's Top Tune
FROM Ariana Morgenstern
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Talking Straight Since their start, Melbourne five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever could feel their immediate chemistry. They're stage ready to play new songs from an their upcoming debut album out early summer. Let's rock with "Talking Straight."
Cuco: Lo Que Siento Hawthorne, CA based Cuco got major props at SXSW this year. After a stint at our home base of Santa Monica College, he began to pursue music in earnest. The moniker of 19-year-old Omar Banos steers his work toward the dream-pop side, incorporating lovelorn ‘Spanglish’ lyrics into the mix. Check out why he's become a Chicano heartthrob by listening to "Lo Que Siento."
Portugal. The Man: So Young Portugal. The Man are no strangers to festival stages and their latest album Woodstock is full of summer-ready jams; in fact, the title of the album was inspired by founder John Gourley's dad's ticket stub to the famed 60's festival. Check out "So Young" co-written with Danger Mouse.
The Delirians: Give A Little Bit Emerging East LA outfit The Delirians add a lot of flavor to their blend of traditional ska and reggae. The guys are excited about their brand new recording out early summer, which features "Give A Little Bit." Get ready to rocksteady, as they make their Coachella debut!
Balún: El Espanto KCRW DJ José Galván first wrote about Puerto Rican via-Brooklyn outfit Balún on his Pan Caliente blog a couple of years ago (and again while recapping outstanding bands at SXSW this year). Originally part of a DIY scene out of San Juan, Balún features: a classically trained vocalist and songwriter, Angélica Negrón (also a NY Philharmonic commissioned composer); bassist Noraliz Ruiz, who holds a PhD in ethnomusicology; and José Olivares, a technology educator and pioneering beatmaker. The trio brands their sound as "dreambow." Check out "El Espanto."
Kita Klane/ Brazilian Girls Rmx: Technicolor Remixes don't always sound so different from the original recordings, but when Brazilian Girls got their hands on LA based artist Kita Klane's James-Bond-Girl influenced "Technicolor," the song morphed into a kaleidoscopic genre-bending jam.
Cary Brothers: Crush Cary Brothers is not the name of singing siblings; it's the moniker of an acclaimed musician. After 8 years, he's back with a new full-length, which drops later this month. We preview the album with "Crush", his ode to what his imaginary Molly Ringwald would be dancing to in a John Hughes film.
I’m With Her: I-89 When musicians spend years on the touring circuit, they are bound to cross paths again and again, such was the case for Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Aofie O'Donovan (Crooked Still), and Sarah Jarosz. This trio of virtuosic music-makers meld their voices, songwriting, and instruments seamlessly. Their music might sound like old bluegrass, but these gals don't pine away for past lovers; instead they write songs of wanderlust and self-worth like we hear in "I-89."
Black Milk: Laugh Now Cry Later Detroit hip-hop artist Black Milk takes an unflinching look at the unstable times we are living through. Each of his songs has a purpose, and "Laugh Now Cry Later" is no exception, as the jam portrays an emotional tug of war around social media.
Mint Field: El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin Based in Tijuana, Mint Field features lead singer/guitarist Estrella Sanchez -- an ex-professional bowler -- and childhood friend Amor Amezcua, a self-declared synth-nerd and drummer. Their brand of shoegaze has been carefully honed into head spinning psychedelia on “El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin” (or "The Park Seemed To Have No Boundaries").
MNKYBSNSS: Something’s Missing Electronic duo MNKYBSNSS hail from Colombia but originated in Argentina while studying music together. Poolside’s Filip Nikolic produced their debut album, and it features abstract compositions and divergent rhythms. Check out "Something's Missing."
Little Dragon: Best Friends One of our favorite Swedish bands, Little Dragon, recently provided a brand new track called "Best Friends" for KCRW to premiere. In return, they'll kick off the 20th season of KCRW's World Festival on June 17 alongside Flying Lotus at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.
Neko Case: Hell-On It takes a village to create an album, and on Neko Case's ninth recording she gathers up a cast of talented musicians, techs, and friends Beth Ditto, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs to showcase her poetic sensibilities. The title track, "Hell-On" -which opens the album - peels back the curtain on a record full of mysterious storytelling.
Meshell Ndegeocello: Waterfalls Ventriloquisim is Meshell Ndegeocello's cover album, where she re-works songs by Janet Jackson and Tina Turner. The 1995 Prince-inspired ballad "Waterfalls" has been TLC's signature song and became an international hit. Ndegeocello's work continues to be lush and sublime while making classic big hits a little less familiar and less formulaic.
Latest Show Jason Kramer features selections that range from carefully curated music from around the world with unique gems and quality tracks that will satisfy the needs of even the most discerning music aficionados.
Latest Show by Valida Dubbed “one of the most important figures in L.A.’s nightlife scene” by LA.com in 2006, Valida’s steady rise comes from her uncanny ability to seamlessly blend a variety of music styles that include indie rock, house, electro, disco, world rhythms, golden-era hip-hop, and some classic 80s, pop, punk, and reggae thrown in for good measure.