New Music Reviews (8/24)

Album Reviews
08/24/2018
KEXP

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates — joined this week by KEXP's DJ Abbie — shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Blood Orange, Nothing, IDLES, and more.


Blood Orange – Negro Swan (Domino) 
The fourth Blood Orange from the New York-based British artist Dev Hynes is a powerful set of atmospheric R&B and ‘80s-tinged electro-pop inflected with smoky jazz, funk, hip-hop and more, combining a languorous, mostly melancholy sound with Hynes’ silky vocals and poignant lyrics offering love and hope as balms for depression, anxiety, bigotry, and racism. — Don Yates

Nothing – Dance on the Blacktop (Relapse) 
The third album from this Philadelphia band led by Domenic Palermo is a potent set of heavy shoegazer psych-rock with buzzing, effects-drenched guitars, pounding rhythms, gauzy vocals, warm harmonies, often-dark lyrics and dramatic melodies. — DY

IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance (Partisan) 
This British band’s second album is an excellent set of intense punk combining raw, buzzing guitars and pounding rhythms with Joe Talbot’s gruff vocals and often-politically charged lyrics railing against injustice, inequality, xenophobia and toxic masculinity while celebrating love, tolerance, and community. — DY

Wild Nothing – Indigo (Captured Tracks) 
The fourth Wild Nothing album from Blacksburg, VA-bred, LA-based artist Jack Tatum is his most polished and streamlined release to date, featuring a sleek ‘80s synth-pop sound combining dreamy synths and atmospheric guitars with serene vocals and sparkling pop melodies. — DY

DeVotchKa – This Night Falls Forever (Concord) 
This Denver band’s sixth album (and first in seven years) is another beautifully crafted set of dramatic orchestral folk-pop inflected with East European folk, Mariachi, flamenco, cabaret and more, combining a rich, acoustic-oriented sound with Nick Urata’s soaring vocals. — DY

Our Girl – Stranger Today (Cannibal Hymns) 
After a string of singles and EPs, London-via-Brighton three-piece Our Girl deliver a proper debut coated with lyrics of longing and slow crushing guitar. — Abbie Gobeli

Saintseneca – Pillar of Na (Anti-) 
The fourth album from this Columbus, Ohio band led by Zac Little is a strong set of well-crafted folk-pop combining a wide variety of acoustic and electric instrumentation with Little’s plaintive vocals and lyrics revolving around memory. — DY

Interpol – Marauder (Matador) 
This New York band’s sixth album was produced by veteran producer Dave Fridmann, and he provides them with a rawer sound for their dark post-punk, while the songs range from driving rockers and some brooding ballads to some flatter-sounding fare. — DY

Breathe Panel – Breathe Panel (FatCat Records)
Recorded with Hookworms frontman MJ at his Suburban Home Studio in Leeds, the three-piece combines thoughtful days outdoors with shimmering guitars, washed vocals, and introspection. — AG

Steady Holiday – Nobody's Watching (Barsuk) 
The second album from this LA artist (aka Dre Babinski) is a fine set of dreamy indie-pop combining atmospheric keyboards and muted guitars with hushed vocals and often-dark lyrics exploring greed, fear, and selfishness.  — DY

Justice – Woman Worldwide (Ed Banger/Because) 
This French duo’s latest release is a 90+-minute set of live in-studio reworkings of songs from their last album Woman along with some songs from earlier in their career. It’s a puzzling album, considering these recordings often aren’t much different from the originals (though they’re often stitched together here as medleys). — DY

The Lemon Twigs – Go To School (4AD) 
This young Long Island brother duo’s second full-length is a rock musical inspired by Stephen Sondheim and revolving around the struggles of a chimpanzee raised as a human boy, with the chimp’s adopted parents played by the brothers’ hero Todd Rundgren and their mother Susan Hall. With music ranging from glam-rock to cabaret, ragtime, British music hall and more, it’s all a bit over the top, but some gems can still be found here. — DY

TRANS FX –  The Showroom Dummies (JGAP) 
Trans FX (the other half of dynamic duo CCFX) is an underground collective formed in 2011 by songwriters Chris McDonnell and Scott Young in Olympia, WA. They operate as a communal band featuring various artists on their fifth release including an array of guest vocalists, twinkling textures, and jagged electronic shreds. — AG

Mass Gothic – I've Tortured You Long Enough (Sub Pop) 
The second album from this New York duo comprised of former Hooray For Earth frontman Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri is a solid set of ‘80s-steeped pop-rock combining a densely produced sound with soaring pop hooks. — DY

Joey Dosik – Inside Voice (Secretly Canadian) 
This LA-based artist’s debut full-length is a fine set of gentle R&B combining an atmospheric sound with his aching vocals, wistful melodies, and lovelorn lyrics. — DY

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – With Animals (Heavenly) 
The second collaborative album from the former Screaming Trees frontman and the English multi-instrumentalist is a fine set of ominous, bluesy rock, combining a sparse, haunted sound with Lanegan’s gravelly vocals. — DY

HMLTDHate Music Last Time Delete EP (RCA Records)
South London trap-goth collective have released a tightly wound debut EP complete with pop dripping hooks, dramatic drops, and bass-heavy dance that threads together the insecure relationship between human and computer.  It’s like a modern day Rocky Horror Picture Show made complete with a remix by Soft Cell. — AG

Zachary Warnes – GD EP (self-released) 
The debut solo EP from the frontman for Seattle band Lonely Mountain Lovers is a solid 5-song release ranging from psych-tinged folk-rock and moody New Wave to atmospheric space-pop. — DY

HAAi – Motorik Voodoo Bush Doof Musik (Coconut Beats)  
Australian producer and long-time London Phonox club resident HAAi churns slow-burning electronic landscapes that erupt in her passion for music that lies outside the club-- blending percussive world treks and the psychedelic. — AG

Blue J – EP (self-released) 
This Vancouver, BC outfit release an EP of gentle, minimalist songs that center around  "a long-distance relationship, moving to Vancouver, small moments, isolation in the city, maturity in romance, friendship and issues with mental health." — AG

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