New Music Reviews (3/11)

Album Reviews

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 Little SimzFoalsStella Donnelly, and more.

Little Simz – GREY Area (Age 101/AWAL)
The third album from this London-based rapper (aka Simbi Ajikawo) is an excellent set of expansive hip hop with a bolder, more immediate sound Inflected at times with R&B, jazz, reggae and other styles, combining a fair amount of live instrumentation and a variety of banging beats with her nimble flow and frank, sharply crafted rhymes veering between bravado and vulnerability while tackling everything from sexism, racism and gun violence to troubled relationships, death and loss.

Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part 1 (Warner Bros.)
This British band’s fifth album is a potent set of expansive post-punk with an intricate, rhythm-heavy sound combining angular guitars, bright keyboards and a variety of percussion with dystopian lyrics of a world falling apart.

Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs (Secretly Canadian)
This Australian artist’s debut full-length is a strong set of sharply crafted indie-pop combining jangly guitars and occasional synths, piano, cello and percussion with her breezy vocals and witty, bracingly honest and often-biting lyrics tackling misogyny, inequality and much more.

The debut album from the former keyboardist with LA band Cherry Glazerr combines an intricately textured indie-pop sound with intimate, bracingly honest lyrics of troubled relationships on a variety of sharply crafted songs ranging from fuzzy shoegazer dream-pop to brooding, atmospheric ballads.

Justus Proffit – L.A.’s Got Me Down (Bar/None)
This LA artist’s solo debut full-length is a promising set of folk-tinged indie-rock with some ‘90s Northwest echoes at times of Elliott Smith and Nirvana, combining fuzzy guitars and buoyant melodies with often-dark lyrics of loss and regret.

Dexter Story – Bahir (Soundway)
This LA producer/multi-instrumentalist’s second album is a well-crafted blend of jazz, funk, and soul with various East African styles from Ethiopian jazz to Somali soul and more.

The Coathangers – The Devil You Know (Suicide Squeeze)
This Atlanta trio’s sixth album recasts their scrappy garage-punk via a more layered and sophisticated sound while taking on gun violence, sexism, addiction, the ills of social media and other weighty topics.

MUNYA – MUNYA (Luminelle)
This Montreal-based artist’s latest release collects the simultaneously released EP Blue Pine along with two previous EPs for a nine-song set of psych-tinged electro-pop.

Ritual Howls – Rendered Armor (Felte)
This Detroit trio’s fourth album is a dark, hypnotic blend of goth-tinged post-punk with a bit of spaghetti western, combining ominous guitars, propulsive rhythms, gloomy baritone vocals and lyrics of loss and death.

Meat Puppets – Dusty Notes (Megaforce)
This veteran Phoenix-bred band’s latest album is the first made with the original trio since 1995, and while it might not rival their very best albums, it’s still a well-crafted blend of trippy psych-pop and rootsy country-rock along with a bit of crunchy hard rock.

Ten Fé – Future Perfect, Present Tense (Some Kinda Love/PIAS)
This British band’s second album is a fine set of sleek, ‘80s-steeped rock with jangly guitars, shimmering keyboards, driving rhythms, warm four-part harmonies, and soaring song hooks.

Sol – Soon Enough (self-released)
The fourth album from this Seattle rapper is a well-crafted, pop-friendly blend of hip hop and R&B, combining a warm, hook-filled sound with rhymes revolving around love, relationships, and resilience.

Ry X – Unfurl (Infectious)
The second Ry X album from Australia-born, LA-based artist Ry Cuming is a solid set of mostly slow-burning electro-pop combining a haunting atmospheric sound with his gentle falsetto and melancholy melodies.

The Cactus Blossoms – Easy Way (Walkie Talkie)
This Minneapolis duo’s third album is a somewhat more modern and expansive take on their rootsy Everlys-style country-pop.

Indoor Pets – Be Content (Wichita)
This British band’s debut album is a solid set of hook-filled power-pop with crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms, soaring melodies, and angst-fueled lyrics.

Eli “Paperboy” Reed – 99 Cent Dreams (Yep Roc)
This Boston-based artist’s sixth album is a solid set of old-school R&B and soul, combining a warm analog sound with his dynamic, soulful vocals.