Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Chilly) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Beyoncé, Tacocat, Kevin Morby, and more.
Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album (Parkwood/Columbia)
This Houston-bred artist’s latest release is a masterful 40-song live set documenting her now-legendary 2018 performance at Coachella. Joined by a large brass band along with a multitude of dancers and background singers and some special guests, she brings a celebratory brass-band/college pep rally cast to songs from her estimable catalog while also referencing a variety of other songs and artists and illuminating various African-American musical traditions.
Tacocat – This Mess is a Place (Sub Pop)
This Seattle band’s fourth album is their most melodic and sharply crafted set of garage-pop to date, combining a bright, hook-filled sound (with assistance from producer Erik Blood) with buoyant harmonies and lyrics balancing sardonic outrage at the way things are with hope for better days ahead.
Kevin Morby – Oh My God (Dead Oceans)
This Kansas City artist’s fifth solo album is an excellent set of atmospheric folk-pop with a mostly spare sound combining prominent piano and organ and occasional horns, guitars, harp, flute and choral backing vocals with evocative lyrics revolving around God, religion, faith and doubt.
Aldous Harding – Designer (4AD)
This New Zealand artist’s third album is an expansive, beautifully crafted set of psych-tinged folk-pop with a warm often-spare, acoustic-oriented sound with acoustic guitars, piano, sax, xylophone, synths, Mellotron and more accompanying her serene vocals and colorful, enigmatic lyrics. Like her previous album (2017’s Party), this one was produced by regular PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish.
Craig Finn – I Need A New War (Partisan)
The Hold Steady frontman’s fourth solo album is a potent set of ‘70s-steeped rock inflected with brooding soul, doo wop, jazz and other styles, featuring a warm sound combining keyboards, horns, guitars and airy backing vocals with his sharply crafted narratives drawing empathetic portraits of struggling characters in the city.
SOAK – Grim Town (Rough Trade)
The second album from this Northern Ireland-bred, Manchester-based artist (aka Bridie Monds-Watson) is a sharply crafted set featuring a more expansive, pop-oriented sound than her folk-pop debut, combining shimmering synths, jangly guitars, piano, sax and more, along with buoyant melodies juxtaposed with often-dark lyrics of anxiety, heartache and loss.
Altin Gün – Gece (ATO)
This Amsterdam-based band’s second album is another well-crafted blend of psych-rock and funk with traditional Turkish folk, combining electric sax (a three-string Turkish lute), keyboards and guitars with driving rhythms, soaring vocals and hypnotic melodies.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishies (ATO)
This prolific Australian band’s latest album is their most streamlined release to date, with a boogie blues-rock indebted sound with chugging guitar riffs and wailing harmonica, along with lyrics revolving around environmental concerns.
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Mettavolution (ATO)
This Mexican duo’s latest album (and first in five years) is a virtuosic blend of flamenco and rock ranging from fiery guitar duets to an atmospheric Pink Floyd cover.
Fat White Family – Serf’s Up! (Domino)
This British band’s third album is their strongest set to date, with a more melodic, sophisticated and hypnotic take on the band’s formerly grubby, noise-addled post-punk, though their often-misanthropic lyrics are as biting as ever.
Helms Alee – Noctiluca (Sargent House)
This Seattle trio’s fifth album is another potent set of heavy rock blending elements of drone metal, post-hardcore, psych-rock, prog and more, with sludgy guitar riffs, unconventional rhythms and majestic melodies.
Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits (Damnably)
This Kyoto, Japan band’s fourth album is an excellent set of energetic punk with noisy angular guitars, frenetic rhythms, fiery vocals and sardonic lyrics aimed at patriarchy and capitalism.
Kornél Kovács – Stockholm Marathon (Studio Barnhus)
This Swedish electronic producer’s second album is a strong set of moody house grooves with bright synths, propulsive rhythms and occasional wispy guest vocals from Swedish duo Rebecca & Fiona.
Reptaliens – VALIS (Captured Tracks)
This Portland duo’s second album is a fine set of dreamy, ‘80s-steeped electro-pop with moody analog synths, gentle guitars, mostly downtempo beats, ethereal vocals and hypnotic song hooks.
PAWS – Your Church On My Bonfire (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
This Scottish band’s fourth album is a fine set of brooding, folk-tinged rock reminiscent at times of Frightened Rabbit (that band’s Andy Monaghan produced the record), combining soaring melodies with often-dark lyrics of frayed relationships, addiction and loss.
Local Natives – Violet Street (Loma Vista)
This Southern California band’s fourth album is a fine set of densely layered indie-pop combining soaring guitars, strings and keyboards with African-influenced percussion and buoyant three-part harmonies.
Oh Land – Family Tree (Tusk or Tooth/AWAL)
The fifth album from this Danish artist (aka Nanna Øland Fabricius) is a fine set of intimate orchestral pop combining a lush sound with personal lyrics of love lost and found.
Barrett Martin Group – Songs Of The Firebird (Sunyata)
The latest release from this Seattle-based group led by the former Screaming Trees drummer is an expansive, beautifully crafted blend of jazz with Afro-Latin, funk-rock, ambient and electronic music.
Nick Murphy – Run Fast Sleep Naked (Future Classic)
The second album from this Australian producer (and the first recorded under his own name instead of his Chet Faker pseudonym) is a solid set of R&B-tinged pop combining a rich variety of instrumentation with his plaintive vocals and melancholy lyrics.
Foxygen – Seeing Other People (Jagjaguwar)
This California duo’s sixth album is a diverse set of ‘80s-steeped rock ranging from suave New Wave dance-pop and druggy funk to anthemic Springsteen rock and slick Fleetwood Mac adult contemporary.
Amon Tobin – Fear in a Handful of Dust (Nomark)
This Brazilian producer/musician’s latest album (and first in eight years) is an evocative set of experimental electronic music with a dark, mysterious, sometimes discordant sound that evokes a dystopian sci-fi universe.
Truth Club – Not An Exit (Tiny Engines)
This Raleigh, NC band’s debut album is a solid set of emotive, ‘90s-steeped rock.
Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower (Sacred Bones)
This new collaboration between Boston-based artist Marissa Nadler and Cave In founding member Stephen Brodsky is a fine set of ambient, psych-tinged folk-pop combining a spare, atmospheric sound with her haunting vocals.
The Cranberries – In the End (BMG)
This Irish band’s eighth and final album was completed after the death of frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan. It’s an often-poignant set of wistful pop-rock with lyrics revolving around loss and mortality.
Los Mundos – Calor Central (Little Cloud Records)
This doom psych duo from Monterrey, Mexico once again take us to a wonderfully dark fantasy planet with a thick atmosphere of hypnotic riff-heavy guitars and fuzzy bass on their sixth album Calor Central. — DJ Chilly
Dark Smith – Degressive (self-released)
This Seattle band’s second release is a solid seven-song mini-album of goth-tinged post-punk with buzzing angular guitars, driving rhythms, gloomy vocals and hypnotic song hooks.
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 .Paak, The Chemical Brothers, and more.