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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

Petite Noir: La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful
Buy! - (Double Six)
The debut full-length from South Africa-bred, Congolese/Angolan artist Yannick Ilunga (aka Petite Noir) is an adventurous blend of post-punk, New Wave, electronic grooves and R&B with various African styles, featuring intricately crafted songs combining densely textured production with his soulful, cavernous vocals and often-politically charged lyrics. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other Petite Noir album reviews:

The King Of Anxiety - 1/23/2015

Buy! - (Mom+Pop)
This LA band follows up their 2013 debut album of raucous, hedonistic garage-punk with a more expansive second album that finds them branching out stylistically while also striking an uneasy balance between partying and getting sober, defiance and regret. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other FIDLAR album reviews:

FIDLAR - 1/25/2013

Telekinesis: Ad Infinitum
Buy! - (Merge)
The fourth album from Michael Lerner’s Telekinesis project is a diverse, expertly crafted set of ‘80s-steeped synth-pop ranging from pulsing dance-pop to atmospheric space-pop ballads. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other Telekinesis album reviews:

Dormarion - 3/22/2013
12 Desperate Straight Lines - 1/21/2011

Low: Ones and Sixes
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
The 11th album from this veteran Duluth, MN trio is another strong set of spacious, minimalist folk-pop, and while there are plenty of the band’s trademark slowly unfurling ballads, there are also some more uptempo psych-pop gems. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other Low album reviews:

The Invisible Way - 3/8/2013
C'mon - 3/25/2011
Drums and Guns - 3/5/2007
The Great Destroyer - 1/6/2005
Trust - 8/15/2002
Things We Lost in the Fire - 1/15/2001
The Curtain Hits The Cast - 8/15/1996

The Arcs: Yours, Dreamily
Buy! - (Nonesuch)
The debut album from this band led by The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is a gritty set of psych-tinged soul and funky blues-rock with fuzzy guitars, moody organ, occasional horns, funk and hip hop rhythms fleshing out well-crafted songs of lost love. The stellar backing band includes Richard Swift, saxophonist Leon Michels, Dap-Kings drummer Homer Steinweiss and bassist Nick Movshon, with other luminaries in guest roles including Tchad Blake, guitarist Kenny Vaughan and the New York all-female mariachi band Mariachi Flor de Toloache. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Joseph Giant: Break It Together
Buy! - (self-released)
The second album from this Seattle band led by Joe Syverson is an impressive, hook-filled blend of swaggering garage-rock, soaring power-pop and reflective folk-rock. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Diane Coffee: Everybody's A Good Dog
Buy! - (Western Vinyl)
The second Diane Coffee album from the now-Bloomington, IN-based Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming is a colorful, ‘70s-influenced blend of airy psych-pop, slinky soul, theatrical glam-rock, twinkling Brill Building pop, spacy acid-rock and more. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Empress Of: Me
Buy! - (Terrible)
The debut full-length from this Brooklyn artist (aka Lorely Rodriguez) is a promising set of brightly colored, intricately crafted electro-pop with vivid synth lines, imaginative textures, percolating club rhythms, breathy vocals and reflective lyrics blending the personal and the political. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Blank Realm: Illegals In Heaven
Buy! - (Fire)
This Australian band’s fifth album (and first recorded in an actual studio) is an excellent, well-crafted set ranging from driving post-punk and shoegazer psych-rock to Flying Nun jangle-pop and motorik garage-punk. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other Blank Realm album reviews:

Grassed Inn - 1/24/2014

Widowspeak: All Yours
Buy! - (Captured Tracks)
The third album from this Tacoma-bred duo now living Saugerties, NY is a beautifully crafted set of psych-tinged folk-pop with atmospheric guitar passages, relaxed rhythms, breathy vocals and dreamy pop melodies. The album’s stellar accompaniment includes members of Quilt and Woods. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Other Widowspeak album reviews:

