5 Songs to Hear This Week: Little Simz, Iron & Wine, MRCY

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Little Simz knows how to make an entrance. Photo by Karolina Wielocha

Hey! Did you know that there’s an entire aspect of KCRW music discovery that you might be missing out on? Fear not, because our 5 Songs to Hear This Week newsletter is now a weekly feature on our website. Watch this space for rundowns of the five songs that you need in your life immediately, curated by KCRW Music staff. Don’t want to wait for your latest taste of fresh tunes? Sign up for the Friday newsletter here, and always be the first to know.

Little Simz – "Mood Swings ” 

Right out the gate with a track that's fresh, fast, and furious. The latest from UK rapping phenom Little Simz is a pavement-pounding mover that shines a gleaming light on the frenetic ups and downs of this overstimulated modern life. Simz has been a big fave on our airwaves since she first landed, but this latest album, Drop 7, decorated with her visage in a cyborg-like kit, showcases her evolution from playful playground raps to primal Afro-future beats.

Iron & Wine – “You Never Know”

Any millennial who has warm feelings around the 2004 film Garden State has a beloved playlist heavy on Iron & Wine. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Samuel Ervin Beam has been offering up gentle and fine-grained indie-folk since the early 2000s (check out his Morning Becomes Eclectic session from 2017) and this latest single slips seamlessly into the catalog. Skillful picking, swelling string chords, a cinematic bridge, and a delightful lyrical structure with some unexpected turns make this sunday morning single an instant classic.

More: KCRW Live From The Basement: Iron & Wine (Morning Becomes Eclectic, 2017)

MRCY – “Lorelei”

Like Athena, who sprung from the head of Zeus in full armor and brandishing a sword, MRCY has arrived upon the scene fully formed and glistening, armed with this gorgeous and musically mature debut single. And there’s a reason for that maturity: MRCY is a collaboration between two esteemed artists coming together to paint a new portrait of modern soul. With production by Barney Lister and carried by vocals from Kojo Degraft-Johnson, this single is sumptuous and satisfying… and we’re standing by for more.

Rosie Frater-Taylor – “Give & Take”

Jazz guitar wunderkind Rosie Frater-Taylor is back with a sophomore record that showcases her varsity skills as guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist in her one-of-a-kind style. In this casually powerful track and its seriously cool, look-at-me video, the 24-year old deploys a remarkable handling of playing, singing, and performance. She takes cues from her jazz roots all the way into a scatting finale set against notes of ‘90s alt and a touch of surrealist noise rock.

stoop lee – “HOOPTIE DOO”

Hop in and engage the cruise-control…or was it cool-control? This track is designed to elevate your driving experience with a good-days-only-getting-better vibe. Hovering over fresh, asphalt-smooth production made of gleaming keys and head-bob drum loops, R&B hip-hop vocals from Detroit artist stoop lee play against chilled bars from rapper Curtis Roach. LA drivers can see these two live on Monday at School Night at Bardot in Hollywood. Drive safe!