New Music Reviews (9/28)

Album Reviews

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJs Alex Ruder and Abbie Gobeli) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Fucked Up, NAVVI, Richard Swift, and more.

Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams (Merge) 
This Toronto band’s fifth album (and first in five years) is an expansive, often-exhilarating 2-CD set blending anthemic hardcore punk with hypnotic psych-rock, German prog, Manchester dance-rock, shoegazer dream-pop, digital hardcore and more, with a densely produced sound featuring soaring, effects-laden guitars, bright keyboards, occasional strings and sax and urgent rhythms accompanying politically charged lyrics often delivered with Damian Abraham’s gruff bark, though a variety of other vocalists also contribute (including guest lead vocals from Miya Folick, Jennifer Castle and Alice Hansen). — DY

NAVVI – ULTRA (Hush Hush) 
This Seattle duo’s second full-length is another masterfully crafted set of brooding electro-pop with swelling synths and massive, mostly downtempo beats accompanying Kristin Henry’s ethereal vocals. — DY

Richard Swift – The Hex (Secretly Canadian) 
The final album from the late singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist was recorded over the last several years of his life and completed a month before he died. It’s a beautifully produced, intricately arranged set ranging from soul-steeped orchestral pop and cinematic glam-funk to cathartic synth-pop and haunting atmospheric ballads, with unsparing, often-dark lyrics of loss, grief, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. — DY

Tres Leches – Amorfo (self-released) 
This Seattle trio’s debut album is an impressive set of expansive post-punk incorporating elements of psych-rock, prog, dream-pop, garage rock, folk and more on dynamic, shape-shifting songs with alternating lead vocals and bilingual lyrics. — DY

Restorations – LP5000 (Tiny Engines) 
This Philadelphia band’s fourth album is a powerful set of post-Springsteen rock reminiscent at times of Constantines, Strand of Oaks, and Japandroids, with soaring guitars, atmospheric electronic textures, heart-pumping rhythms, anthemic song hooks and sharply crafted lyrics of displacement and resilience. — DY

Roosevelt – Young Romance (City Slang) 
The second album from this German artist (aka Marius Lauber) features a bigger and brighter sound for his summery, ‘80s-steeped dance-pop inflected with disco, house, New Wave and other styles, combining shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms, yearning vocals, wistful melodies and often-melancholy lyrics. — DY

Mudhoney – Digital Garbage (Sub Pop) 
This veteran Seattle band’s 11th album is one of their angriest and most politically charged albums, with sardonic, often-darkly humorous lyrics ripping into the politics of fear, gun violence, religious hypocrisy and much more, while the band’s sound remains as primal and vital as ever. — DY

Hater – Siesta (Fire) 
This Swedish band’s second album is a well-crafted set of bittersweet dream-pop with jangly guitars and twinkling keyboards accompanying Caroline Landahl’s plaintive vocals and lyrics of love lost and found. — DY

Molly Burch – First Flower (Captured Tracks) 
This LA-bred, Austin-based artist’s second album is a smartly crafted set of wistful dream-pop combining gently ringing guitars with her smoky vocals and often-dark lyrics revolving around broken relationships and anxiety. — DY

The Field – Infinite Moment (Kompakt) 
The sixth album from this Swedish electronic producer (aka Axel Willner) is another impressive set of hypnotic ambient techno combining blurred, subtly shape-shifting beats and textures with mysterious looped vocal samples. All six songs are worth checking out, though they’re also fairly lengthy (only one’s under 10 minutes). — DY

SALES – forever + ever (self-released) 
The second full-length album from this Orlando-based duo comprised of Lauren Morgan (guitars/vocals) and Jordan Shih (guitar/programming) is another stellar showcase of their warm, dreamy, colorful indie pop that harkens back to the influential romantic stripped-down style of Young Marble Giants and The Sundays. — AR

Chrome Sparks – Chrome Sparks (Counter) 
The debut full-length album from Brooklyn-based producer Jeremy Malvin (aka Chrome Sparks) is a brilliant set of celestial electronic beats, adventurous full-bodied rhythms, and widescreen electro-pop anthems, all propelled by his masterful synth work. The album arrives after a handful of diverse EPs that showcased his adept touch for shimmery cinematic hip-hop beats and massive techno/house explorations, and he's fused his impressive strengths through a captivating pop filter on this eponymous effort. He adds his own vocoder vocals to a few songs, while his friends Kllo, Body Language's Angelica Bess, and Reptar's Graham Ulicny stop by to make guest vocal appearances. — AR

Fenster – The Room (Altin Village & Mine) 
Fenster is a creative collective based in Leipzig, Germany who made it their mission to compose and arrange every song on this fourth album together in a room. The songs were tracked live in a house where the band ate, slept, and played together.  They frame this room with playful pop melodies juxtaposed with krautbeats, psychedelics, and disco grooves. — AG

