Vacation's over, folks. Those last several weeks of light weekly lists with barely a handful of worthwhile new releases are no more. Time to get back to record shopping in earnest. And this week is a doozy! Topping the list is the tenth album from veteran Chapel Hill, NC, group Superchunk. Released on the label band cofounders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan started, Merge Records, I Hate Music proves exactly the opposite of its title. Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls it "another excellent set of exuberant, hook-filled pop-punk, featuring consistently stellar songs with punchy guitars, energetic rhythms and anthemic sing-along choruses." Look for Superchunk performing at Bumbershoot on Labor Day weekend, where they will also be playing for KEXP at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. Get more information here.
Also out this week is the ninth album from Portland singer-songwriter Laura Veirs, which Don Yates describes as "an impressive set of beautifully crafted folk-pop, with a lushly produced sound (courtesy of longtime producer/husband Tucker Marine) and a variety of special guests (including Neko Case, kd lang, Jim James, Brian Blade, members of the Decemberists and other notables) helping to flesh out Veirs’ finely chiseled songs, which find her contrasting the joys of love and motherhood with the horrors of war, suicide and gun violence." LA duo No Age return after three years with their fourth album, which turns out to be "a dramatic change of pace that finds them exploring the sounds of stern post-punk, atmospheric shoegaze and amelodic No Wave with a mostly bleak blend of angular guitar lines, noisy ambient textures, taut rhythms and monotone vocals." (No Age will be live on KEXP tomorrow at 11AM.) And California retro-rockers Crocodiles continue their dark, fuzzy, happy-to-be-heartbroken sound, with tighter production this time courtesy of The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner, on their fourth LP, Crimes of Passion.
Other excellent new releases this week come from the horribly named but awesome sounding Nashville band Diarrhea Planet, who second album is "an impressive, high-energy blend of raucous garage-rock, buzzsaw Ramones punk, melodic power-pop, riff-heavy hard-rock and epic Springsteen grandeur, combining a massive four-guitar attack with an abundance of catchy hooks"; prolific LA-via-San Francisco musician Ty Segall, whose latest is "a striking change of pace that turns down the amps in favor of brooding, acoustic-oriented psych-folk, featuring a raw, stripped-down sound combining acoustic psych guitars and occasional strings with dark, introspective lyrics centering around his adoptive father’s recent death and his subsequent estrangement from his mother"; 11-member Portland group Typhoon, whose third album is "a potent set of orchestral folk-pop, with a rich, dynamic sound featuring electric and hard-strummed acoustic guitars, horns, strings, keyboards and more on emotive, often lyrically dark songs laced with epic crescendos and sing-along choruses"; and LA-based artist Zola Jesus (a.k.a. Nika Roza Danilova) who teams up with JG Thirlwell (a.k.a. Foetus) and the New York-based Mivos Quartet for a "re-working some of her previously released songs" with a more "acoustic-oriented, chamber-pop sound [that] is dramatically different from the more electronic-oriented source material, it still provides a beautiful, haunting frame for her dramatic, impassioned vocals".
You'll also want to check out the latest from Julianna Barwick, who recorded her third album in Iceland with with Alex Somers and an array of Icelandic musicians; Danish band Kissaway Trail who return with "a rock-solid set of epic, psych-tinged pop-rock with layered oceanic guitars, atmospheric synths and catchy pop hooks"; New York's Ski Lodge, whose debut is "a promising set of dreamy post-punk with jangly guitars, atmospheric keyboards, morose vocals, dark lyrics and wistful melodies"; New Zealand trio Surf City, whose second album is "another impressive set of hooky, psych-tinged garage-pop reminiscent of ‘80s-era New Zealand bands like The Clean and The Chills, though with a bit heavier emphasis on fuzzy, reverb-drenched guitars"; and veteran Nashville-based singer-songwriter Tim Easton, whose latest is "an often-fiery set of lean roots-rock inflected with rockabilly, blues and other vintage styles, combining stinging guitar licks with lively rhythms".
And there's much, much more, including new albums from Porcelain Raft, Pure Bathing Culture, White Lies, Shigeto, DIANA, Bent Shapes, White Hills, His Electro Blue Voice, Widower, Army Navy, Earl Sweatshirt, BRAIDS, and many others. Plus, you'll find a deluxe edition of The Lumineers' debut, including a few bonus tracks, and reissues from the pre-Dirty Three Australian band Venom P. Stinger, featuring Mick Harvey and drummer Jim White.
It's mind blowing, really, so you're going to need to get started right away. But not before you sample the tracks gathered below.
Army Navy - Crushed Like the Car
We know you're probably hoping to catch your breath, and rest your wallet, after last week's budget-busting list of new releases, but we can't wait for you to hear the killer albums out this week. Topping the list are four albums already in KEXP's heavy rotation, including the anticipated debut L...
Our live guests today, The Moondoggies, have one of this week's top new releases with their excellent third LP, Adios I'm a Ghost. The Seattle band has long been a KEXP favorite, and their fans certainly won't stop loving them after hearing their latest, which our Music Director, Don Yates, calls...