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 Songhoy Blues, Ela Minus, clipping., and more.
Songhoy Blues – Optimisme (Transgressive)
This Malian band’s excellent third album is a fierce set of hard-hitting desert blues-rock. Produced by Matt Sweeney of Chavez, the album features a bolder, more rock-oriented sound with fiery electric guitars, energetic rhythms, hypnotic vocals and lyrics of empowerment and equality.
Ela Minus – acts of rebellion (Domino)
The debut album from this Colombian-born, Brooklyn-based artist (aka Gabriela Jimeno) is an impressive set of propulsive, politically charged electro-pop (along with a few ambient instrumentals), combining thumping techno beats and buzzing synths with her breathy vocals and lyrics revolving around rebellion, resilience, connection and community.
clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned (Sub Pop)
This LA trio’s latest release is a sequel to their 2019 horrorcore-inspired album There Existed an Addiction to Blood, and like that album, it’s a strong set of experimental hip hop combining a variety of dark beats and ominous, noise-splattered textures with Daveed Diggs’ steely-eyed delivery and intricate rhymes recasting famous horror themes and characters through an antiracist/antisexist perspective.
Sen Morimoto – Sen Morimoto (Sooper)
This Chicago-based artist’s second album is a potent, shape-shifting blend of jazz-tinged pop, R&B and hip hop, combining a variety of woozy, hazy beats with twinkling synths, celestial harmonies and introspective lyrics.
Laura Veirs – My Echo (Raven Marching Band)
This Portland artist’s 11th studio album is a strong set of expansive, often-poignant folk-pop with a beautifully crafted sound combining guitars, strings, horns, synths and more with her bright, melodic vocals and lyrics of escape, impermanence and disintegration. (The album was recorded while her marriage with her husband/producer Tucker Martine was falling apart.) Special guests include Jim James, Bill Frisell, Karl Blau and M. Ward, among other notables.
The Mountain Goats – Getting Into Knives (Merge)
The 19th studio album (and the second released this year) from John Darnielle & co. is a well-crafted set of jazz/soul-tinged folk-rock with an often-lush, full-band sound combining electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, horns, woodwinds, accordion, and more with lyrics revolving around getting older and the passage of time.
Omar Apollo – I'm Amazing (Warner)
This LA-based artist’s latest release is a mini-album of steamy R&B, laid-back funk, Mexican folk, atmospheric indie-pop and more, combining mostly downtempo beats with his aching vocals and lyrics of love, loss and identity. Special guests include Kali Uchis, Bootsy Collins, and Albert Hammond Jr.
Jim White – Misfit's Jubilee (Fluff & Gravy)
This eccentric Georgia-based artist’s eighth album is a well-crafted set ranging from gritty, driving roots-rock to buoyant, country-tinged rock, and quirky folk-rock. The songs by and large are some of his most hard-hitting, both musically and lyrically, as they revolve around a country being torn apart by divisive politics, religious intolerance, and opioid abuse.
The Nude Party – Midnight Manor (New West)
This upstate New York-via-North Carolina band’s second album is a fun set of ‘70s-inspired rock ranging from swaggering Stones rock and theatrical glam to high-energy roots-rock and sardonic, country-tinged folk-rock.
Raul Monsalve y Los Forajidos – Bichos (Olindo)
The latest album from this Venezuelan band led by bassist Raul Monsalve is a strong set of Afro-Venezuelan music inflected with Afrobeat, funk, Latin jazz, and other styles.
HEALTH – DISCO4 (Loma Vista)
The latest album from this LA band features collaborative recordings the group made over the past few years with an impressive variety of other artists including The Soft Moon, JPEGMAFIA, Soccer Mommy, 100 Gecs, and Xiu Xiu. Many have been previously released, but there are a few new ones. The album coheres surprisingly well, with the sound being a dark, ominous blend of industrial, noise-rock, metal, and electronic styles.
Azymuth, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge – Jazz Is Dead 4 (Jazz Is Dead)
For the latest installment in their Jazz Is Dead series, Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad teamed up with the veteran Brazilian jazz-funk group Azymuth for a beautifully crafted set of instrumentals blending jazz, funk, samba and other styles.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Just Dropped In... (Daptone)
This compilation collects various cover songs recorded by the late New York soul singer and her band, a few of which are previously unreleased.
Cherry Pickles – The Juice That’s Worth the Squeeze (PNKSLM)
This Birmingham, England-based duo’s second album is a visceral set of energetic, lo-fi garage-rock inflected with No Wave, ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, and other styles.
King Of Hawaii – Road Trip (American Surf)
This veteran Seattle band’s latest release is a fine set of evocative surf instrumentals incorporating elements of garage-rock, western and Latin music, combining reverbed Fender guitars and driving rhythms with occasional trumpet, pedal steel and fiddle.
Loma – Don't Shy Away (Sub Pop)
The second album from this Texas trio comprised of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg is a well-crafted, atmospheric blend of desert folk-rock and hypnotic psych-rock, combining guitars, keyboards, clarinet, sax, koto and more with Cross’s haunting vocals and lyrics of solitude, change and hope.
Ivan & Alyosha – Ivan & Alyosha (Nettwerk)
This Seattle band’s third album collects songs from a couple EPs released in 2019 and 2020 along with a couple of new songs. It’s a solid set of wistful folk-pop with soaring harmonies and anthemic choruses.
Plants and Animals – The Jungle (Secret City)
This Montreal band’s fifth studio album is a solid set of prog-tinged indie-pop.
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 Bartees Strange, Spillage Village, IDLES, and more.