Each week, Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. These reviews help our DJs decide on what they want to play. See what we added this week below (and on our Charts page), including new releases from Yves Tumor, Vince Staples, Tkay Maidza, and more.
Yves Tumor – The Asymptotical World EP (Warp)
The latest release from this Miami-bred, Turin-based artist is a surprise six-song EP that sounds like a continuation of their last album (2020’s excellent Heaven to a Tortured Mind), with a densely textured sound blending moody psych-rock, driving post-punk and futuristic glam.
Vince Staples – Vince Staples (Blacksmith/Motown)
This Long Beach rapper’s latest release is a concise 10-track, 22-minute set of brooding hip hop. Produced by Kenny Beats, the album features a stripped-down, atmospheric sound with spare, mostly laid-back beats, moody synths and warped vocal samples accompanying his steely-eyed delivery and anxiety-fueled lyrics depicting precarious living in Long Beach, leavened with some of his trademark flashes of dark humor.
Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 EP (4AD)
The third and final volume in this Zimbabwean-born, Australia-based artist’s Last Year Was Weird EP trilogy is a diverse, well-crafted set ranging from buoyant, atmospheric R&B to hard-hitting hip hop.
The Goon Sax – Mirror II (Matador)
This Brisbane, Australia trio’s third album is a sharply crafted set of moody post-punk. Produced by John Parish, the album combines buzzing guitars, driving rhythms, bright keyboards and a variety of percussion with alternating lead vocals and angst-fueled lyrics chronicling the disappointments of young adulthood.
Laura Mvula – Pink Noise (Atlantic)
This British artist’s third album (and first in five years) finds her recasting her sound into buoyant, ‘80s-steeped synth-pop and R&B, combining bright synths, funky rhythm guitar riffs, thumping beats, soaring vocals and sparkling melodies.
Wavves – Hideaway (Fat Possum)
The seventh album from this LA-based band led by Nathan Williams is one of their more diverse sets, ranging from angst-fueled garage-punk and grinding grunge to ‘60s psych-pop, galloping, country-tinged rock and sock-hop balladry. The album combines a raw, direct sound with often-dark lyrics and an abundance of sparkling pop hooks.
Half Waif – Mythopoetics (ANTI-)
The fifth album from this Hudson Valley-based artist (aka Nandi Rose) is a potent set of emotive dream-pop with an often piano-based sound fleshed out with atmospheric synths, occasional propulsive rhythms, soaring vocals and reflective lyrics of self-discovery and desire for change.
Koreless – Agor (Young)
The debut full-length from this Welsh producer (aka Lewis Roberts) is an intricately crafted set of experimental post-dubstep with layered, pointillist synths, wordless vocal fragments and emotive melodies.
Rodrigo Amarante – Drama (Polyvinyl)
The second solo album from this Brazilian-born, LA-based artist is a well-crafted set of cinematic folk-pop inflected with bossa nova, samba and other styles, combining guitars, strings, electronic textures, occasional horns and traditional Brazilian percussion with his serene vocals and soothing melodies.
Cochemea – Vol. II Baca Sewa (Daptone)
The second solo album from the New York-based saxophonist for the Dap-Kings finds him once again paying tribute to his Yaqui indigenous heritage while blending traditional Yaqui music with groove-driven jazz.
U-Roy – Solid Gold U-Roy (Trojan Jamaica/BMG)
The final album from this legendary Jamaican artist (who passed away in February) finds him revisiting songs from throughout his storied career (along with the John Holt classic “Man Next Door”) with help from an impressive supporting cast of backing musicians and guest vocalists including Santigold, Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Big Youth and other notables.
The Flatlanders – Treasure of Love (Rack ‘Em/Thirty Tigers)
The latest album (and first in 12 years) from the Lubbock, TX-bred trio of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock is a well-crafted set of country and folk-rock comprised mostly of covers, but also featuring a trio of fine originals, along with a warm sound featuring acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel and alternating lead vocals.
A Place to Bury Strangers – Hologram EP (Dedstrange)
The latest release from this Brooklyn band led by Oliver Ackermann is a bracing five-song EP of noise-drenched psych-rock with distorted guitars, driving rhythms, effects-obscured vocals and hypnotic song hooks.
Peyton – PSA (Stones Throw)
This Houston artist’s debut full-length is a promising set of atmospheric R&B combining shimmering keyboards and laid-back hip hop beats with her supple vocals and lyrics of hope and self-love.
The Lasso, Jordan Hamilton & The Saxsquatch – Tri-Magi (Mello Music Group)
Michigan producer The Lasso teamed up with cellist Jordan Hamilton and saxophonist The Saxsquatch for this atmospheric, groove-driven blend of jazz, funk, hip hop and various electronic grooves.
John Vanderslice – I can’t believe civilization is still going here in 2021! Congratulations to all of us, Love DCB EP (Tiny Telephone)
The latest release from this LA-via-San Francisco artist is a 7-song song tribute EP to his departed friend, David Berman (the EP is named after a note that Berman sent Vanderslice). Featuring all original compositions, the EP alternates between adventurous, moody electro-pop and experimental electronic instrumentals.
Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. See what we added this week below (and on our Charts page), including new releases from Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth, John Grant, Gaspard Augé, and more.
Each week, Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. See what we added this week below (and on our Charts page), including new releases from Cold Cave, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, The Lounge Society, and more.