Jason Bentley

Kansas City native Kevin Morby relocated to Los Angeles a few years ago, but his latest album, City Music, is a dedication to another former home: New York City. Morby has a voice and perspective well beyond his 29 years, and we thoroughly enjoyed his live session.

SET LIST

  • "Crybaby"

Photo: Davis Bell/Winter LaMaster Photography.

The French indie-pop band Phoenix joined us on the release date for Ti Amo, which has been described as its most romantic record yet. The band sings in four languages, and many of the songs were inspired by a fantasized version of Italy. Its live performances are as engaging as ever, as you'll see in this studio performance of "Fior Di Latte."

SET LIST

  • "Fior Di Latte"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Two of the biggest names in contemporary alternative Latin sounds — multi-instrumentalist and singer Chico Mann and producer Captain Planet — have joined forces for Night Visions, an album fusing Afro-Latin rhythms and dance-floor beats. Now based in Los Angeles, the pair visited KCRW for a lively in-studio performance with a full band.

SET LIST

  • "Ya Te Toca"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

After having two heavy-hitters (Dave Cobb and Dan Auerbach) produce her first two records, Nashville country singer Nikki Lane decided to take things into her own hands for her third, Highway Queen. With her rebellious spirit, keen fashion sense and incredible voice, it's always a treat to host her for a live session.

Singer José James has been best known as a modern-day jazz singer, but his latest album, Love In A Time Of Madness, sets him on the path to become a powerful force in contemporary R&B. "Closer" is a perfect example of his new direction.

Set List

  • "Closer"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been at it for over 50 years, and, outside of New Orleans, its name has come to be pretty much synonymous with the spirit of the city. The band's new album, So It Is, is a collection of original material heavily inspired by a trip to Cuba, including "La Malanga."

SET LIST

  • "La Malanga"

Photo: Brian Feinzimer/KCRW.

Laura Marling's latest album, Semper Femina, is a simply stunning meditation on femininity. With the help of producer Blake Mills, she's expanded her sound, which you can hear in the gorgeous track "Soothing."

SET LIST

  • "Soothing"

Photo: Rachel Reynolds/KCRW.

Sylvan Esso has finally released a follow-up to its hugely successful debut. What Now captures the anxiety and excitement the dynamic duo feels at moving forward and features one of its best songs yet, "Radio."

SET LIST

  • "Radio"

Photo by Brian Feinzimer/KCRW.

Little Dragon followed up its Grammy-nominated 2014 release Nabuma Rubberband with its most upbeat album yet. Season High radiates positivity and is guaranteed to get you dancing — particularly the track "Sweet."

SET LIST

  • "Sweet"

Photo credit: Brian Feinzimer/KCRW.

Mac DeMarco is a lovable goofball and a festival favorite with a knack for writing laid-back pop songs. We hosted him in KCRW's studios for one of the first live performances of music from his new album, This Old Dog.

Set List

  • "On The Level"

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, stopped by our studio the day he released his latest album, Pure Comedy, to play a stripped-down set of songs. With his lyrics pushed to the forefront, Tillman's keen cultural observations were on full display. It was a deeply moving set, including our current favorite, "Ballad Of The Dying Man."

Set List

  • "Ballad Of The Dying Man"

Photo: Dustin Downing/KCRW.

Cold War Kids' sixth album, LA Divine, pays tribute to Los Angeles and all its strange glory. The band took a more pop-forward approach to this release, which comes out Friday. "So Tied Up" is our current favorite.

SET LIST

  • "So Tied Up"

Photo: Brian Lowe/KCRW.

Asa Taccone and Matthew "Cornbread" Compton made us wait five years before releasing Plural, the follow-up to Electric Guest's breakout debut album. It was worth the wait. The Los Angeles indie-pop group came out of the gate with the excellent single "Dear To Me," which was a highlight of the band's live set in the KCRW studio.

Set List

  • "Dear To Me"

Photo: Dustin Downing/KCRW.

The Puerto Rican-born, Brooklyn-based duo Buscabulla plays sensual, salsa-inspired music that members Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle call "the Caribbean music of the future." We at KCRW have been big fans since the duo's debut EP and were thrilled to host its live West Coast debut.

Set List

  • "Tártaro"

Photo: Cascade Wilhelm/KCRW.

The Shins visited our studio for one of the first full-band performances behind the new album Heartworms. Frontman James Mercer produced this album on his own — something he hasn't done since The Shins' 2001 debut album, Oh, Inverted World. "The Fear" sounds incredible live with a string section.

