New Music Reviews (3/4)

Album Reviews

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 Solange, Durand Jones & The IndicationsRina Mushonga, and more.

Solange – When I Get Home (Saint/Columbia)
This Houston-bred, New Orleans-based artist’s fourth album is a beautifully crafted set of hazy R&B combining woozy, blunted beats and atmospheric, jazz-tinged textures with her supple vocals and lyrics paying tribute to her hometown. An impressive lineup of special guests helped flesh out the album, though the spotlight rightfully remains on Solange. — DY

Durand Jones & The Indications – American Love Call (Dead Oceans) 
This Bloomington, IN-bred band’s second album is an excellent set of ‘70s-steeped soul with electric guitars, soaring horns, lush strings, buoyant harmonies and lead vocals alternating between Durand Jones’ gritty vocals and drummer Aaron Frazer’s delicate falsetto. — DY

Rina Mushonga – In A Galaxy ([PIAS]) 
This London-based Dutch-Zimbabwean artist’s second album is a sharply crafted set of ‘80s-steeped electro-pop inflected with R&B and various African styles, combining a colorful, lushly textured sound with her soaring vocals and lyrics of love and empowerment. — DY

Snapped Ankles – Stunning Luxury (The Leaf Label) 
This London band’s second album is a potent set of propulsive post-punk with fuzzy synths, driving, often-motorik rhythms and satirical, often-politically charged lyrics aimed at consumerism, gentrification, and environmental devastation. — DY

Pond – Tasmania (Interscope) 
This Australian band’s eighth album is a softer, more melodic and straightforward take on the band’s expansive psych-rock, combining atmospheric synths and guitars with funk/R&B-influenced beats and often-dystopian lyrics. — DY

Hand Habits – Placeholder (Saddle Creek) 
The second Hand Habits album from Albany-bred, LA-based artist Meg Duffy (who also played guitar for several years in Kevin Morby’s touring band) is an impressive set of hazy, psych-tinged folk-pop with intricate arrangements combining atmospheric guitar work with intimate lyrics of accountability and forgiveness. — DY

Kehlani – While We Wait (TSNMI/Atlantic) 
This Oakland artist’s latest release is a potent nine-song mixtape of atmospheric R&B with hazy synths and mostly downtempo hip hop beats accompanying her silky vocals and intimate lyrics of love, loss and resilience. — DY

Pom Poko – Birthday (Bella Union) 
This Norwegian band’s debut album is a promising set of fractured, energetic art-pop with bright synths, fuzzy, angular guitars, shape-shifting rhythms, playful vocals and inventive song hooks. — DY

Helado Negro – This Is How You Smile (RVNG Intl.) 
The sixth album from this Ecuadorian-American artist (aka Roberto Carlos Lange) is a strong set of psych-tinged dream-pop with hazy synths, guitar, piano and gentle, unhurried rhythms accompanying his warm croon and intimate, bilingual lyrics of family, friendship and love. — DY

Gary Clark Jr. – This Land (Warner Bros.) 
This Austin artist’s fifth album is his strongest set to date that takes a more expansive approach to his blues-rock sound, incorporating elements of funk, R&B, reggae, rockabilly and other styles while still leaving plenty of room for some searing guitar solos on songs alternating between the personal and the political. — DY

Queen Zee – Queen Zee (Sasstone
This Liverpool band’s debut album is a potent set of raw, glam-tinged garage-punk combining buzzing guitars and energetic rhythms with sneering vocals and often-biting lyrics ranging from personal issues of anxiety and addiction to stirring battle cries against homophobia and transphobia. — DY

Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers – Steal The World (self-released) 
This Seattle band’s third album is a sharply crafted set of hook-filled power-pop with jangly guitars, energetic rhythms and bright pop melodies. — DY

Chain Wallet – No Ritual (self-released) 
This Norwegian band’s second album is a well-crafted set of ‘80s-steeped post-punk with shimmering guitars and synths, driving rhythms, melancholy lyrics and dreamy melodies. — DY

Royal Trux – White Stuff (Fat Possum) 
This veteran DC duo’s first album in 19 years is a fine return to form of scuzzy, deconstructed psych and garage-rock with noise-addled guitars, buzzing synths, raspy vocals and druggy song hooks. — DY

duendita – direct line to My Creator (The Vanguarde Craft and Creative) 
The debut EP from this Queens, NY-based Afro-Latinx artist is a captivating set of R&B and soul music that pairs her gorgeous vocals and spiritually-tinged lyrics with earthy, jazzy, exploratory backdrops. — AR

SunwatchersIllegal Moves (Trouble In Mind) 
This New York band’s third album is an intensely powerful set of prog-tinged jazz-rock with fiery electric guitars, searing keyboards, driving rhythms, and occasional skronking horns. — DY

Laure Briard – Un peu plus d'amour s'il vous plaît (Midnight Special/Burger) 
The third album from this Toulouse-based French artist is a fantastic set of charming pop that features her warm vocals and bi-lingual lyrics atop a breezy sound that mixes psych-pop and Bossa nova with the classic French yé-yé pop sound of the 1960s. — AR

