New Music Reviews (4/13)

Reviews, Album Reviews

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.

Kali Uchis – Isolation (Virgin)
The debut album from this LA-based Colombian-American artist (aka Karly-Marina Loaiza) is a consistently strong set of expansive R&B incorporating hip-hop, reggaeton, funk, electro-pop, bossa nova, psych-pop and more. The impressive guest lineup includes Tyler, The Creator, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, Thundercat, Damon Albarn, Jorja Smith, The Internet's Steve Lacy and many more, but the spotlight is rightfully on her smoky, supple vocals and smartly crafted lyrics of struggle and resilience. -- DY

Say Sue Me – Where We Were Together (Damnably)
This Busan, South Korea band's second album is an impressive blend of surf, shoegazer fuzz-pop, and jangly indie-pop, combining energetic rhythms and bright pop hooks with Sumi Choi's breezy vocals and lyrics celebrating friendship and community. -- DY

A Place To Bury Strangers – Pinned (Dead Oceans)
This New York band's fifth album is a dark, moody blend of noisy shoegazer psych-rock with goth-tinged post-punk and driving industrial. -- DY

High Sunn – Missed Connections (PNKSLM)
Formerly the solo project of 18-year-old San Francisco musician Justin Cheromiah, High Sunn has now evolved into a full band. Their debut full-length is a well-crafted, hook-filled blend of jangly post-punk and dream-pop. -- DY

King Tuff – The Other (Hardly Art)
The third full-length from this LA-based artist (aka Kyle Thomas) finds him moving away from the buoyant garage-rock and party atmosphere of his previous two albums in favor of a comparatively more low-key affair blending glam, psych-pop, and funk-rock with reflective lyrics of loss, regeneration, and rebirth. -- DY

Dusted – Blackout Summer (Polyvinyl)
The second album from this Toronto-based project spearheaded by Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck is a moody, well-crafted blend of psych-pop, folk and post-punk with a hazy, atmospheric sound combining fuzzy guitars, eerie keyboards, and haunting vocals. -- DY

No Thank You – All It Takes To Ruin It All (Lame-O)
This Philly trio's second album is a strong set of emotive, '90s-steeped rock with a dynamic sound combining buzzing guitars with Kaytee Della Monica's lyrics of heartache and loss. -- DY

Dabrye - Three/Three (Ghostly International)
Three/Three marks the 4th album (and 1st in 12 years) from influential Detroit hip-hop/electronic producer Tadd Mullinix's Dabrye project. The final installment in his Three trilogy is a triumph from start-to-finish with his thick neck-breaking beats dominating the spotlight and providing the foundation for a stacked roster of talented guest MCs. -- Alex Ruder

Mouse on Mars – Dimensional People (Thrill Jockey)
This German duo's 11th album is an adventurous set of inventive electronic grooves incorporating an impressive variety of sounds and styles with aid from an impressive guest lineup including Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, The National's Aaron & Bryce Dessner, Beirut's Zach Condon, Spank Rock, Sam Amidon, Swamp Dogg and more. -- DY

Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cosmico (Glitterbeat)
This 9-piece Mexico City band's third album is an expansive blend of cumbia with psych-rock, surf, mambo and other styles. -- DY

Exitmusic – The Recognitions (Felte)
This New York-based duo's third and final album is an evocative set of brooding dream-pop combining a dark, atmospheric sound with Aleksa Palladino's haunting vocals and poignant lyrics of love falling apart. -- DY

Trick Candles – Pretend We're Alone EP (self-released)
This Seattle band's second EP is a hook-filled set of anthemic, '80s-steeped synth-pop. -- DY

EARTHGANG - Royalty (Dreamville/Spillage Village)
The 5th EP from this Atlanta hip-hop duo is an impressive set of sharp Southern rap with a jazzy slant and a refreshing live sound, often recalling the innovative genre-blurring styles of Goodie Mob as well as contemporaries Phony Ppl and Chance the Rapper.  -- AR

Sofi Tukker – Treehouse (Ultra)
This New York duo's debut full-length is a fun set of club-friendly electro-pop combining an eclectic, rhythm-driven sound with playful lyrics alternating between English and Portuguese. -- DY

