New Music Reviews (04/18)

Album Reviews

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 Spiritualized, Kurt Vile, Omar Apollo, and more.

Spiritualized – Everything Was Beautiful (Fat Possum)
The ninth album from this veteran British band led by Jason Pierce is an excellent set of psychedelic space-rock inflected at times with blues, country, gospel, jazz and other styles, featuring a densely produced sound combining fuzzy guitars, hypnotic keyboards, strings, brass, woodwinds, harmonica and more with celestial melodies. — DY

Kurt Vile – (watch my moves) (Verve)
This Philadelphia artist’s ninth album is a strong set of sprawling, psych-tinged folk-rock with atmospheric guitars, layers of warm synths, piano, horns, ambling rhythms and more accompanying his serene vocals and reflective lyrics. — DY

Omar Apollo – Ivory (Warner)
This Indiana-bred, LA-based Mexican-American artist’s official debut full-length is an expansive blend of R&B, electro-pop, trap, acoustic folk-pop, funk-pop, Mexican folk and other styles, combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, horns and more with his velvety vocals and intimate bilingual lyrics of love, desire and heartbreak. — DY

King Garbage – Heavy Metal Greasy Love (Ipecac)
King Garbage is the musical project of the acclaimed Asheville, NC production duo of Zach Cooper and Vic Dimotsis, who have collaborated with The Weeknd, Leon Bridges, Jon Batiste, SZA, Ellie Goulding and other notables. Their second King Garbage album is an adventurous, beat-driven blend of murky R&B, dusty psych-pop, jazz and other styles, with intoxicating, intricately constructed soundscapes combining atmospheric keyboards and guitars, warped horns, blunted beats and falsetto vocals. — DY

My Idea – Cry Mfer (Hardly Art)
The debut full-length from this New York-based duo comprised of Palberta’s Lily Konigsberg and Water From Your Eyes’ Nate Amos is a smartly crafted set of expansive indie-pop ranging from bouncy electro-pop to breezy folk-pop, with many of the songs combining sparkling song hooks with frank lyrics depicting the ups and downs of love. — DY

Samora Pinderhughes – Grief (Stretch Music/Ropeadope)
This Bay Area-bred, New York-based artist’s latest release is a beautifully crafted blend of brooding R&B, classical and jazz, with an atmospheric, orchestral sound combining piano, strings, horns, woodwinds and other instrumentation with his intimate vocals and often-poignant lyrics often aimed at racism and oppression. — DY

High Pulp – Pursuit of Ends (ANTI-)
This Seattle band’s second album is an impressive set of modern jazz fusion incorporating elements of funk, hip hop, electronic, psychedelia and more, with an expansive, cinematic, intricately detailed sound featuring dual keyboards, horns, woodwinds, guitars and a variety of rhythms. The album’s stellar guest lineup includes Jacob Mann, Brandee Younger, Theo Croker, and Jaleel Shaw. — DY

Reginald Omas Mamode IV – Stand Strong (Five Easy Pieces)
Wonderfully reminiscent of jitwam, Bastien Keb, Shafiq Husayn, and The Ummah's woozy swagger, the 4th solo album from this London-based vocalist/producer is an excellent set of potent psychedelic soul music infused with a conscious hip-hop foundation. While the warm, organic, addictive beats of Stand Strong are consistently on-point, Reginald also brings powerful lyrics into the mix with songs that encompass a distaste for humanity's collective responses to the hierarchical systems that the ruling classes have conjured, and exposes the system's past abuses and present economic and physical slavery on our future. — AR

Shake Some Action! – Wide Awake (Satellite 451)
The latest album from this Seattle band led by Australian expatriate James Hall is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged power-pop with jangly guitars, often-driving rhythms and soaring song hooks. — DY

These Arms Are Snakes – Duct Tape & Shivering Crows (Suicide Squeeze)
This incendiary compilation collects various 7-inch singles, b-sides and other rarities from this Seattle band’s storied career from 2003-2009, with the music ranging from explosive post-hardcore to some brooding post-punk. — DY

