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 Angel Olsen, 070 Shake, Horsegirl, and more.
Angel Olsen – Big Time (Jagjaguwar)
This Asheville, NC-based artist’s sixth album is a beautifully crafted set of country-tinged, orchestral folk-pop. Co-produced by Jonathan Wilson, the album features a warm, sometimes spare and atmospheric sound combining acoustic and electric guitars, piano, organ, strings, horns, pedal steel and other instrumentation with her intimate, tremulous vocals and personal lyrics of loss, grief and new love.
070 Shake – You Can’t Kill Me (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam)
The second official studio album from this New Jersey artist (aka Danielle Balbuena) is a strong set of atmospheric, often-dramatic R&B featuring sometimes shapeshifting songs with moody keyboards, downtempo beats, layered vocals, haunting melodies and lyrics of lost love and heartache.
Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance (Matador)
This teenaged Chicago trio’s debut full-length is an impressive set of ‘90s-steeped rock incorporating elements of Sonic Youth post-punk, shoegaze, New Zealand jangle-pop and other styles, combining raw, bristling guitars with deadpan vocals, serene harmonies and cryptic lyrics.
Fantastic Negrito – White Jesus Black Problems (Storefront)
The fifth Fantastic Negrito album from Oakland artist Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz is a potent, densely produced, energetic blend of funk, rock, soul, blues and other styles. While a concept album based upon his seventh generation grandparents (one was a black slave, the other a white indentured servant), the album also reflects upon today with lyrics of love and resilience in the face of racism and brutality.
Drive-By Truckers – Welcome to Club XIII (ATO)
This veteran Alabama-bred band’s 14th studio album sets aside the pointed political critiques of their last three albums in favor of personal reflections on the band’s formative years, back when they were a struggling young Muscle Shoals band called Adam’s House Cat. The album combines sometimes warm, sometimes ominous roots-tinged rock with vividly detailed lyrics of struggle and resilience.
Adrian Quesada - Boleros Psicodélicos (ATO)
The latest solo album from this Austin-based member of Group Fantasma and Black Pumas pays tribute to 1960s-’70s era balada music, combining a psych-tinged, often-dramatic and haunting sound with an impressive range of guest vocalists and musicians, including Gabriel Garzon-Montano, iLe, Marc Ribot, Natalia Clavier and other notables.
Panda Riot – Extra Cosmic (self-released)
This Chicago-based band’s fourth album is a potent set of shoegazer dream-pop with fuzzy guitars, shimmering synths, driving rhythms, ethereal vocals and soaring song hooks.
Andrew Bird – Inside Problems (Loma Vista)
This veteran Chicago artist’s latest album is a fine set of smartly crafted folk-pop inflected at times with classical, jazz and other styles, with a warm, sophisticated sound combining his plucked and bowed violin, understated guitars and easy-going rhythms with wistful melodies, occasional whistling and introspective lyrics revolving around restless late-night thoughts.
Jasmyn – In the Wild (ANTI-)
The debut album from the Hamilton, ON-based, former frontwoman for Toronto band Weaves is a dynamic set of expansive indie-rock ranging from anthemic rockers and buoyant dance-pop to moody, psych-tinged pop. Produced by John Congleton, the album combines a diverse, colorfully detailed sound with soaring song hooks and lyrics revolving around change and new beginnings.
S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks (Verve Forecast)
This Murray, Kentucky artist’s second album is a potent blend of indie-rock, folk, country, blues and other styles, ranging from fiery, driving rockers to poignant folk-rock ballads, highlighted by her stirring vocals and vulnerable lyrics of unrequited love and resilience.
Painted Shield – Painted Shield 2 (Loosegroove)
The second album from this Seattle band featuring Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard along with Mason Jennings, Brittany Davis and veteran drummer Matt Chamberlain is a well-crafted set of moody, sometimes-atmospheric rock-inflected at times with electro-pop, folk-rock, funk, soul, hard-rock and other styles, with vocals shared by Jennings and Davis.
(Various) - Todo Muere SBXV (Sacred Bones)
Brooklyn label Sacred Bones celebrates its 15th anniversary with this compilation of Sacred Bones artists covering songs from other Sacred Bones artists, with the covers ranging from relatively reverent to dramatic reconstructions of the source material. Try 2 (Psychic TV cover), 3 (Zola Jesus), 4 (Jenny Hval), 9 (Spellling), 10 & 11 (Psychic Ills).-Don Yates
The Suffers – It Starts With Love, It Ends With Love: Part 1 (Missing Piece)
This Houston band’s third album is a well-crafted set of R&B, funk, gospel, Latin funk and other styles, combining warm keyboards, horns, guitars and buoyant rhythms with Kam Franklin’s soulful vocals and lyrics ranging from pointed critiques of racism, misogyny and the record industry to odes to resilience, growth and self-acceptance.
Mary Gauthier – Dark Enough to See the Stars (In the Black/Thirty Tigers)
This Nashville-via-New Orleans artist’s ninth regular studio album is a sharply crafted set of bittersweet, country-tinged folk-rock inflected at times with soul, gospel and other styles, combining an often-spare sound with her aching vocals and poignant, finely chiseled lyrics of loss, mortality and the redemptive power of love.
The Frightnrs – Always (Daptone)
This Queens, NY band’s second album is a well-crafted blend of rock steady, roots reggae and dub, combining loping rhythms, and shimmering keyboards with high, soulful lead vocals from Dan Klein (who passed away from ALS in 2016) that were laid down years ago in preparation for a second album.
Poliça - Madness (Memphis Industries)
This Minneapolis band’s latest release is a solid seven-song mini-album of dark electro-pop combining icy synths and moody beats with Channy Leaneagh’s aching vocals and personal lyrics of loss and grief.
Purity Ring – Graves EP (The Fellowship)
This Canadian duo’s latest release is a fine EP of electro-pop ranging from bright, propulsive and soaring to dark, brooding and atmospheric.