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Today's Top Tune


A free weekday download of standout songs, including advance releases, exclusive live tracks recorded at KCRW, remixes, and an introduction to new artists on our radar.


Santa Monica, CA




A free weekday download of standout songs, including advance releases, exclusive live tracks recorded at KCRW, remixes, and an introduction to new artists on our radar.






1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


Yusuf: ‘All Nights, All Days’

In these uncertain times, turning to artists we love is a great way to cope. An optimistic voice for almost six decades, Yusuf — you may also know him as Cat Stevens — is back to warm our hearts and bring joy.


Sally Potter: ‘Pink Bikini’

The award-winning director of the 1992 period drama “Orlando,” Sally Potter, has created her first studio album, Pink Bikini. A semi-autobiographical batch of songs reminiscing on her youth in ‘60s London, Potter narrates a striking scene as a teenager on the title track.


Bayonne: ‘Right Thing’

Roger Sellers, the multi-hyphenate experimental artist known as Bayonne, wrestled his grief into catharsis on his album Temporary Time while going through his father’s declining health. A standout from the album is “Right Thing,” which features haunting samples from his family’s old VHS home movies.


Rocket Empire: ‘Lima’

For a sense of deeply lush and atmospheric electronic sound, look no further than Oregon-based duo Rocket Empire. Their newly-minted album Todas Partes translates to “Everywhere” in Spanish, and given the titles of the songs, they really mean it. “Lima,” the opening track named for the capital of Peru, sets the stage for your exploration. RIYL: William Orbit.


Tanya Tucker: ‘When The Rodeo Is Over (Where Does The Cowboy Go?)’

Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy-winning legend, and all-around badass Tanya Tucker is a natural storyteller when she sings. With a new album, Sweet Western Sound — produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings — out on June 2, ‘When The Rodeo Is Over (Where Does The Cowboy Go?)’ is an instant classic and a highlight.


Kara Jackson: ‘pawnshop’

Kara Jackson has an intimate, distinctive sound. Nourished by country folk, Black feminist poets, and a Southern sensibility, their talent was unlocked by a sharpened musicality on piano and guitar, and earned the prestigious National Youth Poet Laureate in 2019. ‘pawnshop’ showcases the work of an astute Chicago-based Black queer polymath. RIYL Joan Armatrading.


Bethany Cosentino: ‘It's Fine’ (Radio Edit)

Best Coast founder Bethany Cosentino has a debut solo album, Natural Disaster, coming just in time to soundtrack your summer on July 28. Look forward to her trademark lyrical reflections and pop-rock optimism from her previous recordings that resonated with so many of us, this time with more maturity and self understanding on tracks like “It’s Fine,” on which you can hear the influence of some of heroes like Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt.


Kool & The Gang: ‘Let’s Party’

When it comes to R&B, Kool & The Gang, is the longest running group in history and most sampled in their genre. “Celebration” is a No. 1 hit immortalized in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. Questlove calls them “America’s First Hip Hop Band.” Led by founding members Robert "Kool" Bell and George "Funky" Brown, the group is celebrating their 60th anniversary next year and is set to release a new album — their 34th — on July 14. You can hear their signature sound on their latest, “Let’s Party.”


Stella Rose: ‘Jane’

Emerson once wrote that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; case in point with Stella Rose, the daughter of Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, who recently released her debut album, Eyes Of Glass. On “Jane,” Stella Rose gets creative cueing up a nostalgia about the past, as she grew up in the West Village of Manhattan and learned to ride her bike on Jane Street.


Forsythia: ‘Pretty Lungs’

Born and raised in Los Angeles, teenage trio Forsythia blend a heady mix of indie-pop hooks with dabs of shoegaze on their debut single “Pretty Lungs.” Each member contributes their A-game to a different aspect of music making: Eli shoots their videos, Nami designs merch, and Riley’s stage presence ups their game. Forsythia “aspire to create an environment where young people feel confident in sharing their art and expressing their creativity.” We can get behind that.


CERES: ‘Star’

Part of the high school graduating class of 2023, San Gabriel-based CERES began taking ukulele and vocal lessons in middle school. Music was the antidote to process complex feelings and experiences in high school, where she spent lots of time writing and crafting songs. She’s eager to begin playing around town and has recently added bass to her repertoire, which she says is opening her ears in new directions. This “Star” is on the rise.


Brayden Nguyen: ‘Take Me Away’

Seventeen-year-old Brayden Nguyen is a junior in high school, focusing on music with an emphasis on songwriting, but his musical prowess extends beyond his years. Piano lessons started at age 5, followed by drums, keys, and guitar. His passion to create songs from his life experiences is what keeps him focused. Nguyen is a young creator to be watched. Let’s check out the sophisticated sound of “Take Me Away.”


Raine: ‘Never Tell’

“Songwriting felt like the perfect combination of all my favorite things as someone who grew up around music and loved storytelling,” explains Raine. Her song “Never Tell” unpacks what she describes as a “complicated flurry of emotions of grief and loss [that] became major themes in my music, because it became the only place I could be comfortably vulnerable.”


The Treedome: ‘Beauty of It’

When you watch The Treedome’s video for “Beauty of It,” the first thing you notice is the pure joy of playing together. They say their music is “soft but colorful,” and it’s true. Behold: a tasty trumpet solo, an enthusiastic drummer, a bass player smiling from ear to ear, and their lead singer pouring her feelings into song.


La Sécurité ‘Serpent’

Get ready for a head-bobbing post-punk groove from Montreal art-punkers La Sécurité via their song “Serpent,” serving up a pulsing beat to navigate through knotty friendships.


John Carroll Kirby ‘Oropendola’

Energized by a trip to Costa Rica during which he jammed with local musicians after sunset, pianist John Carroll Kirby fills us in on his adventure on the Calypso-influenced song “Oropendola.”


Ben Harper ‘Yard Sale’ (Feat. Jack Johnson)

Multi-Grammy winning artist, producer, and beloved KCRW champion Ben Harper has a new studio album, WIDE OPEN LIGHT, dropping in early June. This prolific icon shares the first track, featuring long-time friend and collaborator Jack Johnson joining in on vocal duties and guitar picking on their heart-melting love song, “Yard Sale.”


Thee Marloes ‘Midnight Hotline’

Behold the debut single from Indonesian trio Thee Marloes, “Midnight Hotline,” an intoxicating mix that sways gracefully on the dance floor and is sticky enough to have you singing the chorus.


Nickodemus - ‘Mama Tchipp (Follow Me)’

Gotham-based DJ/producer Nickodemus has five albums and hundreds of remixes under his belt. His forthcoming album Soul And Science will be released in June, mixing all sorts of Latin, African, and Middle Eastern sounds. Get a sampling on the funky “Mama Tchipp (Follow Me),” which features Cameroonian singer Pat Kalla — a late offering in honor of Mother’s Day.


Keb' Mo': ‘Taking Me Higher’

Five-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ recently made his Stagecoach debut and is back on the road zig-zagging across the US this spring and summer. An engaging artist with a mellifluous tone, Mo’ serves up strong positive vibes on “Taking Me Higher.”