This week's curator: Anne Litt, KCRW DJ and music supervisor.
Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Anne Litt, KCRW DJ and music supervisor.
Putting together the records for my radio show each week is pretty much my favorite thing to do. New sounds excite me, soothe me, and remind me that music is so personal, so influenced by place and time. Here are a few great artists I'm listening to now.
1. Dungen, Skit I Allt
Swedish band Dungen have just made their sixth album and are on top of their game. The precision of the pop psychedelia and jazz rhythms that fill this record is extraordinary. Their sound has evolved so that their diverse influences make sense when united by big guitars, soaring pianos, and understated vocals. As a bonus, when you translate the title of the album to English, the joke is on us.
2. The Secret Sisters, The Secret Sisters
The Secret Sisters, Laura and Lydia Rogers, are from Muscle Shoals, AL, home of one of the most legendary recording studios of all time. T-Bone Burnett is presenting their debut, recorded in two weeks on vintage gear. The unity of their voices could only come from sisters. The sound is quintessentially American and crosses many eras; on this outstanding debut, they pay tribute to everyone from Buck Owens and Roy Acuff to Frank Sinatra.
3. Luisa Maita, Lero-Lero
Luisa Maita blends samba and bossanova traditions, then turns them just a little sideways, giving the music a modern spin and a new sound. Make no mistake, she pays homage to the titans of Brazilian music who have come before her, but still playfully creates a new amalgam of sounds. The combination that is fresh and exciting, and it sounds great on the radio.
4. Darker My Love, Alive As You Are
Darker My Love's Alive As You Are has been the soundtrack of my August and September. I feel like I've been in the grasp of a psychedelic haze, with this record at its nexus. (Keep in mind, it's been an extraordinarily dreary summer for us Angelenos. We never really saw the sun, so this album is even more fitting.) The L.A. band's third full length is full of emotion and heavy of heart at times, but there's a West Coast optimism that permeates each moment. This is a new sonic direction for the band — far from the fuzz and trippy distortion of their earlier work — and I like where they're going. You can listen to their incredible performance on KCRW here.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Horse Power
Even though they only have an EP available, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has me smitten. I'm a Southern girl and I figured any band gutsy enough to name themselves after NASCAR royalty deserved a listen. Detroit's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s debut "Horse Power" is chock full of blissed-out, dreamy sounds, and perfectly crafted songs. Their sense of humor is evident in their name and their videos, but they seem to take turning out pop gems pretty seriously.