New Music Reviews (6/10)

Album Reviews

Each week, Music Director Chris Sanley and Associate Music Director Alex Ruder (joined this week by Latin Partnerships and Editorial Manager Albina Cabrera) 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 Angélica Garcia, BADBADNOTGOOD, Elkka, and more. 

Angélica Garcia - Gemelo (Partisan Records)
The Partisan Records debut from LA-based Angélica Garcia feels like an artist stepping from black and white into technicolor as she explores themes of loneliness, tension, beauty, womanhood and ancestral veneration, sung almost entirely in Spanish for the first time. With vibrant textures, Latin rhythms, memorable pop hooks and innovative song structures, her bewitching, pristine vocals are the cornerstone of this exceptional album that perfectly encompasses the duality of tenderness and intensity within the human experience. – CS

BADBADNOTGOOD - Mid Spiral (XL Recordings Ltd / Innovative Leisure) 
This Canadian jazz trio just cannot be stopped. Released as a three part suite to reflect both the moods of the musicians and the state of the world – Chaos, Order and Growth – Mid Spiral is a dynamic set of instrumental contemporary jazz fusion, weaving hip-hop, psych, funk and neo-soul into these spellbinding arrangements to achieve their undeniable, innovative sound. –CS

Elkka - Prism of Pleasure (Ninja Tune)
The debut album from Cardiff-born producer and DJ Elkka is a glittering, emotive dance album with mesmerizing beats, delectable synths and transcendent vocals. Her pop-focused house music ranges from dancefloor bangers (“Right Here” + “Make Me”) to hypnotic long burners (“Passionfruit”) for a knockout first full length. –CS

Good Looks - Lived Here For A While (Keeled Scales)
The sophomore album from Austin-based Good Looks finds the quartet confidently leveling up their brand of folk tinged indie-rock. With big, melodic guitars, stunning vocal harmonies and explosive percussion, they navigate themes of family dysfunctions, the American class system, relationships of all kinds– romantic, platonic, familial – and gentrification. Lived Here For A While is an impressive second outing from a band that has truly hit their stride.  –CS

Kairos Creature Club - Kairos Creature Club (Greenway Records)
The full length self-titled debut from the Jacksonville-based project from multi-instrumentalists Lena Simon (La Luz) and Glenn Michael Van Dyke (Boytoy) is a compelling fusion of psych, bedroom pop and indie-rock with dreamy vocals, hazy guitars, swirling synths and intoxicatingly kinetic drum work. – CS

L’Impératrice - Pulsar (microqlima)
The third album from this French band is another strong set of colorful, stylish, groovy disco-tinted synth-pop distinguished by the smooth bi-lingual vocals of lead singer Flore Benguigui. Leaning more heavily into French touch and slinky disco flavors, Pulsar oozes with a charismatic swagger and a sophisticated cool and features guest appearances from Erick the Architect, Maggie Rogers, and Fabiana Martone.  –AR

Man Man - Carrot On Strings (Sub Pop)
The seventh studio album from the LA-based outfit led by Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus) finds the band’s wild antics a bit more subdued, while still containing plenty of unique character. With funky basslines, synths and dynamic percussion on prominent display throughout their inventive arrangements, Carrot On Strings showcases a more tranquil side of Man Man without losing any of the intrigue.  –CS

NATHY PELUSO - GRASA (5020 Records/Sony Music España)
GRASA is the second studio album by Argentine-Spanish singer Nathy Peluso and her first in four years. Produced by Peluso alongside a diverse team, including Manuel Lara from Venezuela. The album features collaborations with artists like Duki, Lua de Santana, and Ca7riel y Paco. Musically, GRASA takes you on a journey true to Peluso's style, where the excessive and theatrical become natural and necessary in her music and identity. It includes Latin rap tracks like "Aprender a Amar," "Manhattan," and "Todo Roto," while also blending genres such as salsa, reggaeton, pop, and trap. Peluso had an album ready but completely discarded it after advice from Argentine rock idol Fito Paez, who encouraged her to listen to her heart. This led to the creation of GRASA, arriving at the last minute but on time. The title, meaning "grease" in Spanish, was chosen for its multiple meanings: "something rough, something strong," and childhood memories of her dad working at a gas station, coming home with his hands and clothes covered in grease, which became a "symbol for hard-working people" to Peluso. "Grasa" is also a slang term in Argentina for vulgar things. – AC 

Bat for Lashes - The Dream of Delphi (Mercury KX) 
The sixth studio album from Natasha Khan — aka Bat For Lashes — is a touching exploration of motherhood through her keys driven alt pop. From swirling synths to tender piano and with plenty of layered atmospherics including harps, flutes, and organs, Khan expresses the peaks and valleys of “the Motherwitch”, which is what she calls the armor she dons as a parent and protector. The result is a raw, personal and theatrical avant-pop album from this remarkable multi-disciplinary artist who continues to evolve with each release. –CS

