New Music Reviews (4/22)

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 LizzoIntellexualTR/ST, and more.

Lizzo – Cuz I Love You (Nice Life/Atlantic)
This Minneapolis-based rapper/singer/flautist’s third album is a potent set of pop-leaning hip hop blended with funk and R&B, combining a big, colorful sound with her impressively elastic vocals and frank, razor-sharp lyrics of self-love and empowerment. — DY

Intellexual – Intellexual (Fantasy)
The debut album from the Chicago-based duo of Nico Segal and Nate Fox (both members of Chance The Rapper’s collective The Social Experiment) is an adventurous, beautifully crafted set of atmospheric R&B blended with folk, hip hop, indie-pop, gospel and more, featuring a richly detailed sound with warm guitars, twinkling keyboards, soaring trumpet, lush strings, hypnotic rhythms and beatific melodies. The album’s impressive guest lineup includes Esperanza Spalding, Vic Mensa, Raury, Knox Fortune and other notables. — DY

TR/ST – The Destroyer – 1 (Luminelle)
The third album (and first in five years) from this LA-via-Toronto artist (aka Robert Alfons) is a potent set of goth/industrial-tinged electro-pop combining dark synths, propulsive beats, gloomy vocals and hypnotic song hooks. (A companion album – The Destroyer – 2 – is planned for later this year.) — DY

Kelsey Lu – Blood (Columbia)
This LA-based cellist/vocalist has collaborated with Solange, Blood Orange, Oneohtrix Point Never, Florence + The Machine, Sampha, Empress Of and other notables. Her solo debut is an arty, atmospheric blend of brooding R&B, acoustic folk, orchestral pop and more, with a mostly spare and haunting sound highlighted by inventive arrangements and her own elastic vocals. — DY

Jeff Tweedy – WARMER (dBpm)
The Wilco frontman’s latest solo album is the companion record to his previous album WARM, and like that release, this one’s an intimate set of well-crafted, low-key folk-pop combining a warm, spare sound comprised mainly of just guitar and drums with often-dark lyrics of loss, aging and mortality. — DY

The Mountain Goats – In League With Dragons (Merge)
The 17th full-length from John Darnielle & co. is a concept album loosely inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. Produced by Owen Pallett, the album combines jangly R.E.M. rock, outlaw country and brooding, atmospheric pop with sharply crafted lyrics revolving around rebellion, aging and fading fame. — DY

Pure Bathing Culture – Night Pass (Infinite Companion)
This Portland duo’s third album is a strong set of ‘80s-steeped electro-pop with shimmering synths, gleaming guitars, propulsive beats, soaring vocals and lyrics of resilience. — DY

The Yawpers – Human Question (Bloodshot)
This Denver trio’s fourth album is their strongest set to date, with a tighter, more immediate, though fairly diverse sound ranging from fiery, punkish roots-rock, funk-inflected garage-rock to bluesy hard-rock and wistful folk-rock. — DY

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Ancestral Recall (Stretch Music/Ropeadope)
The latest album from New Orleans trumpeter/composer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is another innovative set of imaginative forward-thinking jazz that passionately tears down genre and geographic boundaries in its quest to de-colonize sound through its own exploration of varied rhythms, tones, and expansive influences. Saul Williams appears on three tracks. — AR

Josh Ritter – Fever Breaks (Pytheas/Thirty Tigers)
This Woodstock, NY-based artist’s 10th studio album was produced by Jason Isbell and features Isbell’s band as accompaniment. It’s a typically well-crafted set of sharply chiseled songs ranging from fiery electric rockers to rootsy country-folk. — DY

Mykele Deville – Maintain (No Trend)
The 4th album and official label debut from this Chicago rapper, poet, and DIY vet is a hard-hitting set of expansive hip-hop that showcases his dexterous delivery and powerful Afro-centric lyrics atop dynamic backdrops that frequently taps into a nostalgic sound rich with the jazzy boom-bap and warm R&B-tinged touchstones of the 1990s. — AR

Wand – Laughing Matter (Drag City)
This LA band’s fifth album is an expansive blend of exploratory psych-rock, atmospheric space-pop, acoustic folk, fuzzy stoner-rock and more. — DY

Claude Fontaine – Claude Fontaine (Innovative Leisure)
This LA-based artist’s debut album is a well-crafted set of rocksteady, early reggae and bossa nova, combining a warm, spare sound with her breathy vocals and melancholy lyrics. The impressive guest lineup includes reggae guitarist Tony Chin, Brazilian drummer Airto Moreira, Steel Pulse bassist Ronnie McQueen and other notables. — DY

Frikstailers – Extrasolar (Nacional)
This Argentinian production duo’s latest album is a rhythm-driven blend of cumbia, hip hop, folk, dub, house and more. — DY

Tourist Activities – Off My Mind EP (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut EP is a promising six-song set of jangly indie-pop ranging from driving, surf-inflected rock to atmospheric, shoegazerish dream-pop. — DY

Actionesse – The Deep, Bright Below (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a potent set of horn-driven post-hardcore with sax and trombone, angular guitars, driving rhythms, fang-baring vocals, angst-fueled lyrics and pogoing song hooks. — DY

The O’Jays – The Last Word (S-Curve)
This veteran Philly trio’s final album is a fine send-off of classic-sounding Philly soul with lush strings, rich harmonies, propulsive rhythms, buoyant melodies and lyrics ranging from sweet love ballads to hard-hitting political songs. — DY

