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 Karen O & Danger Mouse, Andrew Bird, Ibibio Sound Machine, and more.
Karen O & Danger Mouse – Lux Prima (BMG Rights Management)
The leader of Yeah Yeah Yeahs teamed up with heavyweight producer Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) for a gorgeous set of haunting cinematic pop incorporating elements of ‘60s psych-pop, soul, funk, disco and other styles, combining fuzzy guitars, atmospheric synths, lush strings with Karen O’s subtly expressive vocals and personal lyrics of love and the passage of time.
Andrew Bird – My Finest Work Yet (Loma Vista/Concord)
This veteran Chicago artist’s 15th album could very well be aptly titled. It’s a beautifully crafted set of expansive folk-pop combining a live in-studio sound with his most politically minded lyrics to date reflecting on these troubled times.
Ibibio Sound Machine – Doko Mien (Merge)
The third album from this London-based band led by Eno Williams is a vibrant blend of West African Afro-funk and disco with electro, R&B and beat-driven post-punk, combining propulsive funk rhythms, fiery psych guitars, bright keyboards and punchy horns with Williams’ commanding, bilingual vocals.
Orville Peck – Pony (Sub Pop)
This masked Toronto-based artist’s debut album is a strong set of noirish, country-tinged rock and spaghetti western with a haunting, atmospheric sound combining gently reverberating guitars and dreamy steel with his rich, dramatic vocals, nostalgic melodies, and lyrics of heartache and loss. (Formerly anonymous, Orville Peck has been unmasked as Nu Sensae drummer/Eating Out vocalist Daniel Pitout.)
These New Puritans – Inside The Rose (Infectious)
This British brother duo’s fourth album (and first in six years) is an intricately crafted set of brooding, orchestral post-punk combining dark, buzzing synths, haunting strings and ominous beats with melancholy vocals and often-apocalyptic lyrics.
Roses Gabor – Fantasy & Facts (Allpoints)
This London artist’s debut full-length is a promising set of adventurous R&B combining spacy synths and a variety of bass-heavy rhythms with her breathy vocals and intimate lyrics.
CHAI – PUNK (Burger)
This Japanese band’s second album is a colorful blend of energetic garage-rock and fizzy dance-pop, combining fuzzy guitars and synths with bouncy beats, exuberant vocals, and buoyant melodies.
Arre! Arre! – Tell Me About Them (PNKSLM)
This Swedish band’s second album is a potent blend of fiery garage-rock, surf and post-punk, combining buzzing guitars and energetic rhythms with often-politically charged lyrics attacking sexism and inequality.
Spiral Stairs – We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized (Nine Mile)
The third solo album from this Pavement co-founder (aka Scott Kannberg) is a well-crafted blend of buoyant ‘70s-steeped, soul-tinged rock and driving post-punk, combining fuzzy guitars and soaring horns with warm keyboards and sunny harmonies.
Kiwi Jr. – Football Money (Mint)
This Toronto-via-Prince Edward Island band’s debut album is a fine set of slacker indie-rock reminiscent at times of Pavement, combining jangling guitars and bright song hooks with often-sardonic lyrics about the trials and tribulations of living in a big, expensive city.
Drinking Boys and Girls Choir – Keep Drinking!! (Damnably)
This South Korean band’s debut album is a potent blend of hardcore punk and buoyant power pop with buzzing guitars, caffeinated rhythms, and catchy song hooks.
Stephen Malkmus – Groove Denied (Matador)
The former Pavement frontman’s latest solo album finds him blending lo-fi, experimental electro-pop with his more typical sprawling slacker-rock on a set of sometimes brooding, sometimes playful songs with hazy synths, occasional guitars, and drum-machine rhythms.
The Faint – Egowerk (Saddle Creek)
This veteran Omaha, NE band’s 10th album is a fine set of dark, dance-friendly post-punk with ominous fuzzy synths, propulsive beats, and lyrics depicting the dark side of social media.
Nanami Ozone – NO (Tiny Engines)
This Phoenix band’s second album is a fine set of shoegazerish dream-pop with fuzzy guitars, driving rhythms, melancholy lyrics, and downcast song hooks.
Jayda G – Significant Changes (Ninja Tune)
This Grand Forks, BC-bred, Berlin-based DJ/producer’s debut full-length is a club-friendly blend of house, funk, disco and other styles, combining propulsive beats with themes of environmental devastation.
Leggy – Let Me Know Your Moon (Sheer Luck)
This Cincinnati trio’s proper debut full-length is a diverse set of well-crafted indie-rock ranging from moody post-punk to driving garage-rock.
Shlohmo – The End (Friends of Friends)
The third regular studio album from this LA-based composer/producer (aka Henry Laufer) is a solid set of haunting, sometimes unsettling electronic grooves about the apocalypse created with toy drum machines, a Korg Monotron delay, a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator and a variety of sampled recordings.
Honey Oat – Honey Oat (Astro Nautico)
This Seattle duo’s debut album is a solid set of mostly groove-driven jazz inflected with funk, hip hop, R&B, post-rock and more.
Datura4 – Blessed is the Boogie (Alive Naturalsound)
The third album from this Fremantle, Australia band featuring ex-members of The Stems, You Am I and The Drones is a solid set of bluesy, ‘70s-steeped hard-rock with wailing psych guitars, muscular rhythms, and head-banging song hooks.
Clay Beds – Clay Beds EP (Hush Hush)
This Tacoma duo’s debut release is a fine six-track EP of psych-tinged ambient-pop combining a hazy, shape-shifting sound with warped, ethereal vocals.
Muldue – A Place Both Foreign and Familiar EP (Hush Hush)
The third release from this British artist (aka Max Ramsden) is an evocative five-track EP of downcast ambient-pop combining a haunting, atmospheric sound with introspective lyrics and melancholy melodies.
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 Indications, Rina Mushonga, and more.