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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

Spoon: They Want My Soul
Buy! - (Loma Vista/Republic)
This veteran Austin band’s eighth album is a masterfully constructed set of rhythmic pop-rock with consistently strong, beautifully detailed songs combining jagged guitar lines, bright keyboards, taut rhythms, grainy vocals and enigmatic lyrics. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Spoon album reviews:

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - 6/19/2007
Gimme Fiction - 4/4/2005
Kill the Moonlight - 8/15/2002
Girls Can Tell - 2/15/2001
A Series Of Sneaks - 4/15/1998
Telephono - 5/15/1996

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker
Buy! - (ATO)
This young New Orleans-via-Tampa Bay, FL artist’s debut full-length is a powerful blend of energetic garage rock and postpunk with gritty blues and soul, featuring a variety of visceral songs with explosive guitar riffs, rollicking organ and often-frenetic rhythms accompanying Booker’s raspy vocals and spiritually troubled lyrics. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Twin Peaks: Wild Onion
Buy! - (Grand Jury)
This young Chicago band follows up their promising 2013 debut album Sunken with another strong full-length blending raw garage-rock and sunny psych-pop with bouncy, hook-filled power pop. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Twin Peaks album reviews:

Sunken - 7/26/2013

The Rosebuds: Sand + Silence
Buy! - (Western Vinyl)
Now living on opposite coasts, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp got together for their sixth album. Co-produced by Justin Vernon, BJ Burton and The Rosebuds, it’s a typically well-crafted set ranging from moody, soul-influenced songs to bright, jangly rockers. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Rosebuds album reviews:

Loud Planes Fly Low - 5/24/2011
Make Out - 10/15/2003

Spider Bags: Frozen Letter
Buy! - (Merge)
The fourth album from this Chapel Hill, NC band led by Dan McGee is another strong set of ramshackle garage-rock flavored with psych-rock, surf, folk-rock and more, with songs ranging from catchy anthemic rockers and edgy psych-rock jams to dark, moody ballads. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Spider Bags album reviews:

Shake My Head - 8/8/2012

Mirel Wagner: When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Ethiopian-Finnish artist’s second album is a stunning set of haunting, blues-tinged folk-pop, combining a stark, slow-burning sound with Wagner’s airy vocals and dark lyrics of death and desolation. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Allah-Las: Worship The Sun
Buy! - (Innovative Leisure)
This LA band’s second album is another well-crafted blend of ‘60s-steeped psych, surf, garage and folk-rock with jangly reverbed guitars and dreamy pop melodies. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Allah-Las album reviews:

Allah-Las - 8/17/2012

The Murder City Devils: The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s first studio album in 14 years is a visceral blend of menacing garage-rock and moody post-punk, combining a raw, gritty sound with Spencer Moody’s gravelly vocals and dark lyrics. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Other Murder City Devils album reviews:

Thelema - 8/15/2001

Shaprece: Molting EP
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle artist’s latest EP is a strong 6-song set of moody electro-R&B. Produced by Seattle’s IG88, the EP combines atmospheric synths and ambient textures, lush strings and laid-back electronic beats with her sultry vocals and intimate lyrics. 8/1/2014 - Don Yates

Jenny Lewis: The Voyager
Buy! - (Warner Bros.)
The latest solo album (and first in six years) from the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman is a strong return to form steeped in classic West Coast ‘70s and ‘80s pop-rock with smartly crafted songs juxtaposing breezy melodies with incisive lyrics that cut deep. Produced by Ryan Adams along with Beck and Johnathan Rice, the album features a warm, lush sound that puts the focus on Lewis’s gorgeous vocals and consistently strong songcraft. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Other Jenny Lewis album reviews:

Rabbit Fur Coat - 1/17/2006

Hooray For Earth: Racy
Buy! - (Dovecote)
The second album from this New York band led by Noel Heroux is another expansive, beautifully constructed set of psych-tinged synth-rock with loud, rumbling guitars, bright synths, dramatic vocals and massive song hooks. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Other Hooray For Earth album reviews:

