A while back, a producer, a DJ and an MC, each with solid careers of their own, formed a sort of hip hop supergroup to face against rising corporate interests in their fields. Like Gorillaz, Deltron 3030 was high-concept, semi-fictional, character driven project that blew the minds of music fans of all genres, and their self-titled debut became a staple of KEXP airplay. That was back in the year 2000. Since then, Dan the Automator, Kid Koala and Del the Funky Homosapien have been promising a follow up to their excellent debut, and now, thirteen years later, they finally deliver. Fortunately, the game hasn't changed in all that time, and Event II, as our Music Director, Don Yates, notes, is full of the features we loved on Deltron 3030: "an eclectic guest lineup and a sci-fi concept theme, along with funky old-school beats, lots of turntable scratching and dystopian lyrics of technology running amok". With guest vocals from a wide range of musicians and actors, including Damon Albarn, Mike Patton, Zack De La Rocha, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Cross, The Lonely Island and more, Event II is easily our top pick of new releases this week.
But there's much more besides waiting for you in record stores today. While you're there, you'll want to pick up some killer debuts whose followups hopefully won't take as long as Deltron's. Buzzy LA sister band HAIM is practically taking over the internet, and their debut is "an impeccably crafted and brightly polished set of ‘80s-steeped California pop incorporating elements of power pop, R&B, soft-rock and more, with sleek guitars, moody synths, echoing drums, danceable rhythms, warm harmonies and an abundance of sparkling pop hooks." The incredibly prolific Ty Segall, who just released his latest solo effort a few weeks ago, has joined San Francisco-based Fuzz to create "a fierce blend of heavy psych-rock, proto-metal and ‘70s stoner-rock with muscular guitar riffs, blistering solos and pummeling rhythms", making for a good counterpoint to his acoustic Sleeper LP. Seattle trio Cumulus are making waves (sorry for the mixed weather metaphor) locally and will hopefully break out with their "well-crafted set of emotive pop-rock with crunchy guitars, driving rhythms, chirpy vocals and wistful melodies." And Brooklyn duo Hunters debut with "a promising set of aggressive, Sonic Youth-influenced garage-punk with heavy rumbling guitars, mostly energetic rhythms and catchy choruses."
Other new releases you'll want to pick up in stores today come from Portland band and long-time KEXP favorite Blitzen Trapper, whose seventh LP features "a more raw, rootsy and beat-driven sound, fleshing out front man Eric Earley’s colorful tales by tapping into classic swamp-rock with a gritty blend of acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, slide guitar, keyboards and funk-inflected beats"; Nashville rockers Those Darlins, whose third album is "a strong set of raw yet tuneful garage-punk with buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms, rough-hewn harmonies, irreverent lyrics and catchy pop hooks"; British band Yuck, who "carry on after the departure of lead singer Daniel Blumberg, with guitarist Max Bloom capably stepping up for lead vocal duties on their second album" and offer "another first-rate set of ‘90s-influenced rock with a blend of fuzzy and jangly guitars, occasional horns and lots of catchy pop hooks"; New York-via-Portland duo The Blow, whose first album in seven years "is a solid set of arty/quirky electro-pop"; and our recent guest during Decibel Festival, Moby, whose eleventh studio album characteristically features "gentle, elegiac downtempo grooves with swelling synths, majestic strings, stately piano, soul-inflected vocal samples and mournful melodies".
And of course there's more! You should also check out the latest from The Field, whose fourth album is "a bit darker take on his hypnotic ambient techno, with six lengthy tracks of subtly shifting sound loops featuring warm, atmospheric synths, pulsing rhythms, micro vocal samples and dreamy melodies"; reunited Chapel Hill group Polvo, whose second album since reuniting a few years back (and sixth overall) "is another fine set of angular and aggressive guitar-rock with knotty guitar lines, shifting rhythms, light vocals and sharp song hooks"; long-running gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama, whose latest, produced by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Volcano Choir), features guest lead vocals on about half of the songs from a surprising selection of indie-rock and folk types, including My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, Sam Amidon, Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus, Patty Griffin and Vernon himself; Philadelphia roots rockers Dr. Dog, whose new album "adds a bit of sweet ‘70s soul flavor to their genial psych-pop sound"; Toronto veterans The Sadies, whose 16th album is "one of their stronger efforts, combining consistently sharp songwriting with more beefed-up production on this seamless blend of psych-rock, surf and country-rock"; Vancouver, BC, producer Teen Daze, whose third LP is "a solid album of ambient dream-pop, combining chilly keyboards, glacial rhythms and spare ethereal vocals"; and Saint Rich, a new project of Delicate Steve bandmates Steve Marion and Christian Peslak, whose debut is "a solid blend of psych-pop, power pop, prog, folk-rock and more". And that's not to mention the latest from Quasi, Elf Power, Bailterspace, Basia Bulat, Blue Sky Black Death, The Deep Dark Woods and the extremely popular young signer Lorde.
Look for all of these and much more in record stores today, but before you go, be sure to sample the songs gathered below from this week's outstanding list of new releases:
Bailterspace - Films of You (MP3)
Black Books - Paradise
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