New Music Reviews (12/7)

Album Reviews

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates(joined this week by KEXP DJs Alex Ruder and Abbie Gobeli) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Jeff Tweedy, Rosalía, Black Thought & Salaam Remi, and more.

Jeff Tweedy – WARM (dBpm)
The Wilco frontman’s first solo album of all-original songs is a powerful set of confessional, country-tinged folk-rock. A companion piece to Tweedy’s new memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), the album combines a warm sound featuring electric and acoustic guitars along with occasional pedal steel that’s not far removed from the sound of Wilco’s early days with deeply personal, empathetic lyrics about family, addiction, music and mortality. — DY

Rosalía – El Mal Querer (Sony)
The sophomore album from Catalan-born Spanish vocalist Rosalía Tobella (aka Rosalía) is a stunning set of adventurous Latin pop infused with classical flamenco touchstones and cutting-edge electronic/R&B flourishes. While her voice is an immediate highlight and is spotlighted in multiple a cappella tracks, El Mal Querer's production also astounds as it filters traditional rhythms through progressive synthetic prisms, yielding one of the boldest global pop albums of the year. — AR

Black Thought & Salaam Remi – ​​​​​​​Streams of Thought Vol. 2: Traxploitation (Passyunk Productions/Human Re Sources)
The second release this year by The Roots’ lead rapper Black Thought is a strong set of frills-free hip-hop made in collaboration with veteran producer Salaam Remi (the first was a five-song EP made with 9th Wonder). The album combines a warm, soul-steeped sound featuring live drums, chunky guitar riffs, searing organ and occasional horns and woodwinds with Black Thought’s liquid flow and incisive rhymes. — DY

Twist – Distancing (Buzz)
The second album from this Toronto band led by Laura Hermiston and Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt was the first recorded with their live band. It’s a potent blend of surf-tinged dream-pop and propulsive post-punk with fuzzy guitars, ethereal vocals, and soaring melodies. — DY

Big Joanie – Sistahs (The Daydream Library Series)
The British trio’s debut full-length is a strong set of driving post-punk inflected at times with ‘60s girl-group pop, combining a spare, guitar-driven sound with direct lyrics blending the political and the personal. — DY

Whitney Mongé – ​​​​​​​Carry On EP (self-released)
The latest release from this Seattle artist is an intimate, well-crafted blend of bluesy soul and brooding folk-pop, combining a sparse, guitar-oriented sound with her aching vocals and deeply personal lyrics. — DY

Chemtrails – Cuckoo Spit EP (PNKSLM)
This London band follows up their debut album from earlier this year with a strong six-song EP of lo-fi garage-pop with fuzzy guitars, searing organ riffs, energetic rhythms, and catchy pop hooks. — DY

Emma Lee Toyoda – I Hear U & I’m Here 4 U EP (ENBY PARTY/Youth Riot)
This Seattle artist’s latest EP is a potent six-song set of intimate indie folk-pop combining a spare sound featuring electric guitar, keyboard, bass and drums with their deep, husky vocals and personal lyrics revolving around toxic relationships, gender and body dysphoria and resilience. — DY

Generationals – State Dogs: Singles 2017-18 (Polyvinyl)
This New Orleans duo’s latest release collects nine singles they’ve released over the last couple of years, along with one new song. It adds up to a typically well-crafted set of hook-filled indie-pop with bright synths, jangly guitars, bouncy beats, and sparkling melodies. — DY

Milk – ​​​​​​​Mattress Ranch (self-released)
This Vancouver BC alt-country rock outfit conjures a playful set of instrumentation for their debut release — including pedal steel, trumpet, violin, and others that mesh well against melodic backdrops and lyrics that daydream about feeling alright. — AG

Gudrun Gut – ​​​​​​​Moment (Monika Enterprise) 
Monika Enterprise label boss and pioneering electronic producer, Gudrun Gut has paved the way for experimental music in Berlin since the late '70s as an early member of Einstürzende Neubauten and founding member of Mania D, Malaria!, and Matador.  She is also the co-founder of the female electronic musicians' network Female:Pressure. Her latest solo album features 14 tracks of coldwave pop, glitched percussion, and free electronic improv underneath her deep-seated vocals that switch between English and German. — AG

Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn (Domino)
The fourth solo album from the former guitarist for British band The Coral is a well-crafted set of brooding, atmospheric guitar-pop with wistful melodies, hushed vocals and often-dark lyrics of lost love and mortality. — DY

Nanna.B – ​​​​​​​Solen (Jakarta)
The sophomore album from this Danish vocalist/producer is a solid set of cosmic R&B and textured neo-soul that marries her smoky, earthy, sublime voice with fresh hip-hop/downtempo beats contributed by some of Los Angeles' finest producers, including Anderson .Paak, Shafiq Husayn, Mndsgn, and Iman Omari. — AR

Booty EP – ​​​​​​​What What and the Who Now? (self-released)
Vancouver based duo Francis Hooper and Alli Deleo invite you to a dreamy time of lush electronic swirls, sampled hip-hop beats, and soft, longing vocals. In their live show, they have sync'd filmed visuals to complement each track. — AG

Daughters – ​​​​​​​You Won't Get What You Want (Ipecac Recordings)
This Providence noise-rock outfit triumphantly returns after eight years with this cinematic eruption of feverish repetitive vocals, cranked drums, dissonant progressions, and fuzzed out sound walls that will swallow your senses. I do not regret climbing on top of a booth away from the sea of moshers to witness this excellence live at The Highline. — AG

Eyedress – ​​​​​​​Sensitive G (Lex)
The 4th full-length album from Filipino bedroom musician Eyedress (aka Idris Vicuña, formerly lead guitarist of Manila-based psych/noise band Bee Eyes) is an expansive set of DIY psychedelic pop that weaves through blown-out fuzz-pop, gauzy dream-pop, angsty punk rock, and woozy guitar-pop with a loose rough-around-the-edges style. Auckland's Fazerdaze makes a nice guest appearance on "Window Eyes." — AR

Kaytranada – Nothin Like U / Chances EP (RCA)
This Montreal DJ/producer’s latest EP features a couple of sleek R&B grooves with guest vocalists Ty Dolla Sign and Shay Lia along with instrumental versions of the same before concluding with a moody space-funk instrumental. — DY

Babygirl – ​​​​​​​Lovers Fevers (self-released)
Not to be confused with newly signed Father/Daughter act Sir Babygirl, this Toronto duo comprised of Kirsten Clark and Cameron Breithaupt offers up their second EP of self-described "pop songs w/ sad guitars" that carries a strong romantic, dreamy, 90s-steeped sound that's enhanced with Kirsten's warm sighing vocals and bittersweet emo-tinged lyrics. — AR

Floored Faces – 101 EP (self-released)
The second EP from this Seattle band led by Joe Syverson (Joseph Giant, Final Spins, etc.) is a solid set of heavy psych-rock with scuzzy guitars, driving rhythms, distant, half-buried vocals, and pile-driving song hooks. — DY

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