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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

TV on the Radio: Seeds
Buy! - (Harvest)
This Brooklyn-born band’s fifth album (and first following the 2011 death of bassist Gerard Smith) is a more direct, New Wave-oriented take on the band’s blend of post-punk, prog, funk, soul and more, combining a more relaxed and melodic sound with more upfront vocals and emotionally open lyrics. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Other TV on the Radio album reviews:

Nine Types of Light - 4/8/2011
Dear Science, - 9/15/2008
Return to Cookie Mountain - 8/29/2006
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes - 3/1/2004

Royksopp: The Inevitable End
Buy! - (Cherrytree/Interscope)
The fifth and final album from the Norwegian duo of Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland is a masterful set of dark electro-pop with elegiac songs combining layered, atmospheric synths, gently propulsive rhythms, bittersweet melodies and lyrics revolving around mortality and other endings, sung by a solid lineup of guest vocalists (Robyn, The Irrepressibles’ Jamie McDermott, Man Without Country’s Ryan James and Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfor). 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Other Royksopp album reviews:

The Understanding - 7/6/2005
Melody A.M. - 10/15/2002

Azealia Banks: Broke With Expensive Taste
Buy! - (Prospect Park)
This Harlem rapper’s long-delayed debut full-length is an expansive set of hip hop blended with house, U.K. garage, R&B, industrial and other styles, combining adventurous production from the likes of Machinedrum, Lone, Lil Internet and Araabmusik with her confident vocals, alternating between rapid-fire rapping and smooth singing. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Big K.R.I.T.: Cadillactica
Buy! - (Def Jam)
The latest release from the Mississippi-raised, Atlanta-based rapper/producer is a concept album revolving around a fictional planet. Reminiscent at times of Outkast, it’s also his most expansive and authoritative set yet of Southern hip hop steeped in soul, funk, blues and jazz, featuring a warm, plush sound with lush synths, bluesy guitar licks and trunk-rattling beats accompanying his commanding delivery and lyrics blending the philosophical and the down-home. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Ariel Pink: pom pom
Buy! - (4AD)
This LA artist’s latest release is an ambitious double album with 17 songs spanning 69 minutes of warped, often-unsettling psych-pop combined with lounge, New Wave, ‘70s pop, punk, prog, funk, folk-rock, surf, ‘50s rock, novelty jingles and lots more, veering wildly from the poignant and sublime to the goofy and bizarre, sometimes within the same song. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Bryan Ferry: Avonmore
Buy! - (BMG)
While the former Roxy Music frontman’s previous album found him curiously recasting his older material into tinny cabaret jazz, his latest full-length successfully revisits the sleek dance-rock of his former band with a potent blend of liquid guitars, lush keyboards, occasional smooth sax, propulsive rhythms and Ferry’s elegant crooning. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Murder Vibes: Murder Vibes
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle duo’s debut full-length is a promising set of brooding, goth-tinged electro-pop with a dark, haunting sound featuring atmospheric synths, occasional guitars, hypnotic beats and gloomy vocals. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Springtime Carnivore: Springtime Carnivore
Buy! - (Autumn Tone)
Springtime Carnivore is the new project of former Gold Motel frontwoman Greta Morgan. Her debut album under that name is a promising set of dreamy, ‘60s-influenced indie-pop with a warm, psych-tinged sound featuring fuzzy keyboards, hazy vocals, occasional whistling and wistful, girl-group melodies. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers
Buy! - (Modern Love)
This British producer’s fourth album is another adventurous, impeccably crafted blend of ambient, techno, dub and other styles, with a spacious, haunting sound combining bleak, ominous soundscapes with ethereal vocals from Alison Skidmore. 11/14/2014 - Don Yates

Other Andy Stott album reviews:

Luxury Problems - 11/2/2012

Submotion Orchestra: Alium
Buy! - (Counter)
The third album from this Leeds, UK 7-piece outfit propelled by sound designer/producer Ruckspin and vocalist Ruby Wood is another stunning set of soulful, jazzy, bass-heavy electronic grooves that masterfully combine ambient, 2-step, downtempo, and trip-hop elements into its own hypnotic, propulsive sound. Boasting exceptional vocal work from Wood and lush, intricate arrangements, Alium carries a distinctive UK vibe but with a warm, all-embracing organic touch. 11/14/2014 - Alex

