New Music Reviews (10/12)

Album Reviews

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases (joined this week by DJ Abbie Gobelli). See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Matthew Dear, Kurt Vile, Yowler, Elvis Costello, and more.

Matthew Dear – Bunny (Ghostly International)

This Ann Arbor, MI-based producer/vocalist’s fifth proper studio album (and first in six years) is an excellent set of dark, intricately crafted electro-pop with throbbing synths and propulsive rhythms accompanying his deep robot croon and sometimes playful, sometimes sinister lounge-lizard lyrics. - Don Yates

Kurt Vile – Bottle It In (Matador)

This Philiadelphia artist’s seventh album is a potent set of rambling, psych-tinged folk-rock combining Vile’s masterful guitar work ranging from delicate acoustic fingerpicking to electric shredding with his drawling vocals and lyrics that blend gentle humor with philosophical reflections. - DY

Yowler – Black Dog In My Path (Double Double Whammy)

The second Howler album from Philly-based artist Maryn Jones (who also leads All Dogs and used to play in Saintseneca) finds her expanding her intimate, acoustic guitar-based indie-folk with atmospheric keyboards and occasional rumbling electric guitar, clarinet and cello accompanying her haunting vocals and often-dark lyrics of anxiety, struggle and loss. - DY

Ivy Sole – Overgrown (Les Fleurs)

This Charlotte-born, Philly-based artist’s official debut album is a strong set of gospel-and-soul-steeped hip hop and R&B reminiscent at times of Jamila Woods and Noname, combining warm beats and smooth singing with sharply crafted raps of struggle, faith, love and resilience. - DY

The Berries – Start All Over Again (Help Yourself)

The debut album from the latest project of Seattle artist Matt Berry (Big Bite, Happy Diving) is a promising set of ‘60s-steeped folk-rock reminiscent at times of Neil Young, The Byrds and Exile-era Rolling Stones, combining ringing guitar riffs and occasional fiery solos with often-melancholy lyrics of love and alienation. - DY

Kinski – Accustomed To Your Face (Kill Rock Stars)

This Seattle band celebrates its 20th anniversary with their ninth album, a typically strong set of energetic, psych-tinged rock with fiery guitar riffs, driving rhythms and occasional vocals. - DY

Art D'Ecco - Trespasser - Paper Bag Records

After relocating to the Gulf Islands in British Columbia from Vancouver, the mysterious moniker of Art D'Ecco encountered various No Trespassing signs bringing to light his own sense of isolation and restriction. He chose to ignore these signs and create Trespasser, a fluid blend of glam, psychedelic, and pop melodies behind a veil of gated vocals. - Abbie Gobeli

Estrons - You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough - (Gofod Records)

Welsh-Canadian Tali Källström met guitarist Rhodri Daniel on an Aberystwyth beach in 2013, and together they conceived Estrons (Welsh for ‘misfit’) along with other strangers to conceive heavy garage pop that addresses (in English and Welsh) female sexuality, belonging, body image, and rejecting generations of expectations. - AB

John Grant – Love Is Magic (Partisan)

This Reykjavik, Iceland-based American artist’s fourth album is an adventurous set of dark electro-pop combining an intricate, synth-heavy sound with brutally honest lyrics of love. - DY

Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Look Now (Concord)

The veteran British artist’s first album recorded in ten years with his band The Imposters is a smartly crafted set ranging from baroque pop-rock and lush, soul-infused pop to stately, piano-led ballads, with his typically sharply crafted lyrics often reflecting on troubled love and mortality. - DY

Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman (Ninja Tune)

The fourth album from this Montreal producer (and one-half of the duo Essaie Pas) is a dark, edgy blend of techno, electro, Italo disco, industrial and other electronic grooves, combining often hard-hitting beats with cutting, sometimes hilarious lyrics aimed at some of the shallower aspects of dance-club culture.

BRONCHO – Bad Behavior (Park The Van)

This Tulsa, OK band’s latest album is a fine set of rhythm-driven pop-rock with slinky guitars and propulsive beats accompanying lyrics revolving around various kinds of bad behavior. - DY

The Dodos – Certainty Waves (Polyvinyl)

This Bay Area-bred duo’s seventh album is an energetic, shape-shifting blend of wiry post-punk and wistful folk-pop. - DY

Atmosphere – Mi Vida Local (Rhymesayers)

The ninth album from this veteran Minneapolis duo is a solid set of brooding hip-hop with ominous, buzzing synths and guitars and stark boom bap beats accompanying Slug’s sturdy delivery and often anxiety-fueled rhymes. - DY

Strange Ranger – How It All Went By EP (Tiny Engines)

The latest release from this Portland band formerly known as Sioux Falls is a potent 5-song EP ranging from anthemic ‘90s slacker-pop and wistful folk-rock to a bit of intense screamo and an atmospheric instrumental. - DY

Wild Powwers – Skin (Nadine Records)

This Seattle trio’s third album is a solid set of fiery, psych-tinged hard-rock with crunchy guitars, muscular rhythms, urgent vocals and fist-pumping song hooks. - DY

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Live From The Ryman (Southeastern/Thirty Tigers)

This Alabama-bred, Nashville-based artist’s latest album is a fine live set recorded at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in 2017. - DY

Cedric Burnside – Benton County Relic (Single Lock)

The latest album from this Holly Springs, MS artist (and grandson of the late RL Burnside) is a fine set of Mississippi hill country blues with stabbing guitar riffs and hypnotic rhythms. - DY

Coliguacho – Coliguacho (Hush Hush)

The debut album from this Santiago, Chile-based artist (aka Ben Griffiths) is an evocative, atmospheric blend of hypnotic cumbia rhythms, cinematic textures and samples of field recordings. - DY

Valley Maker – Rhododendron (Frenchkiss)

The second Valley Maker album from Seattle-based artist Austin Crane is a solid set of wistful folk-pop. - DY

Waahli – Black Soap (self-released)

The second album from this member of Montreal’s Nomadic Massive hip-hop collective is a solid set of energetic, bilingual hip-hop inflected with jazz, R&B, Haitian music (Waahli’s parents are both from Haiti) and more. - DY


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