True Loves - 4/22/2011

Common: Nobody's Smiling
Buy! - (ARTium/Def Jam)
This Chicago rapper’s 10th studio album was inspired by his hometown’s epidemic of violence. It’s an often-powerful set of bleak, hard-hitting hip hop produced by longtime off-and-on collaborator No I.D., featuring a mostly dark sound with ominous synths and cold beats accompanying gritty, descriptive raps of hard times in the Windy City. Guests include up-and-coming rappers Lil Herb, Dreezy and Vince Staples. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Other Common album reviews:

The Dreamer/The Believer - 1/13/2012
Be - 5/18/2005
Electric Circus - 12/15/2002
Like Water For Chocolate - 4/15/2000

The Raveonettes: Pe'ahi
Buy! - (self-released)
The LA-based Danish duo’s seventh album improves upon their dreary last two albums by returning to a sound that’s more aggressive and more melodic via a potent blend of noisy, fuzz-drenched guitars, driving rhythms, breathy vocals and melancholy lyrics juxtaposed with sugary pop melodies. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Other Raveonettes album reviews:

Lust Lust Lust - 2/8/2008
Pretty in Black - 4/13/2005
Chain Gang of Love - 8/15/2003
Whip It On - 11/15/2002

Got A Girl: I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Buy! - (Bulk)
The debut album from this project pairing producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura with actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a playful, evocatively rendered set steeped in stylized ‘60s French pop, with lush cinematic strings, atmospheric keyboards and mellow hip hop beats accompanying Winstead’s seductive, breathy vocals. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

The Wytches: Annabel Dream Reader
Buy! - (Partisan)
This British band’s debut album is a promising blend of dark psych-rock, Sabbath stoner-rock, Nirvana grunge, surf and more, with heavy, reverbed guitar riffs and muscular rhythms accompanying Kristian Bell’s feral vocals and macabre lyrics. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Peliroja: Injusticia
Buy! - (Chulo)
The debut album from this New York band led by producer/guitarist Jacob Plasse (and also featuring members of The Daptones, Pedrito Martinez Group and Los Hacheros) is a fiery blend of Afro-Cuban, Afro-Beat, Ethiopian funk and more, combining punchy horns, searing funk guitars, vintage keyboards, Latin percussion and strong vocals from Jainardo Batista. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Bear In Heaven: Time Is Over One Day Old
Buy! - (Dead Oceans)
This Brookyn band’s fourth album is a darker, more streamlined version of their psych-tinged electro-pop, with an imaginatively arranged array of shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars and propulsive rhythms accompanying Jon Philpot’s reverbed croon. 7/25/2014 - Don Yates

Other Bear In Heaven album reviews:

I Love You, It's Cool - 3/9/2012

Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
The second full-length from this Seattle duo comprised of former Digable Planets frontman Ishmael Butler (aka Palaceer Lazaro) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire is another mind-blowing set of experimental hip hop with woozy beats and spacy textures accompanying Butler’s reverberating vocals and abstract raps. 7/18/2014 - Don Yates

Other Shabazz Palaces album reviews:

Black Up - 6/16/2011

Alvvays: Alvvays
Buy! - (Polyvinyl)
This Toronto-based band’s debut album is a promising set of hazy, surf-inflected dream-pop. Produced by Chad VanGaalen, the album features a reverb-drenched sound with fuzzy guitars, energetic rhythms, wistful melodies, melancholy lyrics and Molly Rankin’s soaring vocals. 7/18/2014 - Don Yates

Tender Games: Tender Games
Buy! - (SUOL)
The debut full-length from the Berlin-based duo of Marlon Hoffstadt and HRRSN is a smooth blend of R&B and propulsive house and 2-step grooves reminiscent of Disclosure, with a warm sound combining bright synths, occasional Rhodes piano and other live instrumentation and soulful vocals. 7/18/2014 - Don Yates

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