Guts – Philantropiques (Heavenly Sweetness)
Guts is a live hip-hop/funk/soul band masterminded by European producer Fabrice Franck Henri, originally a Paris native that calls the celebratory tropical climes of Ibiza his current homebase. Featuring a bunch of unique guest vocalists that add their own distinctive flavor to each track, Philantropiques is another revelatory showcase of their infectious global grooves that blends Afro-beat, house, funk, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and more in colorful, joyous fashion. — AR

Daniel Norgren – Wooh Dang (Superpuma)
This Swedish singer-songwriter's latest album is a solid set ranging from stately atmospheric folk to soul-inflected rock and gritty boogie blues. — DY

Good Shade – Way Out (Dirtnap)
The fourth Good Shade album from Columbus, OH artist Shane Natalie is a potent set of punkish power-pop with buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms and buoyant melodies juxtaposed with anxiety-fueled lyrics. — DY

The Tallest Man On Earth – I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream. (AWAL)
The fifth album from this Brooklyn-based Swedish artist (aka Kristian Matsson) is a fine set of stately folk-pop with an atmospheric sound combining guitars along with occasional synths, piano, strings, horns, banjo and harmonica with melancholy lyrics and wistful melodies. — DY

Stealing Sheep – Big Wows (Heavenly)
This Liverpool trio’s third album is a fine set of arty, ‘80s-steeped dance-pop with sparkling synths, propulsive beats, ethereal harmonies and effervescent melodies juxtaposed with often-dystopian lyrics. — DY

Ekiti Sound – Abeg No Vex (Crammed Discs)
The debut album from this Nigerian producer (aka Leke) is a rhythm-driven blend of various African styles with hip hop, house, drum ‘n’ bass and other electronic grooves. — DY

Warren Dunes – Welcome to Warren Dunes EP (self-released)
The debut EP from this Seattle band comprised of Julia Massey along with Jared and Dominic Cortese (formerly of The Jesus Rehab) is a solid six-song set of psych-tinged indie-pop with shimmering guitars and keyboards, bouncy rhythms and soaring song hooks. — DY

Oso Leone – Gallery Love (Apollo)
Quickly reminiscent of inc. as well as Mark Hollis' latter-era minimal works, the sophomore album from this Barcelona-based outfit fronted by vocalist Xavier Marin is an intoxicating set of lush, seductive, spacious R&B/pop/soul that's distinguished by warm, loose, warm, downtempo backdrops, Xavier's emotive falsetto vocals, and the group's nuanced, expressive guitar work. — AR

Bells Atlas – the mystic (Tender Loving Empire)
This Oakland band’s latest album is a fine set of psych-tinged R&B and electro-pop combining a variety of spacy, densely produced grooves with Sandra Lawson-Ndu's ethereal vocals. — DY

Elva – Winter Sun (Tapete)
The debut album from the Ostfold, Norway-based duo of former Allo Darlin’ frontwoman Elizabeth Morris and Ola Innset (ex-Making Marks) is a fine set of warm folk-pop with jangly guitars, lush strings, alternating lead vocals and wistful melodies. — DY

David Marston – Feeling You (Kindness of Bearer Recordings)
The debut full-length album from this Kingston, Jamaica native is an excellent showcase of his versatile talents as a multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and producer as he explores a wide array of sultry grooves with the help of guest vocalists, notably his former bandmate and longtime friend Craig Williamson who appears on multiple tracks. Also known for his affiliation with the Crew Love label/crew spearheaded by Soul Clap and Wolf + Lamb, Marston mixes together house, R&B, disco, funk, and pop in seductive, tropical, breezy fashion. — AR

Quavius – Find Ready (Lustwerk Music)
The second EP from Jacksonville, Florida-based DJ, producer, and rapper Quavius (aka Marquavius McDonald) is a fresh display of his unique hybrid of deep electronic grooves and adventurous hip-hop, with a couple tracks finding him rapping over his hypnotic and gritty rhythms. Opening track "That Beat" carries an infectious and playful deep house pulse, while "Flo Central" sports a slick Baltimore club-influenced foundation, providing the EP's two standout moments. — AR

Old Time Relijun – See Now and Know (K)
The latest release (and first in 12 years) from this reactivated Olympia-bred band led by Arrington de Dionyso is a solid 7-song mini-album of beat-driven post-punk with squalling sax, buzzing guitars and feral vocals. — DY

Jackie Mendoza – LuvHz EP (Luminelle)
This Chula Vista, CA-bred artist’s debut EP is a fine set of arty electro-pop combining an atmospheric sound with bilingual lyrics. — DY

Hezza Fezza – Teim (self-released)
The debut EP from this Seattle native is a promising showcase of her multi-faceted talents as a singer, songwriter, producer, video-maker, and performer as she explores a moody and celestial synth-enhanced R&B sound injected with trap/hip-hop flavors. Recently re-locating back to Seattle from Berlin after living and studying abroad for 13 years, Teim is the first of two EPs scheduled for 2019. — AR

beric. – Irregular In Shape (Hush Hush)
The debut release from this Amsterdam-based producer (aka Tim Roosen) is a solid EP of atmospheric grooves with spacy synths, ambient textures and downtempo beats. — DY

Related News & Reviews

Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (4/15)

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Abbie) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Fontaines D.C.Anderson .PaakThe Chemical Brothers, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (4/8)

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 Budos BandPUPThe Drums, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (4/1)

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Abbie) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Weyes BloodLee Fields & the ExpressionsCrows, and more.

Read More
Click anywhere to return to the site