Silk Road Assassins - State Of Ruin (Planet Mu) 
The debut full-length album from this Bath, UK-based electronic production trio (Tom E Vercetti, Chemist, and Lovedr0id) is a transportive set of evocative dystopian beats that fuse grime, trap, hip-hop, and progressive club styles to create a unique sonic world distinguished by the crew's stellar sound design talents and rich production techniques. — AR

Vök - In The Dark (Nettwerk) 
This Icelandic trio’s second album is a well-crafted set of slinky electro-pop with atmospheric synths, propulsive beats, breathy vocals, and sparkling pop melodies. — DY

Reignwolf – Hear Me Out (self-released) 
The debut full-length from this Seattle/Saskatoon band led by Jordan Cook is a solid set of raw, blues-tinged rock with heavy guitar riffs, searing solos, muscular rhythms, grainy vocals, and headbanging song hooks. — DY

Delicate Steve – Till I Burn Up (ANTI-) 
The fifth album from this New Jersey artist (aka Steve Marion) is a fine set of experimental, ‘80s-steeped rock jams combining his adventurous guitar work with spacy synths and soaring melodies. — DY

Kingdom of the Holy Sun – The Man With The Little Hands EP (Dead Bees) 
This Seattle band’s latest release is a well-crafted set of ‘60s-steeped psych-rock with fuzzy guitars, sitar, hypnotic rhythms, airy harmonies, and catchy song hooks. — DY

Robert Forster – Inferno (Tapete) 
The seventh solo album from this veteran Australian artist (and co-founder of the legendary band The Go-Betweens) is a sharply crafted set of bittersweet guitar-pop. — DY

Mid-Air Thief – Crumbling (self-released) 
The debut album from this South Korean project spearheaded by a largely anonymous musician (who gets some assistance along the way from female vocalist Summer Soul) is a fascinating set of kaleidoscopic, shape-shifting, unpredictable psych/folk/pop bolstered by glistening electronic production, ethereal male/female vocals, and meticulously designed arrangements. Reminiscent at times of Cornelius and Kishi Bashi, Crumbling has steadily emerged as a word-of-mouth favorite and underground sensation after being quietly released back in August 2018. — AR

Nick Waterhouse – Nick Waterhouse (Innovative Leisure) 
This LA artist’s fourth album is a well-crafted blend of ‘50s-steeped R&B and roots-rock with stinging guitars, punchy horns, piano and jumping rhythms accompanying his raw, soulful vocals. — DY

Citizen Cope – Heroin and Helicopters (Rainwater/Thirty Tigers) 
This LA-based artist’s sixth album is a solid set of earnest, easy-rolling pop combining a homegrown, beat-driven sound with hope-filled, socially conscious lyrics. — DY

Umut Adan – Bahar (Riverboat) 
This Turkish artist’s debut album is a fine set of ‘70s-steeped Turkish rock, combining fuzzy rock guitars and funky breaks with Turkish folk styles. — DY

CÉCI – Vortex (Astral Plane) 
The official debut EP from London-based Danish vocalist and electronic producer Cecilie Dahlin (aka CÉCI) finds her continuing to explore an adventurous and progressive intersection between experimental electronic production and hypnotic leftfield R&B/pop that's frequently reminiscent of FKA twigs. — AR

Dengue Dengue Dengue – Semillero (On The Corner) 
The latest EP from this Lima, Perú production duo (Felipe Salmon & Rafael Pereira) is a mesmerizing set of mid-tempo instrumental-heavy global electronic grooves blending traditional Peruvian rhythms with vibrant electro-acoustic instrumentation, seductive low-end rumblings, and evocative tropical atmospherics. — AR

Izzard – Keeping (self-released) 
The second album from this Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based vocalist and electronic producer is a gorgeous set of gentle electronic-pop that harkens back to the halcyon days of "indietronica" during the early 2000s. Boasting warm synths, melancholic guitar, skittering glitchy downtempo beats, and airy vocals, Izzard's sound recalls the likes of múm and the best of Morr Music's influential catalog. — AR

TEEN – Good Fruit (Carpark) 
This Brooklyn-based sister trio’s fourth album is a solid set of arty electro-pop with bright synths, propulsive beats, soaring harmonies and lyrics of lost love. — DY

Mint Field – Mientras Esperas EP (Innovative Leisure) 
This Tijuana trio’s latest release is a solid five-song set ranging from heavy shoegazer psych-rock to atmospheric dream-pop. — DY

Denitia – Be There EP (Styles Upon Styles) 
The second solo EP from this Rockaway Beach, NY-based vocalist/producer is an impressive set of expansive R&B that sways from moody slow jams to vibrant pop cuts to kinetic house grooves with assured confidence. — AR

Be Forest – Knocturne (WWNBB) 
This Pesaro, Italy trio’s third album is a solid set of shoegazer dream-pop with a dark, atmospheric sound featuring shimmering guitars and ethereal, half-buried vocals. — DY

Unloved – Heartbreak (Heavenly) 
This LA-based trio’s second album is a solid set of cinematic, ‘60s-steeped pop combining a haunting, noirish sound with Jade Vincent’s smoky vocals. — DY

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