Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Wye Oak, Hop Along, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, and more.
Wye Oak – The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs (Merge)
This Baltimore-bred, Durham, NC/Marfa, TX-based duo's fifth album is a strong set of densely produced avant-pop with intricate arrangements combining edgy synths, bursts of squalling guitar, occasional piano and strings and inventive rhythms accompanying Jenn Wasner's gentle alto and sharply crafted lyrics of anxiety and resilience.
Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog (Saddle Creek)
This Philadelphia band's third album of emotive indie-rock is more expansive, complex and measured than their combustible 2015 album Painted Shut, though it's just as emotionally powerful, combining searing guitars and moody strings with Francis Quinlan's expressive vocals and deeply personal lyrics of power, disappointment, and self-discovery.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Years (Bloodshot)
This Chapel Hill, NC band's second album is a first-rate set of country-tinged roots-rock with jangly guitars, pealing pedal steel and steady-driving rhythms accompanying her weathered vocals and blunt lyrics of struggle, heartache, and resilience.
The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy, (XO/Republic)
The latest release from this Toronto artist (aka Abel Tesfaye) is a surprise-released 6-song mini-album that finds him eschewing some of the pop polish and shine of his last couple albums and returning to the dark R&B of his earlier releases, with a murky, reverbed sound featuring hazy synths and mostly downtempo beats accompanying his aching vocals and melancholy lyrics of lost love.
Makeness – Loud Patterns (Secretly Canadian)
The debut album from this Scottish producer (aka Kyle Molleson) is a fine set of adventurous electro-pop grooves combining propulsive house and techno rhythms, edgy synths, experimental textures and occasional shoegazerish guitars with his airy crooning.
Orquesta Akokán - Orquesta Akokán (Daptone)
The debut album from this project led by Cuban vocalist Jose "Pepito" Gomez, producer Jacob Plasse and arranger Mike Eckroth is an impressive set of mambo, rumba, and other traditional Afro-Cuban styles, aided by an impressive supporting cast including members of Los Van Van and Irakere.
Nonpareils – Scented Pictures (Mute)
Nonpareils is the new project from former Liars member Aaron Hemphill. His debut album under that name is a fine set of woozy avant-pop combining glitchy textures and disorienting, off-kilter beats with his hazy, distant vocals.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy In This Land (Anti-)
The second album from the soulful folk-rocker and the veteran harmonica bluesman is a fine set of eclectic blues ranging from driving Chicago blues to delicate acoustic folk-blues, with Harper supplying most of the vocals and lyrics while Musselwhite adds his masterful harmonica.
Astu – Patterns EP (self-released)
This Oakland-based Eritrean artist's debut EP is a fine set of dreamy, atmospheric R&B.
Adrian Younge – Voices of Gemma (Linear Labs)
This LA-based composer/producer's latest album is a dark, cinematic blend of moody soul, jazz, funk, psych-pop and more. Special guests include jazz vocalist Rebecca Engelhart and opera singer Brooke DeRosa.
Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates and other KEXP DJs share brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Kali Uchis, Say Sue Me, A Place To Bury Strangers, and more.
Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates and other KEXP DJs share brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Preoccupations, Yo La Tengo, Sango, Mount Eerie, and more.