New Music Reviews (8/17)

Album Reviews
08/21/2018
KEXP

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 Mitski, Death Cab For Cutie, Death Cab For Cutie, and more.


Mitski – Be The Cowboy (Dead Oceans) 
The fifth album from this New York-based artist (aka Mitski Miyawaki) is an impressive, sharply crafted set of 14 concise songs ranging from disco-inflected dance-pop and rumbling indie-rock to wistful folk-rock and cinematic torch-pop, combining a diverse, richly detailed sound with her simmering vocals and bracingly honest, often wry and self-deprecating lyrics about desire, frustration and love falling apart.

Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today (Canvasback/Atlantic) 
This Seattle band’s 9th studio album (and first since the departure of founding guitarist/producer Chris Walla) is an often-moving set of wistful indie-pop, with a more atmospheric, synth-heavy sound than usual helping flesh out a variety of brooding and bittersweet songs.

Devon Welsh – Dream Songs (You Are Accepted) 
The latest release from the Montreal-based former frontman for Majical Cloudz is another powerfully moving set of minimalist, slow-burning pop, though this one features a more organic sound with piano, guitar, and strings along with atmospheric synths accompanying his rich, stately vocals and deeply personal lyrics.

Trevor Powers – Mulberry Violence (Baby Halo) 
The debut album under his own name from this Boise-based artist formerly known as Youth Lagoon is a strong set of experimental, electronic-leaning pop with a dark, often-warped sound combining noise-added beats and unsettling textures with his eerie vocals, haunting melodies, and lyrics exploring the dualities of peace and violence.

Louis Cole – Time (Brainfeeder) 
This LA-based artist’s third album is a solid set alternating between playful, jazz and funk-tinged electro-pop and gentle, melancholy ballads. Special guests include Thundercat, Brad Mehldau, and Genevieve Artadi.

Amanda Shires – To The Sunset (Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers) 
This Nashville-based artist’s fifth album is her finest set to date, combining an adventurous, effects-laden, moody folk-rock sound with her quavering vocals and sharply crafted lyrics of desire and independence.

White Denim – Performance (City Slang) 
This Austin band’s seventh album is a fine set of ‘70s-steeped garage-rock inflected with psych-rock, glam, prog and other styles.

Odetta Hartman – Old Rockhounds Never Die (Northern Spy) 
This New York artist’s second album is an impressive set of experimental folk, combining banjo and her haunting vocals with warped electronic textures and occasional beats.

Murder By Death – The Other Shore (Bloodshot) 
This Bloomington, IN band’s eighth album is another solid set of goth-tinged folk-rock, combining a dark, cinematic sound with lyrics about fleeing an earth falling apart.

Whitney Ballen – You're a Shooting Star, I’m a Sinking Ship (Father/Daughter) 
This Seattle artist’s debut full-length is a fine set of melancholy indie-rock combining electric guitars, keyboards and occasional horns with her high, breathy vocals, wistful melodies and intimate lyrics.

Tunng – Songs You Make At Night (Full Time Hobby) 
This British band’s sixth album features their original lineup for the first time in 10 years. It’s a well-crafted set of brooding, prog-tinged folk-pop combining a variety of acoustic and electronic instrumentation with gentle harmonies and haunting melodies.

Conner Youngblood – Cheyenne (Counter) 
This Nashville-based artist’s debut album is a fine set of atmospheric, psych-tinged folk-pop combining a variety of instrumentation (all played by Youngblood) with his serene vocals and lyrics revolving around travel and nature.

Rubblebucket – Sun Machine (Grand Jury) 
This Brooklyn-based duo’s fourth album is a solid set of rhythm-driven pop inflected with jazz, funk and other styles. The album’s intricately arranged songs combine bright synths and bouncy beats with soaring horns and buoyant melodies.

Candi Staton – Unstoppable (Beracah/Thirty Tigers) 
This veteran Alabama-bred artist’s 30th album is a solid set of gritty funk and soul.

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