Almanac - 1/18/2013
Widowspeak - 8/26/2011

Thunderbitch: Thunderbitch
Buy! - (self-released)
Thunderbitch is a Nashville-based side-project featuring Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes accompanied by members of Fly Golden Eagle and Clear Plastic Masks. Their debut album is a raucous set of rootsy garage-rock that often sounds like a more amped-up version of celebratory ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll with raw guitars, pounding piano, energetic rhythms and feral vocals. 9/4/2015 - Don Yates

Foals: What Went Down
Buy! - (Warner Bros.)
This British band’s fourth album is another first-rate set of rhythmic post-punk with a massive sound combining ringing guitars, atmospheric keyboards, driving rhythms, soaring vocals and anthemic song hooks. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Other Foals album reviews:

Holy Fire - 2/15/2013
Total Life Forever - 5/28/2010
Antidotes - 3/26/2008

All Dogs: Kicking Every Day
Buy! - (Salinas)
The debut full-length from this Columbus, OH band led by Maryn Jones (who’s also a member of Saintseneca) is an excellent set of ‘90s-steeped indie-rock with consistently strong, sharply crafted songs featuring fuzzy guitars, dulcet vocals and often-dark, emotionally cathartic lyrics juxtaposed with buoyant pop melodies. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Tijuana Panthers: Poster
Buy! - (Innovative Leisure)
This Long Beach, CA trio’s fourth album is a well-crafted, consistently solid blend of ‘60s-steeped garage-rock, surf, psych-rock and other styles, with an energetic blend of jangly guitars, driving rhythms and catchy pop hooks. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Other Tijuana Panthers album reviews:

Wayne Interest - 6/12/2014

Dam-Funk: Invite The Light
Buy! - (Stones Throw)
Dam-Funk – Invite The Light (Stones Throw) The second album from this LA artist (aka Damon G. Riddick) is a masterfully constructed double album of ’80-steeped boogie-funk with airy synths, occasional fuzzy guitars, mid-tempo funk rhythms and often-vocodered vocals. An impressive guest lineup including Q-Tip, Ariel Pink, Snoop Dogg, Nite Jewel, Kid Sister, Jody Watley, Leon Sylvers III and the Ohio Players’ Junie Morrison. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Mike Krol: Turkey
Buy! - (Merge)
This LA-based artist’s third album is a first-rate blend of raw garage-punk and hook-filled power pop, featuring a scuzzy, lo-fi sound with crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms, snotty vocals, heart-on-sleeve lyrics and sunny pop melodies. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Craig Finn: Faith In The Future
Buy! - (Partisan)
The second solo album from The Hold Steady frontman is a bit more of an intimate and reflective take on his band’s anthemic rock, featuring a variety of character-driven narratives ranging from buoyant uptempo rockers to poignant, acoustic-oriented ballads. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Other Craig Finn album reviews:

Clear Heart Full Eyes - 1/23/2012

Motorhead: Bad Magic
Buy! - (UDR)
The veteran British band sounds as vital as ever on their 22nd album, an unrepentant set of blistering hard-rock with fiery guitar riffs, frenetic rhythms, snarling vocals and fist-pumping song hooks. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Other Motorhead album reviews:

Aftershock - 11/6/2013

Yo La Tengo: Stuff Like That There
Buy! - (Matador)
The veteran Hoboken, NJ band follows up their celebrated low-key 1990 album of covers and originals Fakebook with another equally subdued, mostly acoustic set of wide-ranging covers along with two new originals and three new versions of older Yo La Tengo songs. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

Other Yo La Tengo album reviews:

Fade - 1/11/2013
Popular Songs - 8/25/2009
I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass - 8/29/2006
Summer Sun - 4/15/2003
And then nothing turned itself inside-out - 2/15/2000
I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One - 5/15/1997
Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo - 10/15/1996

Autobahn: Dissemble
Buy! - (Tough Love)
This British band’s debut album is a promising set of stormy post-punk with a murky, bleak sound featuring angular guitar lines, driving rhythms, gloomy, often-shouted vocals and dark lyrics. 8/28/2015 - Don Yates

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