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 Angel Olsen, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Chromatics, and more.
Angel Olsen – All Mirrors (Jagjaguwar)
This Asheville, NC-based artist’s fourth album is an impressive set of dark orchestral pop, with an unpredictable, shapeshifting sound featuring a variety of keyboards and atmospheric guitars along with cinematic strings (courtesy of a 14-piece orchestra conducted by Bainbridge Island-bred composer Jherek Bischoff) accompanying her dynamic vocals on imaginatively arranged songs reflecting on fading love and solitude.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen (Ghosteen Ltd)
This veteran Australian band’s 18th full-length is a powerful double album reflecting on love, loss and grief while finding solace in empathy and faith. The first album completely written after the accidental death of Nick Cave’s son Arthur in 2015, Ghosteen features a spare, haunting sound with glowing analog synths, solemn piano and celestial harmonies accompanying some of Cave’s most poignant singing, including some prominent delicate falsetto.
Chromatics – Closer to Grey (Italians Do It Better)
The latest album (and first in seven years) from this Portland-bred project led by Johnny Jewel isn’t the much-anticipated (and long-delayed) Dear Tommy. Instead, it’s a surprise album that’s not far-removed from the cinematic Italo disco-influenced sound of 2012’s masterful Kill For Love, combining a noirish, late-night atmosphere with ominous slow-rolling rhythms and Ruth Radelet’s haunting vocals.
DIIV – Deceiver (Captured Tracks)
The excellent third album from this LA-via-Brooklyn band led by Zachary Cole Smith features a heavier take on the band’s shoegazerish dream-pop, combining fuzzy, at times grungy guitars with ethereal, sighing vocals and lyrics depicting the damage of addiction.
Wilco – Ode to Joy (dBpm)
The 11th studio album from this veteran Chicago band led by Jeff Tweedy is an intimate and understated affair that brings some welcome experimentation back to their sound. Drummer Glenn Kotche drives the album from their first song onward, accompanied by crackling electronic textures and buzzing guitars on songs that explore weariness, loss and, at times, joy.
Lisa Prank – Perfect Love Song (Father/Daughter)
The second album from this Seattle artist (aka Robin Edwards) is a strong set of punkish, hook-filled power-pop. Produced by Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap, the album combines buzzsaw Ramones guitars, energetic rhythms, buoyant harmonies and sugary melodies with her sharply crafted lyrics depicting the ups and downs of love.
Lemolo – Swansea (self-released)
The latest album from this Seattle-based artist (aka Meagan Grandall) is an impressive set of well-crafted dream-pop combining atmospheric keyboards and guitars and mournful strings with her ethereal vocals, haunting melodies and lyrics of solitude and loss.
that dog. – Old LP (UMe)
This reunited LA-bred band’s first album in 22 years (and fourth overall) is a well-crafted set ranging from fierce grunge-pop to atmospheric, string-laden ballads.
Comet Gain – “Fireraisers Forever!” (Tapete)
This veteran British band’s eighth album (and first in five years) is a potent blend of driving post-punk and anthemic garage-rock with crunchy guitars, bright organ riffs, urgent rhythms and often-politically charged lyrics.
Lightning Dust – Spectre (Western Vinyl)
The fourth album from this Vancouver, BC duo comprised of former Black Mountain members Amber Weber and Josh Wells is a beautifully crafted set of psych-tinged folk-rock combining rumbling guitars, solemn piano and atmospheric synths with her haunting vocals and often-dark lyrics.
Harmony Woods – Make Yourself At Home (Skeletal Lightning)
The second album from this Philly-based artist (aka Sofia Verbilla) is a well-crafted set of emotive, folk-tinged indie-pop combining buzzing guitar riffs with lyrics of love, infatuation, loss and mortality.
LIFE – A Picture of Good Health (PIAS)
This British band’s second album is a potent set of spiky post-punk combining angular guitars and taut, occasional funk-inflected rhythms with often-sardonic lyrics revolving around mental health, single fatherhood, narcissism and other weighty subjects.
GospelbeacH – Let It Burn (Alive Naturalsound)
The third album from this LA band led by former Beachwood Sparks founding member Brent Rademaker is a fine set of ‘70s-steeped, west coast country-rock with a warm sound combining jangly guitars, piano, organ, vintage synths, airy harmonies and wistful song hooks. The late Neal Casal is featured on lead guitar.
Neal Francis – Changes (Karma Chief/Colemine)
This Chicago-based artist’s debut album is a solid set of ‘70s-steeped funk-rock and soul with punchy horns, piano and organ accompanying his soothing vocals and lyrics of love and salvation.
San Fermin – The Cormorant I (Better Company)
The latest release from this Brooklyn-based project led by Ellis Ludwig-Leone is an eight-song mini-album that’s also the first of a two part series, with the music on part one ranging from delicate, folk-tinged chamber-pop to soaring dream-pop.
Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation I EP (Polyvinyl)
This London-based trio’s latest release is a surprise three-song EP of fidgety synth-pop with politically charged lyrics about political division and environmental devastation.
Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Sault, The New Pornographers, Sturgill Simpson, and more.
Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Brittany Howard, Vivian Girls, Chastity Belt, and more.