New Music Reviews (7/20)

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 My Morning Jacket, Kestrels, Black Ends, and more.

My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall II (ATO)
This veteran Louisville band’s eighth studio album is a sequel to their previous album (2015’s The Waterfall). The album features a diverse, though often low-key sound ranging from heavy psych-rock, atmospheric space-pop and robotic funk-rock to soulful country-rock and airy, R&B-influenced ballads, with many of the lyrics revolving around loss, weariness and hope for better days ahead. — DY

Kestrels – Dream or Don’t Dream (Darla)
This Halifax, Nova Scotia band’s fourth album is a strong set of ‘90s-steeped shoegazer psych-rock. Produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, etc.), the album combines grungy, effects-drenched guitars and driving rhythms with airy vocals and soaring song hooks. — DY

Black Ends – Stay Evil EP (self-released)
The second EP from this Seattle trio led by Nicolle Swims is an adventurous 4-song set ranging from shape-shifting blends of post-punk and grunge to clattering avant-folk and haunting folk-grunge. — DY

Thiago Nassif – Mente (Gearbox)
This Brazilian musician/producer’s fourth album is an adventurous blend of Tropicalia, bossa nova, funk, jazz, No Wave and more. Co-produced by regular collaborator Arto Lindsay, the album features inventive song arrangements combining angular guitars, buzzing synths and a variety of traditional Brazilian instrumentation with unconventional rhythms and warm melodies. — DY

Julianna Barwick – Healing Is a Miracle (Ninja Tune)
This LA-via-Brooklyn artist’s fourth album is a beautifully crafted set of soothing ambient pop with a reverbed sound combining celestial synths with her soaring, mostly wordless layered vocals. — DY

Margo Price – That's How Rumors Get Started (Loma Vista)
This Nashville-based artist’s third album moves beyond the more traditional country sounds of her first two albums in favor of a ‘70s/’80s roots-tinged rock sound. Produced by fellow country renegade Sturgill Simpson, the album combines a warm, often soul-influenced rock sound with lyrics revolving around life on the road and love falling apart. — DY

Captain Planet – No Visa (Bastard Jazz)
The fifth album from this LA-based DJ/producer (aka Charlie Wilder) is a sunny and musically diverse, dance-friendly set combining a variety of African, Caribbean, South American and Middle Eastern influences with funk, hip hop, reggae, house and other propulsive grooves. Guest vocalists from around the globe contribute to many of the highlights. — DY

Kutiman – Wachaga (Siyal)
The fourth album from this Israeli musician/producer (aka Ophir Kutiel) is a mesmerizing blend of spiritual jazz recordings he made with three Israeli jazz musicians with field recordings of folksong and ambient sounds he collected while in Tanzania. — DY

Derrick Hodge – Color of Noize (Blue Note)
The third solo album from this multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer who’s collaborated with Robert Glasper, Terence Blanchard, Common, Maxwell and other notables is an expansive set of atmospheric, often groove-driven jazz inflected with funk, hip hop, soul and other styles. — DY

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – All the Good Times (Acony)
The latest album from the Nashville-based duo is a well-crafted set of covers ranging from Bob Dylan and John Prine to Elizabeth Cotton and Norman Blake, featuring a warm, intimate sound combining the duo’s intertwining guitars and close harmonies. — DY

Falle Nioke & Ghost Culture – Youkounkoun EP (PRAH)
The debut EP from this London-based duo comprised of Guinea Conakry vocalist/percussionist Falle Nioke and British electronic producer Ghost Culture (aka James Greenwood) is a seamless blend of traditional West African styles and electronic grooves, combining propulsive electronic beats and a variety of percussion with Nioke’s haunting vocals and hypnotic melodies. — DY

uKhoiKhoi – uKhoiKhoi EP (self-released)
This South African duo’s debut EP is a vibrant blend of electronic loops with indigenous chants, praise poetry and operatic influences. — DY

Illuminati hotties – Free I.H.: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For (self-released)
This LA artist (aka Sarah Tudzin) follows up her 2018 debut album Kiss Yr Frenemies with a visceral mixtape ranging from energetic bursts of pop-punk to experimental noise-rap, with the album’s often-sardonic lyrics revolving around being trapped. — DY

Holy Wave – Interloper (The Reverb Appreciation Society)
This Austin-via-El Paso band’s fifth album is a solid set of psych-tinged dream-pop with shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars, occasional motorik rhythms, serene vocals and spacy melodies. — DY

Medhane – Cold Water (self-released)
The third full-length album (and 2nd of 2020) from this emerging Brooklyn-based rapper is a sharp set of thick, heady, immersive hip-hop that packs his meticulous bars and confident delivery through dense, woozy, warped, bass-heavy beats. Boasting a sound influenced by Ka and Roc Marciano, Medhane's latest statement features assists from his friends keiyaA, Navy Blue, Maxo, Jadasea, ohbliv, Chuck Strangers, and more. — AR

Serena Isioma – Sensitive (Fashionably Early)
The debut EP from this Chicago-based artist is an impressive showcase of her expansive R&B style that sways between groovy, funky, uptempo joints and more brooding laid-back jams that brings to mind the organic chameleonic vibes of Steve Lacy. — AR

Iceboy Violet – Drown To Float (self-released)
The debut release from this non-binary DJ/producer based in Manchester, UK finds them applying a dreamy ambient touch to some of rap's biggest names. Gunna, Young Thug, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and RMR all have their vocals stretched and drenched across woozy post-club beatless soundscapes for a sound that nods to the prominent night bus vibes of the early 2010s. Available for a name-your-price download at — AR

Related News & Reviews

Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (7/13)

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJs Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Dinner Party, The Beths, Smokey Brights, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (6/29)

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJs Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Sault, Bob Dylan, Haim, and more.

Read More