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 Kokoroko, Meridian Brothers, Kaidi Tatham, and more.
Kokoroko – Could We Be More (Brownswood Recordings)
This eight-piece London-based band’s debut album is a well-crafted blend of jazz, Afrobeat, highlife, funk, soul and other styles, featuring a warm, breezy sound with ringing guitars, simmering keyboards, percolating rhythms, soaring horns and buoyant melodies.
Meridian Brothers – Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento (Ansonia)
The 11th full-length from this Colombia project spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Eblis Alvarez is a concept album about a mythical 1970s-era salsa band El Grupo Renacimiento. As for the music, it’s a stellar, often-playful set of salsa dura combining lively rhythms, echoing guitars and plinking keyboards with bright harmonies and often-politically minded lyrics aimed at technology overload, police brutality and nuclear annihilation.
Kaidi Tatham – Don’t Rush the Process (First Word)
The fourth solo album released under his own name from this Belfast-based British multi-instrumentalist (and former member of production collective Bugz in the Attic) is an expansive blend of jazz, disco, boogie, funk, hip hop, bossa nova and other styles. The album’s buoyant, beat-driven sound is fleshed out with a variety of keyboards, strings, horns, harp and other instrumentation.
Cheekface – Too Much to Ask (New Professor)
This LA trio’s third album is a fun set of irreverent, hook-filled indie-rock combining jangly guitars, energetic, sometimes dance-friendly rhythms and buoyant song hooks with Greg Katz’s talk-singing and often tongue-in-cheek lyrics playfully skewering various aspects of modern life.
Pool Kids – Pool Kids (Skeletal Lightning)
This Chicago/Tallahassee band’s second album is a potent set of emotive indie-rock with a dynamic, hook-filled sound ranging from soaring, cathartic rockers to moody, atmospheric ballads. Produced in Seattle by Mike Vernon Davis (Foxing, Braids, Great Grandpa, Special Explosion), the album combines intricate guitar textures, atmospheric keyboards and often-punchy rhythms with Christine Goodwyne’s impassioned vocals and lyrics of heartache, loss and resilience.
King Princess – Hold On Baby (Columbia)
This New York artist’s second album is a well-crafted set of moody, often-downcast pop combining fuzzy synths, guitars and more with her elastic vocals and lyrics of love, heartache, substance abuse and self-acceptance.
(Various) – Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson (Easy Eye Sound)
This impressive tribute album to the veteran country singer was overseen and produced by Dan Auerbach and David Ferguson. The album features a warm, rootsy, yet fairly diverse sound encompassing country, bluegrass, folk, soul, rock and more, along with a stellar lineup of contributors including Sturgill Simpson, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, John Prine, Sierra Ferrell, Del McCoury and other notables.
Marci – Marci (Arbutus)
The debut solo album from TOPS keyboardist/vocalist Marta Cikojevic is a well-crafted set of breezy, dance-friendly electro-pop with shimmering synths, propulsive rhythms, breathy vocals and buoyant song hooks.
Brijean – Angelo EP (Ghostly International)
The latest release from the LA-based duo of Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart is a solid EP of breezy, dance-friendly electro-pop inflected with house, disco, tropicalia and other styles, combining propulsive rhythms and shimmering synths with honeyed vocals and dreamy melodies.
Sababa 5 (feat. Shiran Tzfira) – Rali EP (Raw Tapes)
Tel Aviv band Sababa 5 collaborated with vocalist Shiran Tzfira on this impressive four-song EP, which recasts traditional Yemenite folk songs into dance-friendly fusions of psych-rock, funk, disco and other styles.
Foam Roller – Foam Roller (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut album is a solid set of prog-tinged indie-rock combining shapeshifting arrangements with buoyant song hooks.
Cahalen Morrison – Wealth of Sorrow (Fluff & Gravy)
The latest solo album from this member of Seattle band Western Centuries is a well-crafted set of intimate folk ranging from stark acapella folk to wistful, country-tinged ballads.
ZAZAZ – Equinox (self-released)
The debut album from this Seattle trio comprised of former members of IQU and Cobra High is a promising set of cinematic, prog-tinged space-rock with cosmic synths, driving, often-motorik rhythms and majestic melodies.
Buttering Trio – Foursome (Raw Tapes)
This Tel Aviv-based band’s fourth album is a solid set of jazz-tinged R&B combining a warm, atmospheric sound with Karen Dun’s dreamy vocals and hypnotic melodies.
Evening Bell – Travel Trailer EP (self-released)
The latest release from this Seattle band led by Hart Kingsbery and Caitlin Sherman is a three-song EP of recordings the band made before breaking up in 2017, with all three songs featuring a more punchy and energetic take on the band’s moody, psych-tinged rock.