Each week, Music Director Chris Sanley and Associate Music Director Alex Ruder share 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 Danny Brown, OKAN, Wishy, and more.
Danny Brown - Quaranta (Warp)
A LOT has happened since the iconic Detroit rapper dropped his breakout album XXX over a decade ago. Now sober and based in Austin, TX the experimental hip-hop mastermind expands upon and refines his avant-garde production with his most personal release to date. On his sixth studio album, we find Brown oscillating between his idiosyncratic vocal delivery and a more subdued approach, reflecting on his past, and forging a path ahead. Quaranta feels like a deep, ruminative breath at the top of a new chapter for the legendary artist. “Time waits for no man, so you can't waste time / Can't get time back, time after time” — CS
OKAN - Okantomi (Lulaworld)
On their third album, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne weave together global jazz, Cuban rhythms, tropi-pop, and more for a dynamic listen from top to bottom. Utilizing Spanish, English, Spanglish and sacred Lacumi chants, the Canadian Afro-Cuban duo explore their complex relationship with their homeland, Cuba. — CS
Wishy - Paradise EP (Winspear)
Their second EP of 2023 and first with new label home Winspear is delectable with their infectious guitar hooks and memorable melodies. The Indiana outfit’s dreampop and indie-rock sound with shoegaze undercurrents will keep the listener melting into these final weeks of the year, as the band touches on themes of love, self-actualization and surviving in a capitalist society. — CS
Elephant Gym - World (Topshelf)
With a multi-faceted, enigmatic and enchanting fusion of jazz, art rock, orchestral pop, psych, math and pretty much everything else under the sun, you won’t soon forget the first time you hear Elephant Gym. World finds the Kaohsiung, Taiwan trio celebrating ten years as a band, featuring new songs and re-worked old ones as they introduce new listeners to their world. — CS
Sunsick Daisy - Breathe In… Breathe Out EP (self-released)
The debut EP from Australian dream pop outfit is full of sunsoaked, woozy guitars, dreamy melodies as they dissect battles with insecurities and mental health. Breathe In… Breathe Out is an impressive first outing, poising Sunksick Daisy to have an exciting 2024. — CS
Espen Horne - The Anatomy Of Serene Eloquence (Wah Wah 45s)
Twenty-four years removed from providing the A-side for esteemed UK label Wah Wah 45s’ very first release, veteran Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and producer Espen Horne unveils his debut full-length album under his own name and it’s a super lush record that swims through soul, jazz, folk, psych, lounge, downtempo and dub flavors with a classic analog touch. While his warm productions shine bright throughout, a handful of guest vocalists add their own distinctive flavors to the mix. — AR
Raiza Biza - The Prequel EP (Low Key Source)
The latest EP from Rwandan-New Zealand rapper Raiza Biza is a promising set of worldly hip-hop infused with R&B and Afrobeat flourishes. — AR
The Blessed Madonna, Joy Anonymous, Danielle Ponder - Carry Me Higher (FFRR)
This unique collaboration between American DJ/producer The Blessed Madonna, UK duo Joy Anonymous, and Rochester, NY-based vocalist (and former public attorney) Danielle Ponder contains two knockout soulful dancefloor anthems, the house stylings of “Carry Me Higher” and the jungle/breaks-led “Something Doesn’t Feel Right,” alongside two stunning stripped-back demo versions of those tracks. While it’s all stellar, the demo versions truly spotlight the beauty of Danielle Ponder’s voice, which sounds amazing in their skeletal versions as well as over the addictive dancefloor rhythms created by The Blessed Madonna and Joy Anonymous. — AR
United Freedom Collective - Vast Oceans, Empty Skies (Dama Dama)
The third EP from this constantly evolving London-based collective is a diverse set of kinetic grooves and sweeping cinematic pieces that blend soul, electronic, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and worldly flavors into its genre-fluid sound. UK lyricist Joshua Idehen and Kenyan artist Labdi contribute vocals on the EP’s two standout tracks. — AR
Each week, Music Director Chris Sanley and Associate Music Director Alex Ruder share brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. See what we added this week, including new releases from DijahSB, La Dame Blanche, Car Seat Headrest, and more.
Each week, Music Director Chris Sanley and Associate Music Director Alex Ruder share brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. See what we added this week, including new releases from GC OConnor, Midas The Jagaban, The Halluci Nation, and more.