Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now:

This week's curator: Anne Litt, KCRW DJ and music supervisor.

By Anne Litt

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.

Dungen, Skit I Allt

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.

The Secret Sisters

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.

Luisa Maita

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.

Darker My Love, Alive As You Are

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.

Commentarium (15 Comments)

Sep 22 10 - 1:01am

That one Secret Sister totally looks like a young Elizabeth McGovern. Also, in the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. paragraph, you wrote "gusty enough", when you meant to write "gutsy enough." Gusty almost works though.

Sep 22 10 - 11:32am

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is an incredible band name. I hope they don't crash and burn.

Sep 22 10 - 1:33pm

Thanks for the fix. And rim shot for Badland.

Sep 22 10 - 2:50pm
Q Bert

That Dale earn song is fantastic, this is the best 5 albums in awhile.

Sep 22 10 - 3:31pm
Quality Treats

Luisa is the best new album to have sex to. You couldn't write it, but I am.

Sep 23 10 - 8:10am
Dr Teeth

Dale's name is reminiscent of the little-known Duran Duran Duran.

Sep 23 10 - 11:09am

The Secret Sisters are AMMMAAZINGGG!!!! I can't wait to hear their whole album! Oct. 12 can't get here fast enough!

Sep 23 10 - 12:15pm
Dave Roffman

I like all 5 pick hits. Now, if I can find a record store in southern Alabama...........

Sep 23 10 - 2:27pm

are there not samples to listen to this time?

Sep 23 10 - 2:28pm

ah, nevermind. It just took FOREVER to load.

Sep 23 10 - 4:47pm
me the lady

this are ok but Fake Problems just came out with a new cd this week that's super awesome! everyone should be listening to that!

Sep 23 10 - 5:44pm
Rob Fiasco

I think Dale is the only one I should be listening to. Didn't care much for the others. Luisa Maita was good, just not my style....

Sep 24 10 - 7:15pm

Anne Litt = best DJ on KCRW. Her Sunday afternoon show kills it every week.

Sep 27 10 - 3:11am

I second that, gg2!

Oct 02 10 - 1:40pm
TD Boss

The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. cut is reminiscent of Harry Nilsson.