SAVAK – Human Error / Human Delight (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
The fifth album from this Brooklyn band featuring former members of The Cops, The Obits and Holy Fuck is a potent set of energetic post-punk with angular guitars, driving rhythms and lyrics searching for love and hope during dystopian times. — DY

isco Swank x Luke Titus – Some Things Take Time (Sooper)
New York rapper/singer/multi-instrumentalist Cisco Swank teamed up with Chicago drummer Luke Titus for this adventurous blend of jazz, hip hop and R&B, featuring a beat-driven sound combining often-energetic, off-kilter beats with atmospheric keyboards and a variety of other instrumentation. — DY

amon – No Matter The Season (Now-Again)
The 6th album from this veteran SoCal-based, NYC-raised singer is stellar set of throwback soul, funk, and R&B. A collaboration with the production duo Likeminds, No Matter The Season finds Eamon passionately singing over timeless productions that are predominantly based on vintage samples from the Now-Again catalog, including the rich African rhythms of Amanaz’s classic album Zamrock, the infectious funk of Nigerian band The Hygrades, Ayalew Mesfin’s Ethiopian tezetas, and more obscure gems from the label's deep discography. — AR

Yung Bae – Groove Continental: Side A (Arista)
This LA-via-Portland artist’s seventh album is a sleeker, more polished take on his future funk sound, incorporating elements of disco, Japanese city pop, hip hop and other styles with a relentless, sample-heavy blend of propulsive rhythms and buoyant song hooks. The album’s strong supporting cast includes EARTHGANG, Jon Batiste, AWOLNATION, Channel Tres and other notables. — DY

Vitesse X – Us Ephemeral (100% Electronica)
The debut album from this solo project of Brooklyn-based electronic producer and vocalist Vitesse X (aka Jordan Stern) is a sweet set of sleek, kinetic, euphoric synth-pop anthems that pair her ethereal vocals with high-energy club beats that impressively fuse rave, trance, 2-step, techno, IDM, and jungle styles. — AR

Annie Blackman – All Of It (Father/Daughter)
This Brooklyn-based artist’s debut full-length is a well-crafted set of folk-tinged indie-pop with acoustic and electric guitars, wistful melodies and candid, often humor-laced lyrics dealing with the ups and downs of young adulthood. — DY

Babeheaven – Sink Into Me (self-released)
The second album from this UK five-piece outfit centered around the core founding duo of vocalist Nancy Andersen and multi-instrumentalist/producer Jamie Travis (son of Rough Trade Records founder Geoff Travis) is another wonderful set of moody, soulful, cinematic pop that's reminiscent at times of Arlo Parks in their ability to capture an intimate yet widescreen feeling through an assured fusion of trip-hop, dream-pop, and R&B styles. Navy Blue makes the lone guest appearance on "Make Me Wanna." — AR

Jerry Paper – Free Time (Stones Throw)
The latest Jerry Paper album from LA-based artist Lucas Nathan is a solid set of psych-tinged electro-pop combining atmospheric synths, occasional horns and other instrumentation with breezy rhythms and dreamy melodies. — DY

SAULT – AIR (Forever Living Originals)
The latest release from this mysterious British collective led by producer Inflo is far-removed from the beat-oriented sounds of their previous releases. Instead, it’s a surprising set of cinematic orchestral instrumentals that would sound great accompanying a film like Lord of the Rings, with a dramatic sound combining lush strings, sumptuous brass and piano with wordless choral voices. — DY

50 Foot Wave – Black Pearl (Fire)
The second album from this band led by Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh is an adventurous set of heavy, experimental rock with often shape-shifting songs featuring squalling guitars and ominous melodies. — DY

Kansado – Futuro Tumbao II (Darker Than Wax)
The second album from this NYC-based Dominican-American producer is a fresh set of sleek global-leaning beats that colorfully blend Afro-Cuban and Latin influences into bouncy productions that touch upon trap, hip-hop, R&B, and future club styles. — AR

SPRLUA – Magnum Dopus (Fezihaus)
SPRLUA is a new collaborative project between Montreal-based electronic producers Samito and Haig V. Their debut album is a promising set of global vocal-laced electronic grooves rooted in the captivating Amapiano rhythms of South Africa and intermittently inflected with sultry R&B, French house, and hard-hitting rap styles. — AR

i-sef u-sef – consistency (Preference)
The second album from Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Egyptian-American musician Yousef El-Magharbel is a heady, hypnotic set of experimental, poetic, woozy R&B/hip-hop/soul vignettes with a strong jazz streak that's enhanced by his talents on the bassoon and his introspective vocal style. — AR

Mal Blum – Ain't it Nice EP (self-released)
This LA-based artist’s latest release is a solid six-song EP of country-tinged indie-rock combining a lowkey, often-spare sound with bittersweet melodies and lyrics of love, longing and loss. — DY

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