The Chills – Snow Bound (Fire) 
The sixth album from this veteran New Zealand band led by Martin Phillips is a fine set of well-crafted indie-pop combining jangly guitars and a variety of keyboards with soaring melodies and bittersweet lyrics. — DY

Buddy – Harlan & Alondra (RCA) 
Fresh off a couple breakthrough EPs in 2017, Compton rapper Buddy (aka Simmie Sims) unveils his debut full-length album and it's a strong set of expansive hip-hop that bounces between spacious introspective moments to funky party jams to melodic trap/R&B anthems. Buddy's vision dominates the album, but Snoop Dogg, A$AP Ferg, Khalid, and Ty Dolla $ign add their voices along the way, while Seattle's Jake One handles co-production on early standout cut "Shameless." — AR

Adrianne Lenker – abysskiss (Saddle Creek) 
The latest solo album from the leader of Brooklyn band Big Thief is a well-crafted set of intimate indie-folk with a spare sound featuring fingerpicked acoustic guitar, occasional electric guitar and atmospheric keyboards accompanying her hushed vocals and enigmatic lyrics. — DY

Metric – Art of Doubt (MMI/Crystal Math) 
This Toronto band’s seventh album finds them embracing more prominent guitars again after the more synth-oriented sound of their previous album (2015’s Pagans In Vegas) for a solid set of ‘80s-influenced pop-rock ranging from New Wave rockers to propulsive dance-pop. — DY

Fatherson – Sum of All Your Parts (Easy Life Records) 
Fatherson is a Glasgow-based rock outfit that formed in Kilmarnock, consisting of Ross Leighton, Marc Strain, and Greg Walkinshaw.  On their second release, the band focuses on paving heavy post-rock passages paired with raw, pop hooks. — AG

Prince – Piano & A Microphone (NPG/Warner Bros.) 
The first posthumous album taken from Prince’s voluminous vault of unreleased recordings is a demo tape he recorded in 1983 of mostly songs he had recently written along with some covers. While the recording’s in demo form, the sound is pretty great and does a fine job of capturing Prince in an intimate setting at the height of his powers. — DY

Children Of Zeus – Travel Light (First Word) 
The official debut full-length album from this Manchester, UK duo comprised of emcee Konny Kon and vocalist Tyler Daley exceeds the expectations of their early EPs and singles and delivers a top-notch set of their trademark "fly lo-fi dusty street soul" that expertly fuses warm R&B vibes with boom-bap hip-hop flavors. Possessing impressive quality control since the jump, Travel Light is another strong showcase of Children of Zeus' distinctive 90s-steeped aesthetic, yet it closes out with the extended and somewhat unexpected broken-beat exploration on "Vibrations (Divine Signature)" that hints at their growing range. — AR

Amber Arcades – European Heartbreak (Heavenly) 
The second album from this Dutch artist (aka Annelotte de Graaf) is a well-crafted set of wistful indie-pop with lyrics blending the political and the personal. — DY

Mountain Man – Magic Ship (Nonesuch) 
The second album (and first in eight years) from this North Carolina-based trio (which includes Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath) is a fine set of mostly acapella folk highlighted by their intimate three-part harmonies. — DY

Justus Proffit & Jay Som – Nothing's Changed EP (Polyvinyl) 
After moving from Oakland to LA, Jay Som (aka Melina Duterte) teamed up with LA artist Justus Proffit for this diverse 5-song EP ranging from acoustic, harmony-laced folk-rock and psych-tinged garage-rock to haunting, atmospheric folk-pop. — DY

Pip Blom – Paycheck EP (Persona Non Grata)  
Formerly a one-person band, this Dutch group has now expanded into a four-piece, though it’s still named after its leader. Their latest EP is a potent set of lo-fi, ‘90s-influenced rock with angst-fueled lyrics and addictive song hooks. — DY

Hosannas – Picture Him Protecting You (Fresh Selects) 
Hosannas are a PDX-based duo comprised of brothers Brandon and Richard Laws. Their debut album is a strong set of psychedelic dance pop that fuses shimmery synths, colorful instrumentation, and kinetic beats with their soft dreamy vocals for a groovy kaleidoscopic band reminiscent of Caribou's Swim album. — AR

Doe – Grow Into It (Topshelf) 
This London trio’s second album is a fine set of emotive, ‘90s-influenced rock with crunchy guitars, dynamic rhythms, anthemic song hooks and reflective lyrics of aging and growth. — DY

Slothrust – The Pact (Dangerbird) 
Slothrust is unrepentant songwriter/guitarist Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album, Slothrust forge a muscular sound fueled by unabashed confessions singed with sarcasm and power chords with the occasional, reflective ballad drift. — AG

