New Music Reviews (07/25)

Album Reviews

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 ODESZA, Ty Segall, Beach Bunny, and more.

ODESZA – The Last Goodbye (Ninja Tune)
This Bellingham-bred, Seattle-based duo’s fourth album is a potent set of cinematic electro-pop inflected with house, trip hop and other styles, combining propulsive rhythms, majestic synths, soaring melodies, electronic loops and nostalgic samples taken from home videos and other personal sources with lyrics of memory and connection. The album’s impressive guest list includes Bettye LaVette, Julianna Barwick, Ólafur Arnalds and other notables.

Ty Segall – “Hello, Hi” (Drag City)
This LA-based artist’s latest album is a mostly acoustic-oriented album of psych-tinged folk-rock (with the exception of the scorching hard-rock title song), combining acoustic and occasional electric guitars, relaxed rhythms, a bit of sax, often multi-tracked vocals and dreamy melodies.

Beach Bunny – Emotional Creature (Mom+Pop)
The second album from this Chicago-based band led by Lili Trifilio is a well-crafted set of emotive, hook-filled punk-pop with crunchy guitars, atmospheric synths, punchy rhythms and personal lyrics of anxiety, longing and heartache.

TRAAMS – Personal Best (FatCat)
This British band’s third album (and first in seven years) is a potent set of prog-tinged post-punk with fuzzy guitars, atmospheric synths, chugging, sometimes motorik rhythms and hypnotic melodies. Special guests include Menace Beach’s Liza Violet, Protomartyr’s Joe Casey and Lowly’s Soffie Viemose.

Jack White – Entering Heaven Alive (Third Man)
The fifth solo album from this Nashville-based artist (and founding member of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather) is in stark contrast to his other solo album released this year (the raucous, all-over-the-map Fear of the Dawn). Instead, it’s a generally more reflective and low-key set of psych-tinged folk-rock with a mostly acoustic-oriented sound that still makes room for plenty of musical experimentation.

The Sadies – Colder Streams (Yep Roc)
This Toronto band’s 11th studio album (and the last one to be made with guitarist/vocalist Dallas Good, who passed away earlier this year) is a well-crafted blend of dark psych-rock, spaghetti western, folk-rock and other styles, combining expertly detailed guitar riffs and solos with often-haunting melodies and ominous lyrics for troubled times.

John Moreland – Birds in the Ceiling (Old Omens/Thirty Tigers)
This Tulsa, OK artist’s sixth album is a beautifully crafted set of intimate, often-poignant folk-pop, with an atmospheric, often-spare sound combining guitars, piano, synths, Mellotron and some subtle samples with his slightly gravelly vocals and sharply detailed lyrics of alienation and isolation.

Slack Times – Carried Away (Meritorio)
This Birmingham, AL trio’s debut full-length combines their two earlier EPs along with a brand-new EP into this album of psych-tinged indie-pop with jangly guitars, bouncy rhythms, buoyant harmonies and an abundance of catchy song hooks.

Guided By Voices – Tremblers and Goggles By Rank (Guided By Voices, Inc.)
The latest album from this Dayton, OH band led by Robert Pollard is one of their stronger latter-day releases blending psych-rock, prog, power-pop, post-punk and hard-rock, combining often-shapeshifting arrangements with an abundance of catchy song hooks.

Spacemoth – No Past No Future (Carpark/Wax Nine)
The debut solo album from this Bay Area producer/musician (aka Maryam Qudus) is a solid set of psych-tinged space-pop with sci-fi analog synths, hypnotic rhythms and dreamy melodies.

Ben Harper – Bloodline Maintenance (Chrysalis)
This veteran California artist’s 16th studio album is a well-crafted blend of rock, funk, soul, blues and jazz, combining funk guitars, keyboards, occasional horns and a variety of percussion with often-politically inspired lyrics revolving around racism, inequality and climate change, along with the healing power of love.

The Koreatown Oddity – ISTHISFORREAL? (Stones Throw)
The latest release from this LA-based rapper (aka Dominique Purdy) is a solid release of adventurous hip hop with sometimes densely produced beats, a variety of quirky samples and surreal rhymes revolving around perceptions of reality.

Naomi Alligator – Double Knot (Carpark)
The latest release from this Virginia-bred, LA-based artist (aka Corinne James) is a solid album of intimate folk-pop with an often-spare and acoustic-oriented sound combining guitar, banjo and occasional keyboards with lyrics revolving around moving on and renewal.

Another Magic – Don't Hold Back EP (self-released)
The latest EP from this Seattle artist is a solid four-song set of folk-tinged electro-pop combining looped samples with propulsive rhythms.

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