Kasbo - The Learning of Urgency (Foreign Family Collective)
The third studio album, and first in four years, from Gothenburg-based producer and DJ Kasbo is a cinematic deep dive into his world of house music with soothing synths, propulsive beats and excellent guest vocalists in Shallou, BJOERN, PEARL, ViVii, Frida Sundemo and Dan Whitlam. Inspired by the feeling of being submerged in water, The Learning of Urgency is a practice in taking the time to slow down and find tranquility. –CS

Margaux - Inside the Marble (Massif)
Margaux is the simplified alias of Seattle-raised, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Margaux Bouchegnies, an emerging artist who has previously worked with Katy Kirby, Allegra Krieger, San Fermin, Dougie Poole, and more. Her debut full-length album is a smartly crafted set of sweeping indie pop and stately folk-pop that confidently display a young artist with a poised sound and a knack for strong storytelling, with songs frequently touching upon “making sense of big feelings.” –AR

Night Tapes - assisted memories (Nettwerk)
Following a steady string of earworm singles, London-based outfit Night Tapes unveil their most fleshed-out release to date, a 7-track mini-album that puts their lush, shimmery, addictive dream-pop on full display. Early single “drifting,” an infectious standout cut that recalls a soft-focus take on Empire of the Sun’s “Walking On A Dream,” kicks off the set in peak form, beautifully setting the stage for the band’s blend of warm and richly-detailed productions with the ethereal vocals of Night Tapes frontwoman Iiris Vesik. – AR

Razor Braids - Big Wave (self-released)
The sophomore album from Brooklyn-based queer/femme trio Razor Braids is a solid set of melodic indie-rock with hints of garage and indie-pop. This Big Wave boasts well-crafted song structures, swirling guitars, dreamy vocals and emotive, vulnerable lyricism. –CS

The Zawose Queens - Miasha (Real World Records)
The debut album from the duo of Leah and Pendo Zawose is a lively, polyrhythmic celebration of the Tanzanian Wagogo people. Born into the musical dynasty of the Zawose family, Maisha marks the first release from the family with women as the leads. Incorporating traditional instruments like illimba thumb piano and ngoma drums with modern production, The Zawose Queens sing in Gogo, welcoming all to dance along and inviting other women in East Africa to step into the spotlight. –CS

Wonder 45 - Wonderland (Big AC)
The debut album from this London-based ensemble is a sharp set of soaring, funky, nostalgia-soaked soul songs featuring lavish full-band arrangements and powerhouse vocals supplied by Jessica Greenfield and Gavin Conder. –AR

High Fruit - Kumar (Live Animal)
High Fruit is the alias of Seattle-based electronic producer and sound designer Patrick Balthrop. His debut EP is a buoyant set of kinetic electronic grooves featuring aerobatic, transportive, heavily-treated vocals that bubble and soar atop his pulsating house rhythms. Conceived while bedridden and unable to walk during a flare-up of his Crohn's disease, Kumar is High Fruit’s soundtrack for getting back onto the dancefloor and getting lost in euphoric beats. –AR

Klaverson - Reflections (Beyond)
The debut EP from this project of London-based singer, songwriter, and producer Jack Lintorn is a promising set of sultry downtempo songs full of lush gentle beats, soulful smoky vocals, and atmospheric late-night vibes. –AR

Sango - North Vol. 2 (Sango Recordings)
The latest album from Seattle’s Sango (aka Kai Asa Savon Wright) is the long-awaited follow-up to his breakout 2013 album North and it continues to showcase his on-going evolution as an in-demand producer. While he’s long proven himself a versatile and global-minded beatmaker, North Vol. 2 showcases his ability to create top-shelf beats within a sultry hybrid of R&B, hip-hop, and electronic styles, laying the foundation for a stacked roster of guests including Rochelle Jordan, Channel Tres, Smino, Dave B., Jesse Boykins III, Peyton, and more. –AR

SUGARFUNGUS - A Known Thing (self-released)
The debut full-length album from this Vancouver, BC outfit is a solid set of dreamy, driving, melancholic indie pop that blends groovy beats, pillowy synths, and bright guitars with lead singer Tess Meckling’s ethereal vocals for a sound that the band has aptly described as dance music for introverts. –AR

Tiger & Woods - Dancing Without Headphones (Running Back)
The latest EP from this veteran Italian DJ/production duo well-known for their brilliant disco edits is another addictive set of dancefloor-primed jams that blend disco, house, boogie, funk, and pop in classic T&W fashion. Lead single “Cotton & Silk” features a guest vocal appearance from ‘Em for an immediate can’t-miss highlight. –AR
Wiseboy Jeremy - 635 (self-released)
The latest offering from New Jersey rapper Wiseboy Jeremy (aka Jeremiah Ochoa) is a solid 3-track EP that showcases his nimble flow and dexterous wordplay over thick, woozy, sample-heavy beats. –AR

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