KCRW is usually the first place you hear artists that eventually become your favorites. Do you like Beck? Little Dragon? Anderson Paak? Yep, all those acts were played in the US, on our airwaves first. In the case of Beck & Anderson Paak, they received their first radio spins ever on KCRW. I don’t know if any of the following acts will become your favorites but all three have that potential and they just released full length albums you should check out.
Natalia Lafourcade – Musas
Quite popular in the Latin music scene, the Mexican artist Natalia Lafourcade’s 2015 release Hasta La Raíz catapulted her to another level of fame around the world. Much of the album’s success was due to several of the playful & catchy pop songs featured on the record. So the acoustic arrangements that define her new album may come as a surprise to many. Lafourcade went from a pop album to a beautifully constructed Latin American folk record. By stripping down the production, this album really highlights her dreamy voice and blends seamlessly with the delicate strings that shape Musas. “Rocío de Todos Los Campos” is a perfect example of this combination.
Ásgeir – Afterglow
The Icelandic artist Ásgeir has been on our radar ever since his second album In the Silence came out in 2014. His style is sometimes referred to as “folktronica” (a term also used to describe the music of Sylvan Esso & Maggie Rogers). With Afterglow, Ásgeir presents a soundscape that is both nostalgic yet undeniably modern. You can hear this fusion of styles on “Unbound”. By the way, Ásgeir will be performing at the big Iceland Airwaves festival later this fall. If you become a member of KCRW during our Spring Membership Drive you’re automatically entered to win our grand sweepstakes: a 4-night stay in Iceland and passes to attend the festival! I was just in Iceland this past winter and you don’t want to pass up on this unique opportunity. Great music, surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth…this is one of the best grand prizes we’ve had in years. The drive ends Wednesday, May 17 so support this great music and public radio content today. Join right now!
Niia – I
Many of us have been playing Niia for years and are beyond excited to finally have a full length album from one of the most seductive voices in music. Her vocal chops should come as no surprise when you consider that her grandmother was an Italian opera singer. I was produced by another KCRW favorite Robin Hannibal (Quadron, Rhye). His signature soulful arrangements combined with Niia’s warm and sultry voice is quite the treat. Hopefully you heard her on MBE a couple of days ago at Union Station during the first day of the drive. She performed a version of “Last Night In Los Feliz” that gave everyone goosebumps! Here is the album version of that same song.