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 Waxahatchee, The Weeknd, Sorry, and more.
Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud (Merge)
The fifth Waxahatchee album from Alabama-bred, Philly-based artist Katie Crutchfield is her strongest set to date as she switches up her sound yet again, moving from the grunge-tinted rock of her previous album (2017’s Out in the Storm) to warm folk-rock with jangly guitars, buoyant melodies and some of her most indelible songs with intimate, clear-eyed lyrics of self-reflection, desire, change, and mortality.
The Weeknd – After Hours (XO/Republic)
The fourth official album from this Toronto artist (aka Abel Tesfaye) is a gorgeously produced set of mostly dark, ‘80s-steeped R&B and related styles. With production collaborators ranging from bigtime producers Max Martin and Metro Boomin to Oneohtrix Point Never and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, the album combines cinematic synths and bass-heavy beats with some of Tesfaye’s most impressive vocals to date, along with his usual often-seedy lyrics of drugs, lust, self-loathing, and lost love.
Sorry – 925 (Domino)
The debut album from this London band led by Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen is an expansive blend of driving post-punk, eerie, hypnotic rock and woozy, psych-tinged dream-pop, combining an often-haunting, shape-shifting sound with lyrics of dysfunctional relationships and dead-end lives.
Childish Gambino – 3.15.20 (Wolf + Rothstein/RCA)
The fourth Childish Gambino album from actor/comedian/musician Donald Glover is an inventive blend of psychedelic funk, space-age soul, left-field hip hop, atmospheric ambient-pop, pounding industrial, sunny rhythmic pop and more, combining a diverse, intricately produced sound with lyrics ranging from the digital world’s warping of reality to love’s ups and downs.
Nap Eyes – Snapshot of a Beginner (Jagjaguwar)
This Halifax, Nova Scotia band’s fourth album is a sharply crafted set ranging from atmospheric folk-pop and jangly folk-rock to anthemic, noisy rock, combining an often-lush sound with world-weary vocals and reflective lyrics of vulnerability and regret.
Margaret Glaspy – Devotion (ATO)
This New York-based artist’s strong second album features a more electronic-oriented sound for her sharply crafted indie-pop, along with lyrics exploring different aspects of love and lust during troubled times.
Half Waif – The Caretaker (ANTI-)
The fourth Half Waif album from LA artist Nandi Rose is a beautifully crafted set of cinematic electro-pop combining sweeping synths, stately piano, violin, and occasional flute and clarinet with her rich vocals, soaring melodies, and finely chiseled lyrics exploring aspects of isolation, connection and self-care.
Little Dragon – New Me, Same Us (Ninja Tune)
This Swedish band’s sixth album is another well-crafted set of R&B-tinged electro-pop combining a dreamy, mostly laid-back sound with Yukimi Nagano’s siren vocals and lyrics of hope and resilience.
Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad – Jazz Is Dead (self-released)
The latest collaborative release from the LA-based composer/producer and the A Tribe Called Quest member is named after the LA jazz concert series of the same name. They’re helped out by an all-star supporting cast of often-sampled ‘70s-era jazz veterans like Roy Ayers, Gary Bartz, Brian Jackson, and Doug Carn, along with bossa nova luminaries Joao Donato and Marcos Valle and Brazilian jazz-funk vets Azymuth on this diverse set of ‘70s-steeped jazz ranging from breezy bossa nova to intense jazz-funk.
TOKiMONSTA – Oasis Nocturno (self-released)
This LA-based electronic producer’s sixth album is a diverse, melodic blend of atmospheric downtempo grooves, R&B-tinged electro-pop, buoyant house-pop, banging hip hop, and more.
Western Centuries – Call the Captain (Free Dirt)
This Seattle band’s third album is a well-crafted blend of roots-rock, honky tonk, R&B/soul and more, combining impeccable musicianship with three impressive alternating lead vocalists/songwriters.