Set List

  • "The Fear"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

The Aussie trio Middle Kids came seemingly out of nowhere to release some of the catchiest pop songs we've heard recently. The band visited KCRW for a live session on the day it released its self-titled EP and performed the standout "Never Start."

SET LIST

  • "Never Start"

Photo: Michael Verdin/KCRW.

Ryan Adams sings about heartbreak like no other, and his latest album, Prisoner, finds the songwriter in top form. Adams recently treated us to a solo acoustic set of songs from Prisoner. The title track is an easy favorite from a special session.

Set List

  • "Prisoner"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano is one of the most promising new artists of 2017. His full-length debut on Los Angeles label Stones Throw, Jardín, is a solid listen from front to back, and his sexy, soulful songs have been a favorite on KCRW's airwaves. He and his drummer performed our current favorite, "Crawl," live in our studio.

SET LIST

  • "Crawl"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Jim James' second solo album, Eternally Even, is his most overtly political musical statement yet. The outspoken My Morning Jacket frontman turns the turmoil of our current times into a contemplative set of songs with his signature psychedelic soulfulness. He performed "Here In Spirit" live in our studio.

Set List

  • "Here In Spirit"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Combining their formal jazz training with their love of hip-hop, the members of the Canadian quartet BadBadNotGood have carved out a niche all their own. Fellow Toronto native Charlotte Day Wilson joined them in KCRW's studio for a performance of "In Your Eyes," a favorite from the band's latest release, IV.

Set List

  • "In Your Eyes"

Photo: Spencer C. Amonwatvorakul/KCRW.

We can always count on Tennis, led by husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, for indie-pop gems that sound sweet but tackle serious issues. On the band's upcoming record, Yours Conditionally, Moore sings about everything from maintaining individuality within a marriage to the expectations placed on frontwomen.

Set List

  • "My Emotions Are Blinding"

Ty Segall's scorching live set has made him a music-festival favorite. The prolific garage rocker brought his explosive sound to KCRW's studio to premiere songs from his new, self-titled album — including this one, "Break A Guitar."

Set List

  • "Break A Guitar"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

The Bay Area artist Hazel English makes jangly dream pop that has landed her on a lot of "Artists to Watch in 2017" lists. She premiered some brand-new songs from a forthcoming release in KCRW's first live session of 2017. "More Like You" was an instant favorite.

Set List

  • "More Like You"

Danish singer Agnes Obel has made Berlin her home for the last decade. She recorded, produced and mixed the gorgeously intimate record Citizen Of Glass on her own in her adopted home. Her captivating voice is layered in incredibly interesting ways in this song, "Familiar."

SET LIST

  • "Familiar"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow collaborated with three hip-hop producers — including Drake's not-so-secret weapon, Nineteen85 — to create his latest masterpiece, We Move. Each of McMorrow's albums has been a big leap forward, and this one finds him finally coming out of his shell, as you can hear on "Rising Water."

SET LIST

  • "Rising Water"

Mondo Cozmo is one of the most promising artists in the Los Angeles music scene at the moment. It's the project of Joshua Ostrander, formerly of Eastern Conference Champions, who has emerged with a collection of evocative pop singles. "Shine" was a standout of his KCRW performance.

SET LIST

  • "Shine"

Photo: Brian Feinzimer/KCRW.

Watch Mondo Cozmo's full Morning Becomes Eclectic session at KCRW.com.

Angélique Kidjo is a force to be reckoned with. She is one of Africa's most internationally celebrated female musicians and continues to break new ground with each release. For her Morning Becomes Eclectic session, she lit up our studio with her tireless energy — and her dance moves.

SET LIST

  • "Shango Wa"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Worn down by life on the road, Irish indie-pop stars Two Door Cinema Club took a three-year break before coming back together to record their third full-length album, Gameshow. The trio, which originally made its U.S. live radio debut on KCRW in 2010, recently made a triumphant return to our studios. "Bad Decisions" is a new favorite.

SET LIST

  • "Bad Decisions"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.

Irish art-pop queen Róisín Murphy visited us in the middle of her first ever U.S. solo tour. The former vocalist for trip-hop duo Moloko has a singular aesthetic both musically and visually, with more outfit changes and masks than we've ever seen for a live radio session. It was a stunning performance, particularly "Exploitation."

SET LIST

  • "Exploitation"

Photo: Brian Lowe/KCRW.

The last few years have been a bit tumultuous for Scottish singer KT Tunstall. She relocated to Los Angeles and considered giving up music entirely — until her new surroundings prompted a wave of creativity that jolted her back. The result is her latest album, KIN, and one of her best songs yet, "It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am."

SET LIST

  • "It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am"

Photo: Brian Lowe/KCRW.

Pages