Oliver Coates – Shelley's On Zenn-La (RVNG Intl.) 
Oliver Coates is an accomplished and award-winning London-based cellist/composer that has collaborated closely with Radiohead and Mica Levi in the past. Now displaying his budding talents as an electronic producer, his latest solo full-length album (and RVNG Intl. debut) is a cool set of nostalgic 90s-indebted IDM beats infused with neo-classical flourishes that yields a sound frequently reminiscent of classic Aphex Twin. — AR

Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – Vicious Circles (Planet Mu) 
Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones are partners, the driving force behind cutting-edge label Fractal Fantasy, and forward-thinking producers that combine a progressive club aesthetic with a bombastic sci-fi element. Their first collaborative release for influential label Planet Mu is a solid showcase of their visionary, creative, otherworldly beats. — AR

Khalab – Black Noise 2084 (On The Corner) 
The official solo debut album from this globetrotting Italian DJ/producer is an adventurous and captivating set of progressive Afro-Futurist beats that blends tribal drums, deep bass work, unexpected genre excursions, and dense electronic textures for a thoroughly heady and kinetic sound. — AR

Slow Machete – Ola Mala (Postlude Paradox) 
Pittsburgh musician Joseph Shaffer began his Slow Machete after visiting Haiti in 2009 and falling in love with the music and musicians of the country. He builds off recordings of vocal choirs and musicians from Haiti and the Dominican Republic with his own instrumentation and electronic production to yield a supremely transportive sound. Ola Mala is his second album, it features three separate choirs sprinkled throughout the record, and it's an amazing display of accomplished ethnomusicology that fuses traditional Haitian and Dominican music with contemporary electronic and organic folk sensibilities. All proceeds from his albums are donated to the choirs and doctors in the villages where his recordings are taken, as well as agricultural and educational programs. — AR

Galcher Lustwerk – 200% GALCHER (Lustwerk Music) 
The sophomore album from this Cleveland-born, NYC-based artist is another super cool and unique set of shadowy vocal-laced tech-house that finds him laying his distinctive low-key vocal style and fresh humble-brag lyrical topics over hypnotic rhythms for a thoroughly engaging sonic journey. — AR

Brasstracks – For Those Who Know, Pt. II (self-released) 
The third release from this NYC multi-instrumentalist production duo is a vibrant display of their colorful horn-infused beats and crisp live percussion rhythms that fuse hip-hop, electronic, R&B, funk, and jazz styles into an infectious, celebratory brew. While their beats are dynamic and fresh enough to stand out on their own, they receive some guest vocal assistance from Thirdstory, S'natra, and Xavier Omär on a few standouts, as well as co-production help from Robert Glasper. — AR

Hanna – Demur EP (Flumo Recordings) 
The latest EP from prolific electronic producer and dancefloor veteran Hanna – aka Cleveland's Warren Harris – is a masterful set of deep house grooves inflected with jazz, broken beat, and hip-hop flourishes that carry an effortless magnetic swagger. — AR

Garren Sean – SUNDRIP (self-released) 
The second release from this Bay Area musician/producer (who's previously collaborated closely with Chance the Rapper) is a knockout set of magnetic psych-pop infused with sultry funk and widescreen soul that's reminiscent at times of Prince, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Miguel. — AR

Yazmin Lacey – When The Sun Dips 90 Degrees (First Word) 
The second EP from this Nottingham, UK-based vocalist is a wonderful set of timeless R&B/soul that a carries a consistently warm, jazzy touch. — AR

jitwampurple ep (The Jazz Diaries) 
The latest EP from this enigmatic, largely nomadic, currently Brooklyn-based musician is an excellent set of warm, funky, fuzzy vocal-laced house grooves, providing another thrilling glimpse into his wide-ranging talents. — AR

Minus The Bear – Fair Enough EP (Suicide Squeeze) 
This Seattle band’s final release is a solid 4-song set of moody, prog-tinged rock along with a synth-heavy remix of “Invisible” by Sombear (aka Now, Now’s Brad Hale). — DY

Electric NoNo – Cool Cool EP (self-released) 
The latest EP from this Seattle brother duo formerly known as The Jesus Rehab is a fine set of anthemic garage-rock. — DY

Breakbot – Another You EP (Ed Banger) 
The latest EP from this Paris-based project spearheaded by producer Thibaut Berland alongside vocalist and long-time collaborator Christopher Irfan Khan-Acito (aka Irfane) is another impossibly groovy set of addictive nu-disco pop featuring Breakbot's retro synths, funky basslines, and timeless rhythms, all enhanced by Irfane's bright vocals. — AR

Related News & Reviews

Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (9/21)

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates (and this week's special guest DJ Abbie) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Christine and the Queens, Cumulus, Gabriel Teodros, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (9/14)

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Noname, Low, Jungle, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (8/31)

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Anna Calvi, Muncie Girls, Big Red Machine, and more.

Read More