John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness (Oh Boy)
This legendary Illinois-bred songwriter's first album of new material in 13 years is a well-crafted set of acoustic-oriented country-folk, combining a warm, sparse sound courtesy of producer Dave Cobb with Prine's conversational vocals and lyrics blending heartfelt poignancy with gentle humor. -- DY

V/A - Compilation for Dominica (Rhythm Section International)
Excellent compilation from London's Rhythm Section International label featuring exclusive songs from the imprint's family and friends and packed with diverse and top-notch electronic grooves with forays into hip-hop, R&B, dub, and global realms. Profits raised from the release will be donated to Colihaut In Focus alongside Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund, a pair of organizations committed to obtaining resources of aid to the island of Dominica. -- AR

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Downey to Lubbock (Yep Roc)
These two roots-music legends hooked up to make their first album together. Comprised mostly of sturdy covers along with a couple of fine originals, the album ranges from fiery root-rock and gutbucket blues to reflective folk and rollicking New Orleans R&B. -- DY

Western Centuries – Songs From The Deluge (Free Dirt)
This Seattle band's second album was recorded in Eunice, LA. Co-produced by Joel Savoy, the album brings some Louisiana Cajun and R&B flavor to their rootsy blend of honky tonk and country-rock, while also being the best showcase yet for the band's trio of singers and songwriters. -- DY

Zeke – Hellbender (Relapse)
This veteran Seattle band's first album in 14 years finds them sounding as feisty as ever on this blistering set of thrash punk that often sounds like Motorhead on amphetamines. -- DY

V/A - LuckyMe: Advent 17/18 (LuckyMe)
Glasgow-based label LuckyMe continues their annual Christmas-time Advent compilation series with another solid collection of exclusive new tunes from their roster and friends, showcasing their cutting-edge electronic aesthetic and featuring stand-out contributions from Hudson Mohawke, DJ PayPal, Sam O.B., and more. -- AR

Sera Cahoone – The Flora String Sessions EP (Lady Muleskinner)
This Seattle artist teamed up with a string trio led by Led To Sea's Alex Guy for some elegant yet intimate reinterpretations of seven songs from her catalog. -- DY

700 Bliss - Spa 700 (Don Giovanni/Halcyon Veil)
700 Bliss is a Philadelphia-based duo comprised of Moor Mother and DJ/producer Haram. Their debut release is an intense, captivating set of experimental hip-hop pairing Moor Mother's passionate, politically-charged spoken word delivery with Haram's progressive club-influenced beats. - AR

fuvk - time series (Z Tapes)
The latest release from this Austin, TX artist is a wonderful set of emotional, dreamy, orchestral-tinged indie pop that pairs her intimate vocals atop charming, cinematic, winsome backdrops. Another gem from Slovakian bedroom pop label Z Tapes. -- AR

Water From Your Eyes - All A Dance (Exploding In Sound)
The third release from this Brooklyn-based duo (multi-instrumentalist/producer Nate Amos and vocalist Rachel Brown) is another assured set of kinetic indie-pop, jittery Krautrock, and groovy post-punk, reminiscent at times of Lali Puna, Au Revoir Simone, Stereolab, and Broadcast. - AR

Peggy Gou - Once EP (Ninja Tune)
The latest EP (and Ninja Tune debut) from Berlin-based Korean DJ/producer Peggy Gou is a fantastic set of sleek dancefloor jams fusing house, techno, breaks, electro, disco, and her own bi-lingual vocals in magnetic fashion. Following EPs for Phonica, Technicolour, and REKIDS, Once signals a breakout release for this skyrocketing artist. - AR

CIFIKA - PRISM EP (Third Culture Kids)
Displaying a confident sound reminiscent at times of Grimes, Austra, Fever Ray, and Yaeji, the sophomore EP from this Seoul-based vocalist and electronic producer is a stellar set of sleek, kinetic, magnetic synth-pop accented by her ethereal bi-lingual vocals. - AR

Birthday Boy & Trish - Joseph (Bastard Jazz)
Toronto DJ/producer Birthday Boy teams up with Toronto vocalist Trish for a slick debut collaborative effort that playfully fuses R&B, house, boogie, soul, and disco vibes for an impressive and all-too-brief affair. - AR

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