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 YBN Cordae, Burna Boy, Chance The Rapper, and more.
YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy (Atlantic)
The debut solo album from this young Raleigh, NC-born, Suitland, MD-raised rapper (who’s also part of the YBN hip hop collective) is a promising, impressively diverse set of hip hop ranging from warm, gospel and soul-steeped tracks to reflective downtempo and brooding, bass-heavy trap, with YBN Cordae’s deeply personal rhymes revolving around family, struggle and resilience.
Burna Boy – African Giant (Atlantic)
This Nigerian artist’s fourth album is a well-crafted blend of Afro-beat and other West African styles with dancehall, funk, R&B and hip hop, combining hypnotic beats, bright synths, chunky guitars, soaring horns and percolating percussion with his grainy vocals and bilingual lyrics blending English and Yoruba.
Chance The Rapper – The Big Day (self-released)
This Chicago rapper’s official debut album is a celebration of his recent marriage with a track list echoing a marriage reception soundtrack. It’s a sunny, fairly diverse blend of hip hop with ‘80s and ‘90s R&B, house, juke, indie-pop, gospel and more, combining a brightly colored sound and a variety of beats with his masterfully elastic flow and sharply crafted lyrics reflecting on love, growth, family and community.
BJ The Chicago Kid – 1123 (Motown)
The second album from this Chicago artist (aka Bryan James Sledge) is a strong set of summery R&B ranging from buoyant, hip hop-inflected tracks and bumping funk to soaring gospel-steeped soul and sensual slow jams.
Clairo – Immunity (FADER)
The debut full-length from this Atlanta-born, Carlisle, MA-bred artist (aka Claire Cottrill) is a well-crafted set of melancholy, introspective pop. Co-produced by Rostam, the album features an expansive sound ranging from hazy dream-pop and R&B-tinged electro-pop to spare folk and atmospheric, keyboard-driven ballads.
Oh Sees – Face Stabber (Castle Face)
The latest Oh Sees release from John Dwyer & co. is an adventurous double album ranging from motorik psych-rock jams, pounding stoner-rock and noisy punk to ambient space-rock and shape-shifting prog.
Ty Segall – First Taste (Drag City)
This prolific LA-based artist’s latest album was recorded without guitars, instead using fuzzy synths, electric omnichord, bouzouki, mandolin, koto, recorder, saxophone, piano and more (incuding dual drumming from Segall and Charles Moothart) while still sounding very much like a Ty Segall record. The sound’s also fairly diverse, ranging from blistering garage-rock and jangly psych-pop to synth-driven space-rock and shape-shifting prog.
Slaughter Beach, Dog – Safe And Also No Fear (Lame-O)
Formerly the solo project of Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald, Slaughter Beach, Dog has evolved into a full-fledged band for their third album. The Philadelphia band recasts Ewald’s former indie-folk sound into darker, more expansive indie-rock ranging from hook-filled pop-rock and sprawling folk-rock to hypnotic post-punk.
Russian Circles – Blood Year (Sargent House)
This Chicago-bred instrumental trio’s seventh album is their first to be recorded live in the studio together, which helped bring a more direct and visceral sound to their atmospheric blend of post-rock and metal.
Young Guv – GUV I (Run For Cover)
The third album from the solo project of Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook is a potent set of hook-filled power-pop with jangly guitars, warm harmonies and sunny pop melodies.
CFM – Soundtrack to an Empty Room (In The Red)
The third CFM album from LA-based artist (and frequent Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin collaborator) Charles Francis Moothart is a solid set of psych-tinged garage-rock with fuzzy guitar riffs, pummeling rhythms and soaring song hooks.
Cross Record – Cross Record (Ba Da Bing)
The third album from this Texas-based project led by Emily Cross is an evocative set of ambient dream-pop combining a dark, experimental-leaning sound with her ethereal vocals and lyrics revolving around departure and separation.
Francis Lung – A Dream Is U (Memphis Industries)
Francis Lung is the new project from former WU LYF bassist Tom McClung. His debut album under that name is a solid set of psych-tinged folk-pop with jangly guitars, violin, cello, sax and more accompanying his understated vocals and lyrics revolving around addiction, faith and love.
Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex and DJ Miss Ashley) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from SAULT, Chuck Cleaver, Ezra Collective, and more.