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 Shalom, Fever Ray, Nia Archives, and more.
Shalom – Sublimation (Saddle Creek)
This Maryland-born, South Africa-raised and Brooklyn-based artist’s debut album is a strong set of emotive, hook-filled indie-pop. Produced by Ryan Hemsworth, the album combines fuzzy guitars, punchy rhythms, synths, piano and more with brutally honest lyrics of regret, substance abuse, heartache and alienation.
Fever Ray – Radical Romantics (Mute)
The third Fever Ray album from Swedish artist (and one-half of The Knife) Karin Dreijer is a potent set of adventurous electro-pop combining dark, squiggly synths, atmospheric guitars and more with their eerie, pitch-shifted vocals and lyrics of love and desire.
Nia Archives – Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall EP (HIJINXX/Island)
This London DJ/producer/vocalist’s latest EP is an impressive six-song set of energetic jungle grooves inflected at times with R&B and other styles, combining moody synths and rapid-fire jungle beats with vulnerable lyrics of love and heartache.
Sleaford Mods – UK GRIM (Rough Trade)
This British duo’s seventh proper album is a strong set of acerbic, often beat-driven post-punk with scathing lyrics laced with dark humor dissecting troubled times and dystopian living in today’s Great Britain.
Nuovo Testamento – Love Lines (Discoteca Italia)
This LA-based trio’s second album is a potent set of sparkling Italo disco inflected with cold wave, post-punk and other styles, combining bright, chirpy synths, propulsive rhythms and lyrics of love and desire.
Nappy Nina – Mourning Due (LucidHaus)
This Oakland-raised, Brooklyn-based rapper’s latest album is an impressive set of moody hip hop combining often-anxious, jittery beats with her intricate flow and poetic lyrics of loss, survival and grief. Special guests include Moor Mother, Stas Thee Boss and JusMoni.
Dutch Uncles – True Entertainment (Memphis Industries)
This British band’s sixth album is a well-crafted set of arty indie-pop with jangly guitars, bright keyboards, twitchy, sometimes funk-inflected rhythms and playful melodies.
Shana Cleveland – Manzanita (Hardly Art)
The third solo album from the rural California-based frontwoman for La Luz is a well-crafted set of haunting, psych-tinged folk-pop, combining gentle guitar picking, atmospheric synths, pedal steel, dulcimer, glockenspiel, harpsichord and more with hushed vocals, dreamy melodies and lyrics of love and nature.
Home Front – Games of Power (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
This Edmonton duo’s debut album is a potent blend of anthemic punk brooding post-punk and cinematic synth-pop, combining ringing guitars, glimmering synths, energetic rhythms and lyrics of living in dystopian times.
Ali Farka Touré – Voyageur (World Circuit)
This new compilation collects previously unreleased recordings the legendary Malian guitarist made between 1991-2004 (Touré passed away in 2006). They’re all fine examples of his bluesy blend of various Malian styles, with impressive accompaniment from a stellar lineup of guest musicians including Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Mama Sissoko and Pee Wee Ellis.
Frankie Rose – Love as Projection (Slumberland)
The latest solo album from this New York-based former member of Vivian Girls/Crystal Stilts/Dum Dum Girls/Beverly is a solid set of dreamy, ‘80s-steeped electro-pop with lush synths, ethereal harmonies and wistful melodies.
Lonnie Holley – Oh Me Oh My (Jagjaguwar)
This Alabama-born, Atlanta-based artist’s latest album is an adventurous blend of folk, blues, jazz, funk, soul, ambient, spoken word and more, combining an often-spacious, atmospheric sound with haunting melodies and lyrics of struggle, resilience and connection. Special guests include Moor Mother, Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, Justin Vernon, Rokia Koné and Jeff Parker.
rarelyalways – WORK (Innovative Leisure)
This London artist’s debut album is a cinematic blend of hip hop with jazz, electro-pop and other styles, combining a variety of moody beats with his trenchant rapping.
Willie Nelson – I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (Legacy)
One legendary country songwriter pays tribute to another on this album of songs written by Harlan Howard, combining a warm, rootsy though fairly diverse sound with Willie’s ageless vocals on songs ranging from well-known classics to more obscure chestnuts.
Eyelids – A Colossal Waste of Light (Jealous Butcher)
This Portland band’s fourth album is a potent set of moody, hook-filled indie-pop with jangly guitars, airy harmonies and wistful melodies.
Double Wish – Light Split Sparkle EP (Hit the North)
This Orange County, CA-based duo’s debut EP is a solid set of psych-tinged indie-pop juxtaposing buoyant melodies with often-dark lyrics of self-reflection, substance abuse, depression and loss.
United Freedom Collective – Space Intention EP (Dama Dama)
This London-based collective’s latest release is an atmospheric four-song EP blending moody electronic grooves with folk, spiritual jazz and other styles.