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 Young Fathers, David Byrne, Hot Snakes and more.
Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune)
This Edinburgh-based, Liberian/Nigerian/Scottish trio's third album is another masterful, adventurous blend of hip hop with R&B, gospel, post-punk, German prog, psych-rock and more, though with a somewhat more direct, streamlined sound to help drive home their often-surreal, anxiety-fueled lyrics.
David Byrne – American Utopia (Todomundo/Nonesuch)
The latest solo album from the Talking Heads frontman is a typically quirky, sharply crafted set of eclectic avant-pop ranging from funky dance-pop to some haunting ballads, with often-wry lyrics reflecting these uneasy times. The stellar supporting cast includes longtime collaborator Brian Eno along with Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, Sampha, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jam City, Doveman, the xx producer Rodaidh McDonald and Onyx Collective's Isaiah Barr.
Naked Giants – SLUFF (New West)
The Seattle trio's debut full-length is a potent set of raucous garage-rock incorporating elements of punk, New Wave, prog, grunge, power pop and more, combining an unpredictable, shape-shifting sound with addictive song hooks.
Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)
The fourth studio album (and first in 14 years) from this influential San Diego band is a strong return to form that finds them sounding as vital as ever on a blistering batch of urgent, tightly coiled garage-punk.
August Greene – August Greene (Amazon Music)
August Greene is the new collaboration between Chicago rapper Common, jazz pianist/producer Robert Glasper and drummer/producer Karriem Riggins. Their debut album is a beautifully crafted blend of hip hop, jazz and R&B, combining a warm, mostly mellow sound with soulful vocals and reflective lyrics.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times (Strut)
The fourth album from the youngest son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti a powerful set of hard-driving, politically charged Afrobeat. Co-produced by Robert Glasper with accompaniment once again by his father's legendary ensemble Egypt 80, the album combines a variety of fiercely funky grooves with pointed lyrics attacking oppression and injustice.
Zaki Ibrahim – The Secret Life of Planets (self-released)
This Nanaimo, BC-born, Toronto-based artist's second album is an expansive, beautifully crafted blend of R&B with funk, house, hip hop, South African kwaito and other styles, combining a warm, groove-driven sound with her breathy vocals and often-cosmically minded lyrics.
Sonny Smith – Rod For Your Love (Easy Eye Sound)
This San Francisco artist's 10th album (counting those released under the name Sonny & The Sunsets) is a hook-filled set of '60s-steeped guitar-pop. Produced by Dan Auerbach, the album combines jangly guitars and bouncy rhythms with sparkling pop melodies.
Altin Gün - On (Bongo Joe)
This Amsterdam-based band's debut album is an impressive, '70s-influenced blend of Turkish folk with psych-rock and funk, combining driving rhythms with psych guitars, bright keyboards and hypnotic melodies.
Tracey Thorn – Record (Merge)
The fourth regular solo album from the former Everything But The Girl frontwoman is a potent blend of buoyant disco dance-pop and wistful synth-pop, combining bright synths and propulsive beats with her soothing alto and assertive, smartly crafted lyrics revolving around identity, anxiety and resilience.
Sloan – 12 (Yep Roc)
This Nova Scotia-bred, Toronto-based band's 12th studio album is a typically well-crafted set of hook-filled power-pop with jangly guitars, buoyant rhythms and soaring harmonies.
6 String Drag – Top of the World (Schoolkids)
Along with bands like Whiskeytown and The Backsliders, 6 String Drag was part of the fertile North Carolina alt-country scene in the late '90s. They've now reunited for their third album (and first in 21 years), and they sound rejuvenated on a set ranging from driving country-tinged rock and jangly power-pop to soul-influenced ballads.
Shannon & The Clams – Onion (Easy Eye Sound)
Produced by Dan Auerbach, this Oakland band's fifth album features a fuller, more sharply crafted sound for their blend of '50s/'60s pop and garage-rock, though it's still thankfully a long ways from slick. The album was written in the wake of the tragic Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, and a deep melancholy pervades many of the album's songs.
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 Preoccupations, Yo La Tengo, Sango, Mount Eerie, and more.
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 Moaning, Soccer Mommy, Brandi Carlile, Thunderpussy, and more.
KEXP's Music Director Don Yates and other KEXP DJs share brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's out now, including reviews for new releases from Car Seat Headrest, Screaming Females, Ought, Buffalo Tom, Belle & Sebastian, and more