The kids may be off to school but former teen group Arctic Monkeys is all grown up. Now on their fifth full-length, out this week, the British-born, LA-based band have left behind any brattiness for what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls "a slower, thicker and more atmospheric rock sound, while also adding more R&B, blues-rock and hip hop elements with a bass-heavy blend of bluesy psych guitars and prominent falsetto backing vocals accompanying Alex Turner's vinegar croon and bittersweet, masterfully crafted lyrics". While Arctic Monkeys trade schoolboy hijinks for self-assured swagger, Philadelphia band Man Man also put away childish things on their fifth LP, which finds them "moving away from their more zany, freewheeling beginnings in favor of a less busy, more focused and pop-oriented sound, while still retaining plenty of the band’s trademark energy, colorful instrumentation and eclectic genre-blending on a variety of imaginative prog-pop songs that are often as poignant as they are ear-catching." UK duo Goldfrapp move away from the heavy synths on their new album, preferring acoustic guitars instead among their still heavily atmospheric sound. And futuristic pop songstress Janelle Monáe continues her high concept multi-album sci-fi Metropolis narrative with The Electric Lady.
Other excellent new releases this week come from the humorously named Welsh band Joanna Gruesome, whose debut "is a promising set of sugary noise-pop with scuzzy, shoegazerish guitars, energetic rhythms, soft vocals and bright pop hooks"; Connecticut trio The Stepkids, whose second LP is "another adventurous set of cosmic funk and soul inflected with jazz, '70s pop-rock, New Wave and more, with a playful, eclectic sound featuring trippy psych guitars, keyboards, horns, strings, woodwinds, vibes, airy harmonies and seductive melodies"; New York's Forest Fire, who latest is "an impressive set of hazy, mostly slow-burning psych-pop with gently reverbed guitars, haunting keyboards, soft vocals and some gorgeous melodies"; ex-Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu frontman Rick Froberg's current band Obits, whose third album "is another high-octane blend of garage-rock, punk, surf and more"
You'll find more thrashing good times on new albums from J. Roddy Walston & The Business, whose third effort is "their most diverse and adventurous set, ranging from the manic, blues-based punk ‘n’ roll that fired up their last album to glam-rock, soul, doo wop, folk-pop and other styles"; Miami trio Jacuzzi Boys, whose new one "finds them refining their scruffy garage-pop into sparkling pop and garage-rock gems with jangly guitars and bright pop melodies"; young Chicagoans The Orwells, whose latest EP is "a first-rate set of brash garage-pop combining jangly guitars, mostly frenetic rhythms and bright pop melodies"; and San Fran trio Terry Malts, whose sophomore album promises even more infectious and punky noise pop to follow their excellent debut.
You'll also want to check out the debut of Kim Gordon's new project Body/Head for which she's joined by free noise guitarist Bill Nace. Plus, there's still so much more on record store shelves this week, including a 12-disc collection of The Clash's Sound System, new LPs from The Weeknd, London Grammar, Emiliana Torrini, Trombone Shorty, and a lot more.
Check out this week's list of new releases before grabbing these at your favorite record store today:
The Albertans - Jason
Nathan Angelo - Get Back (MP3)
No doubt you've noticed that we're in midst of our 2013 Fall Fundraising Drive. We are asking you to support listener powered radio so that we can continue to bring you the features and programming that you love. One of the services we offer regularly is our weekly roundup of new releases, where ...
Back to school, back to work, back to record shopping. This post-Labor Day week, it's time to get off your duffs and get back out into the world. To get you motivated is a handful of fantastic new releases, many of which you'll find getting major spins on the KEXP airwaves. Among them, is the lat...