The Young Evils: False Starts
Buy! - (self-released)
The latest EP from this Seattle band led by Troy Nelson and Mackenzie Mercer is a strong set of dark, ‘80s-influenced pop-rock with buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms and noirish male/female harmonies. 11/7/2014 - Don Yates

Other Young Evils album reviews:

Foreign Spells - 6/15/2012
Enchanted Chapel - 8/4/2010

Korallreven: Second Comin'
Buy! - (Cascine)
This Swedish duo’s second album is a strong set of blissed-out electro-pop with bright, shimmering synths, propulsive beats, a variety of exotic percussion, hazy vocals and sparkling pop hooks. 11/7/2014 - Don Yates

Other Korallreven album reviews:

An Album By Korallreven - 11/11/2011

Run The Jewels: Run The Jewels 2
Buy! - (Mass Appeal)
New York rapper/producer El-P and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike follow up their excellent 2013 debut as Run The Jewels with an even stronger album featuring a darker, more dynamic and intricate sound with banging hip hop beats accompanying the duo’s booming deliveries and razor-sharp rhymes. The album’s first half leans hard on adrenaline-pumping battle raps while the second half is loaded with politically charged protest songs. The energy is non-stop, and the duo remains on-point from start to finish. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates

Other Run The Jewels album reviews:

Run The Jewels - 7/3/2013

Les Sins: Michael
Buy! - (Company)
Les Sins is the dance-oriented project of Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick. His debut full-length under that name is a smartly constructed blend of house, techno and hip hop beats with warm synths and repeated vocal hooks. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates

Smokey Brights: Taste For Blood
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a promising set of moody, ‘70s-influenced rock and pop with mostly dark, well-crafted songs combining warm, reverberating guitars, eerie keyboards, driving rhythms and gorgeous harmonies. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates

Ming City Rockers: Ming City Rockers
Buy! - (Mad Monkey)
This young British band’s debut album is an impressive set of lo-fi garage-punk inflected with old-school British punk and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, combining primal guitar riffs, energetic rhythms, snarling vocals and catchy song hooks. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates

The Twilight Sad: Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave
Buy! - (FatCat)
This Scottish band’s fourth album brings back the loud, shoegazerish guitars that were mostly absent from their last release (2012’s No One Can Ever Know), while still carrying forward with that album’s icy synths and often-mechanical rhythms on sharply crafted songs blending elements of brooding post-punk and anthemic, shoegazer-tinged rock with mournful vocals, bleak lyrics and haunting folk-tinged melodies. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

Other Twilight Sad album reviews:

No One Can Ever Know - 2/10/2012
Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters - 3/19/2007

Thurston Moore: The Best Day
Buy! - (Matador)
The former Sonic Youth guitarist is accompanied by a stellar lineup on his latest album, including My Bloody Valentine bassist Deb Googe, Nought guitarist James Sedwards and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, though the end result is much closer to the sound of his previous band than his last solo release. The Best Day is a confident and sturdy set of tension-filled, atmospheric noise-rock with mesmerizing, occasionally dissonant, guitars using unorthodox tunings, chugging rhythms and detached vocals. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

Other Thurston Moore album reviews:

Demolished Thoughts - 5/19/2011
Trees Outside the Academy - 8/31/2007

Francisco The Man: Loose Ends
Buy! - (Small Plates/Fat Possum)
This LA band’s debut album is a promising blend of shoegazer psych-rock, wistful dream-pop, motorik prog and anthemic indie-rock, with atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms and catchy pop hooks. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

Atoms and Void: and nothing else
Buy! - (self-released)
Formerly known as Ghost Wars, this LA/Seattle project led by former Juno frontman Arlie Carstens and Eric Fisher (Constant Lovers, Damien Jurado, etc.) delivers their long-awaited debut album. It’s an expansive set of brooding post-rock reminiscent at times of Talk Talk, with a dark, dynamic sound combining a variety of instrumentation with Carstens’ haunting vocals. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

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