Music we like: Khruangbin, Gossip & more

Jump into spring with this KHOL playlist of new songs that will have you dancing in the streets.

by | May 21, 2024 | Music, New Music

With winter taking its sweet time leaving the premises, it’s a breath of fresh air to finally have some warm temperatures and sunny skies back in our lives. As you pack up all your winter gear and break out your shorts, t-shirts, and open-toed shoes, let this updated KHOL playlist be your soundtrack to the shift we’ve all been waiting for.

At KHOL, we have a strong focus on music discovery. There are a lot of exciting releases already available or coming soon. We’ve got many of them for you to enjoy in our “Top Tracks of 2024” Spotify playlist.

Below is the entire playlist including my thoughts on a few favorites from the latest additions.  



Follow us on Spotify to keep up with our recent favorites.


Khruangbin – May Ninth

Houston-based trio Khruangbin have risen significantly in popularity since their landmark LP, Mordechai, was released in June 2020. Their third studio album was full of funk and disco influences and, for the first time, featured the breathy, subdued vocals of bassist Laura Lee Ochoa. Their new album, A LA SALA, translates as “to the living room” and finds the band returning to their stripped-down global music roots with a collection of laid back grooves full of soul, dub, and psychedelic rock influences. 

With a focus on recapturing what brought them together in the first place back in 2010, A LA SALA is a vivid showcase of what the band does best: shimmering electric guitar drenched in reverb from Mark “Marko” Speer, dubbed out and punchy bass lines from Laura Lee Ochoa, and the tightest of pockets to keep things on track from drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson, Jr. The standout track “May Ninth” is a light and breezy slice of Americana featuring airy vocals, melodic guitar lines, and a relaxed groove perfect for soaking in the sun.



Gossip – Real Power

What was intended to be frontwoman Beth Ditto’s second solo LP, transformed into post-punk dance rock band Gossip’s comeback album helmed by legendary producer Rick Rubin. While at Rubin’s studio in Hawaii, Ditto invited her former bandmates, Nathan Howdeshell (guitar) and Hannah Blilie (drums), to join her for some songwriting sessions which quickly revealed themselves to be effortlessly collaborative. With that, the band was officially reunited and started fleshing out the songs for Real Power, their first release as Gossip since 2012’s A Joyful Noise.

Real Power is refreshing in its stripped-back simplicity. The disco-pop, glam rock, and diva vocal prowess the Arkansas-raised band is known for are all still there and prominent but in a more subdued and self-confident way than past Gossip releases. The album tackles hard topics like faith, divorce, and death with an optimistic perspective that indicates how well the band works together as a unit. The confident title track is a glammed-up rallying cry inspired by Black Lives Matter protests during the pandemic. With Ditto’s forceful vocals leading the charge, the track is full of bounce and propulsive energy celebrating the hope and positivity that can result from collective activism.



Reyna Tropical – Cartagena

Formed in 2016 in Los Angeles by Fabi Reyna and Nectali “Sumohair” Díaz, Reyna Tropical is heavily influenced by Colombian, Peruvian, Mexican, and African music. Known for their rhythm-centric, tropical feel, the early Reyna Tropical tracks featured Afro-indigenous beats produced by Diaz mixed with Reyna’s hazy guitar riffs and gentle vocals.

After Diaz’s unexpected death in 2022, Reyna was left wondering how to proceed without her musical soulmate. After much reflection, she vowed to move forward with the project on her own and carry the momentum they had built into the new Reyna Tropical album Malegría

The album’s title is a combination of the Spanish words “mal” which means “bad” and “alegría” which means “happiness.” The bittersweet collection of songs explores immense grief, queer love, and feminine sensuality atop a combination of sounds from all over the Southern Hemisphere including material that Reyna and Díaz had been working on together as far back as July 2020.

Lead single “Cartagena” features bright guitar lines, a pulsating kick, and shuffling percussion underneath Reyna’s robust vocals that invite the listener to connect with the environment as a means for healing.



Baby Rose – One Last Dance

Fayetteville, North Carolina-raised and Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Baby Rose, aka Jasmine Rose Wilson, describes her sound as “healing music for the aimless and heartbroken.” Her one-of-a-kind voice has been turning heads since she splashed on the scene in 2017 with the mixtape From Dusk Till Dawn which earned her co-signs from major talents like SZA, Kehlani, and J. Cole. 

On her latest release, Slow Burn, Baby Rose finds herself teamed up with the Toronto-based modern jazz outfit BADBADNOTGOOD for the entirety of the release. The artists initially met informally to just get to know each other. Almost immediately they realized there was a powerful musical connection and together they wrote and recorded the lead single “One Last Dance” in that first meeting. 

What seems like a lament for failed love is an ode to a lost friendship where Baby Rose’s rich and haunting vocals float over the top of the flute and bass line-driven track that channels classic soul with a modern dreamlike quality. In a press release for the EP, Wilson said “I felt like we were channeling Muscle Shoals’ rawness. It’s a reflection of past loves and losses, reminiscent of long drives down rural I-95 from D.C. to North Carolina as a child. This record represents venturing beyond boundaries, embracing freedom, and finding comfort.”



Shannon & The Clams – The Moon Is In The Wrong Place

In August 2022, frontwoman of the Oakland-based indie garage punk quartet Shannon & The Clams, Shannon Shaw, tragically lost her fiancé, drummer Joe Haener, in a horrible car accident near his family’s vegetable farm in Oregon. Haener’s death immensely affected Shannon and her bandmates so they dug deep, regrouped, and made it their mission to honor Joe’s legacy with a new album inspired by the traumatic event. 

After some marathon rehearsal sessions, The Moon Is In The Wrong Place, was born. Recorded by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studios in Nashville, the album is an ambitious and poignant examination of loss, love, and strength. The title track, “The Moon Is In The Wrong Place,” is a barn-burning psychedelic romp full of chaotic bongos, fuzzy guitar, and soaring organ work that features a quote from Haener to Shaw not long before the accident.

“He was trying to ask me what was going on astrologically,” Shaw said in a press release. “He said, ‘What’s going on in the stars right now?’ He was asking if Mercury was in retrograde. But he was like, ‘What is it you say? The moon is in the wrong place?’ I was like, ‘That is so weird and cool.’ And he turned out to be right — the moon is in the wrong place.”

Listen to KHOL’s Top Tracks of 2024 playlist on the embedded Spotify player above.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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