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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

Ex Hex: Rips
Buy! - (Merge)
The debut full-length from the Washington, DC trio of former Helium guitarist/vocalist Mary Timony, Fire Tapes bassist Betsy Wright and The Aquarium drummer Laura Harris is an appropriately titled set of punkish power pop and related styles, with searing guitars, energetic rhythms, sly lyrics and buoyant pop hooks. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

King Tuff: Black Moon Spell
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
The fourth album from this LA-via-Vermont artist (aka Kyle Thomas) is another excellent set of hook-filled garage-pop inflected with glam, psych-rock, beach-pop, hard rock and other styles, with often-lascivious lyrics blending black magic and other spooky stuff with sex and rock ‘n’ roll. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other King Tuff album reviews:

King Tuff - 5/17/2012

Electric Youth: Innerworld
Buy! - (Secretly Canadian)
This Toronto duo’s debut full-length is a promising set of moody electro-pop with twinkling synths, ethereal vocals and wistful melodies. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

GOAT: Commune
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Swedish band’s second album is an impressive blend of psych-rock blended with Afro-beat, Malian desert blues and other styles, featuring a reverb-drenched sound with fuzzy psych guitars, propulsive rhythms, shamanistic vocals and hypnotic melodies. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

The Drums: Encyclopedia
Buy! - (Minor)
Now pared down to the duo of Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham, this Brooklyn-based band returns with their third album, which finds them toning down the sunnier aspects of their sound in favor of a darker, more atmospheric and occasionally more agitated take on the band’s jangly, surf-influenced post-punk. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other Drums album reviews:

Portamento - 9/2/2011
The Drums - 6/9/2010

The Juan MacLean: In A Dream
Buy! - (DFA)
The third album from the now-official duo of producer/musician Juan MacLean and vocalist Nancy Whang is a strong set of muscular disco, house and related styles, combining bright synths, occasional fiery guitars, propulsive rhythms and Whang’s crisp, confident vocals (along with MacLean’s occasional less-than-thrilling singing). 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

BRONCHO: Just Enough Hip To Be Woman
Buy! - (Dine Alone)
This Oklahoma trio’s second album is a more polished and New Wave-influenced take on the band’s hook-filled garage-pop, combining fuzzy guitars and energetic rhythms with an abundance of catchy song hooks. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other BRONCHO album reviews:

Can't Get Past the Lips - 1/4/2013

Lucinda Williams: Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Buy! - (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers)
The 11th studio album from the Lake Charles, LA-born, LA-based singer-songwriter is a hefty 2-CD set of 20 songs stretching over 100 minutes, and while not every song is top-notch, it’s a typically well-crafted blend of roots-rock, blues, soul, country and folk, with songs ranging from personal concerns of love and mortality to more politically charged numbers. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other Lucinda Williams album reviews:

Blessed - 2/18/2011
World Without Tears - 4/15/2003
Essence - 5/15/2001
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road - 6/15/1998

Tennis: Ritual In Repeat
Buy! - (Communion)
The Denver-based duo’s third album is an expansive, smartly crafted blend of ‘60s girl-group pop, ‘70s funk-pop, folk-rock, electro-pop, psych-pop and more. With production split between three producers (Richard Swift, Spoon’s Jim Eno and The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney), the album still manages to sound cohesive while also being the band’s boldest statement yet. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Other Tennis album reviews:

Young & Old - 1/25/2012
Cape Dory - 1/7/2011

ODESZA: In Return
Buy! - (Counter)
This Seattle duo’s second album is another gorgeous set of blissed-out electronic grooves, though this one adds a number of fine guest vocalists to their blend of shimmering synths, hip hop-influenced beats, a variety of percussive effects, manipulated vocal samples and dreamy melodies. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Other ODESZA album reviews:

Summer's Gone - 11/16/2012

Wand: Ganglion Reef
Buy! - (GOD?)
This LA band’s debut album is a strong set of adventurous, ‘60s-steeped psych-rock incorporating elements of folk, metal, garage-rock and more on expansive songs combining fuzzy guitars, trippy production and potent song hooks. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Banks: Goddess
Buy! - (Harvest)
The debut full-length from LA-born, London-based artist Jillian Banks is an impressive blend of moody R&B and noirish electro-pop. Featuring an impressive lineup of producers including SOHN, Shlohmo, Lil Silva, Jamie Woon and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Goddess is dark and occasionally tempestuous, combining atmospheric synths, mostly downtempo grooves and deep, throbbing bass lines with Banks’ dusky vocals and intimate, unflinchingly honest lyrics. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Lemonade: Minus Tide
Buy! - (Cascine)
This Brooklyn-via-San Francisco band’s third album is another well-crafted set of sunny, tropical-flavored electro-pop with shimmering synths, propulsive rhythms, soft vocals and dreamy melodies. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Other Lemonade album reviews:

Diver - 5/24/2012

Death From Above 1979: The Physical World
Buy! - (Last Gang)
This reunited Toronto duo’s second album (and first in ten years) is a streamlined, tightly constructed blend of muscular hard rock and propulsive dance-punk, combining loud, fuzzy bass guitar, pummeling drums and lots of potent song hooks. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Nortec Collective presents: Bostich + Fussible: Motel Baja
Buy! - (Nacional)
The proclaimed final Nortec Collective album is another vibrant, seamless blend of techno and other electronic styles with norteno and other kinds of traditional Mexican music. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Interpol: El Pintor
Buy! - (Matador)
This New York-born band’s fifth album (and first without bassist Carlos Dengler) is a rock-solid return-to-form of brooding post-punk with strong song hooks, ringing angular guitars and pulsing rhythms accompanying Paul Banks’ gloomy vocals and often-dark, enigmatic lyrics. 9/5/2014 - Don Yates

Other Interpol album reviews:

Antics - 9/13/2004
Turn on the Bright Lights - 8/15/2002
Interpol - 6/15/2002

Sinkane: Mean Love
Buy! - (DFA)
The third album from Sudanese-born, Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist (and former Yeasayer/Caribou/Of Montreal sideman) Ahmed Gallab is a masterful blend of soul, funk, reggae, various East and West African styles and more, featuring warm, lush, groove-driven tracks with plaintive vocals, strong hooks and emotionally direct lyrics. 8/29/2014 - Don Yates

Other Sinkane album reviews:

Mars - 12/10/2012

Coves: Soft Friday
Buy! - (Nettwerk)
This British duo’s debut full-length is a promising set of psych-tinged dream-pop with shimmering guitars, ethereal organ, hypnotic rhythms, occasional girl-group melodies and Beck Wood’s haunting vocals and lovelorn lyrics. 8/29/2014 - Don Yates

Lia Ices: Ices
Buy! - (Jagjaguwar)
This Sonoma Valley, CA-via Brooklyn artist’s third album features a bolder, more expansive and wide-ranging sound than her previous releases, blending elements of electro-pop, hip hop, dub, Middle Eastern music and a variety of other styles into vibrant, adventurous pop. 8/29/2014 - Don Yates

Populous: Night Safari
Buy! - (Bad Panda/Folk Wisdom)
The latest solo album (and 1st in 6 years) from nomadic European electronic musician Andrea Mangia is a stunning set of exotic, rhythmic, boundary-pushing electronic-pop that finds him applying a tropical and worldly flair to his immersive, bass-heavy, intricately-layered productions, often further enhanced by a diverse roster of guest vocalists. 8/29/2014 - Alex

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