Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) 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 The Weeknd, Fine Place, Shay Hazan, and more.
The Weeknd – Dawn FM (Republic)
The fifth official studio album from this Toronto artist (aka Abel Tesfaye) is an impressive, ‘80s-steeped blend of R&B, funk, disco and electro-pop. Executive produced by Max Martin, Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) and The Weeknd, the album is lighter in spirit and sound than his other releases and functions as an escapist fantasy out of our current pandemic purgatory. More important, the album contains some of his strongest work to date. — DY
Fine Place – This New Heaven (Night School)
Fine Place is a new Brooklyn-based project comprised of Frankie Rose (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls) and Matthew Hord (of Running, Pop. 1280, Brandy). The duo's debut album is a solid set of brooding 80s-tinted synth-pop that sways between propulsive, dreamy, and anthemic while capturing a nocturnal, mysterious, and slightly ominous mood. — AR
Shay Hazan – Reclusive Rituals (Batov)
Shay Hazan is a Tel Aviv-based composer, producer, bassist, and bandleader who has released multiple straight-forward jazz albums as the frontman for the Shay Hazan Quintet. His first proper solo album finds him exploring a sweet intersection between jazz, hip-hop, funk, psychedelia, and African flavors that's influenced by his introduction to the three-stringed Guimbri, a camel-skin-covered bass plucked lute used by the Gnawa people of North Africa. His implementation of this unique instrument adds a hypnotic and transportive touch to his magnetic instrumental grooves. — AR
ROMderful – PLEASE RECONNECT CONTROLLER (EMA Recordings)
Boasting a fresh sound that recalls The Internet and The Foreign Exchange, the second official full-length from this Seoul-based British producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist is an impressive set of adventurous R&B and soulful hip-hop that gets vocal assists from the likes of Matt Martians (of The Internet), Phonte (of Little Brother and The Foreign Exchange), Niia, Xavier Omär, Darien Brockington, Stevan, and more. — AR
Jamire Williams – But Only After You Have Suffered (International Anthem)
Jamire Williams is a LA-via-Houston multidisciplinary artist, composer, percussionist, and coveted producer who's a member of multiple groups including Jeff Parker & The New Breed and NEXT Collective, and has previously collaborated with Solange, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Moses Sumney, and many more. His second solo album (and International Anthem debut) is a powerfully haunting set of cathartic jazz, soul, gospel, hip-hop, and avant-garde styles distinguished by complex densely-layered arrangements and featuring contributions from Fat Tony, Carlos Niño, Lisa E. Harris, Sam Gendel, Zeroh, Daniel Aged, and more. — AR
F!RES – High Tide (self-released)
The debut album from this Seattle band featuring members of Green Apple Quick Step, Malfunkshun, Brad, Hobosexual and other notables (including the late Shawn Smith on keyboards and backing vocals) is a potent blend of hard-rock, psych and grunge with fuzzy guitars, atmospheric keyboards, muscular rhythms and soaring song hooks. — DY
[ K S R ] – Peace + Harmony EP (First Word)
The third EP (and First Word debut) from this solo project of Manchester, UK-based vocalist Roosevelt Kazaula Sigsbert is a promising set of alternative R&B with a 90s slant that recalls the distinctive UK-steeped soul sound of label mates Children Of Zeus. — AR
(Various) – Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989 (Dark Entries)
Stellar compilation spotlighting Mexican New Wave, synth-pop, techno, and post-punk jams from the 1980s that also marks the first time most of these songs have appeared on vinyl. Dig in! — AR
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 Dijon, Ovlov, Muzi, Ben LaMar Gay, 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 Makaya McCraven, Adele, Aesop Rock x Blockhead, and more.
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 IDLES, Haviah Mighty, Courtney Barnett, and more.