New Music Reviews (11/9)

Album Reviews

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases (joined this week by DJ Alex Ruder). See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Charles Bradley, Miya Folick, Rhett Miller, and more.

Charles Bradley – Black Velvet (Dunham/Daptone)
This album collects various seven-inch singles, previously unreleased recordings and other rarities from the late soul singer. For being an odds ‘n’ ends type of compilation, it holds up surprisingly well as an album, combining warm, in-the-pocket grooves from Menahan Street Band with Bradley’s raspy, pleading vocals. — DY

Miya Folick – Premonitions (Terrible)
This LA artist’s debut album is a diverse, sharply crafted set ranging from soaring, New Waveish synth-pop and driving, anthemic pop-rock to some brooding, atmospheric ballads, highlighted by her powerful, acrobatic vocals and emotionally hard-hitting lyrics of love, loss, friendship, abuse, and resilience. — DY

Rhett Miller – The Messenger (ATO)
The Old 97’s frontman’s seventh solo studio album is an often-dark set of moody, psych-tinged indie-pop with deeply personal lyrics of anxiety, depression, and loss. — DY

Ellis – The Fuzz EP (self-released)
The debut EP from this Hamilton, ON-based artist (aka Linnea Siggelkow) is a promising six-song set of dark dream-pop with fuzzy, atmospheric guitars, anxiety-fueled lyrics, and melancholy melodies. — DY

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers – Bought To Rot (Bloodshot)
The debut album from this side-project of Against Me! leader Laura Jane Grace is a potent set of anthemic, roots-tinged punk and garage-rock combining a raw, loose sound with deeply personal lyrics of anxiety, depression, loss, and resilience. — DY

Nancy – Mysterious Visions EP (B3SCI)
This Brighton, England artist’s debut EP is a promising blend of driving garage-rock, psych-tinged dream-pop and theatrical cabaret-pop. — DY

Harrison – Apricity (Last Gang)
The sophomore album from this Toronto-based musician/producer is a top-notch set of sleek electronic grooves featuring crisp beats, funky rhythms, and sharp songwriting that stand out on their own, or complement the album's guest vocalists in impressive fashion. Bouncing between house, boogie, R&B, synth-pop, disco, funk, boogie, chillwave, and more, Apricity is a vibrant record that places him nicely alongside his friends and contemporaries Ryan Hemsworth, Sango, Kaytranada, and Onra. — AR

Dead Can Dance – Dionysus (PIAS)
This veteran Australian duo’s ninth album (and first in six years) is a majestic set of ritualistic avant-folk that adventurously combines a wide variety of styles and traditional instrumentation from around the globe. — DY

Fatima – And Yet It's All Love (Eglo)
The sophomore album from Swedish-born, London-based vocalist Fatima Bramme Sey (aka Fatima) is another strong set of smart, soulful R&B infused with jazz, electronic, hip-hop, and pop flourishes. She once again teams up with a quality line-up of underground beat producers, including Mndsgn, Natureboy Flako aka fLako, Swarvy, Kirkis, and JD Reid, while "Take It All" features a guest appearance from rugged NYC MC Roc Marciano. — AR

Little Dragon – Lover Chanting EP (Ninja Tune)
This Swedish band’s latest release (and first for Ninja Tune) is a potent three-song EP of breezy, R&B-tinged electro-pop with shimmering synths and propulsive rhythms accompanying Yukimi Nagano’s sinuous vocals. — DY

Gestures – Funny Games (PNKSLM)
This Stockholm band’s debut full-length is a fierce set of grimy garage-punk with bristling guitars, driving rhythms, snarling vocals, and anthemic song hooks. — DY

Still Parade – Soon Enough (Feel Flows)
The second Still Parade album from Berlin-based artist Niklas Kramer is a softer, more low-key take on his breezy psych-pop sound. — DY

Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is (Salute The Sun)
The official debut album from this East London artist is an impressive set of 90s-leaning boom-bap hip-hop mixed with flourishes of UK-centric jazz, electronic, R&B, and pop for an eclectic and colorful sound. Jordan Rakei, Dornik, Tom Misch, George the Poet, and Emmavie make guest appearances. — AR

Savak – Beg Your Pardon (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
The third album from this Brooklyn trio comprised of former members of The Obits, Holy Fuck, and The Cops is a fine set of spiky post-punk. — DY

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Wasteland (Rise Above)
This British band’s fifth album is a potent set of hard-hitting stoner-rock and proto-metal with fuzzy guitars, pummeling rhythms, eerie vocals, and headbanging song hooks. — DY

It Looks Sad. – Sky Lake (Tiny Engines)
This Charlotte, NC trio’s debut full-length is a fine set of dreamy, autumnal indie-rock combining hazy synth and guitar textures with wistful melodies. — DY

Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife (Brownswood Recordings)
The third album (and debut for Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label) from Glasgow, UK electronic producer Brian d'Souza (aka Auntie Flo) continues to place his globe-trotting spirit in the spotlight as he dives deeper into his Goan-Kenyan heritage for a strong set of global electronic grooves with a strong focus on hypnotic highlife rhythms. — AR

Masego – Lady Lady (EQT Recordings)
The official debut album from Virginia-based musician Micah Davis (aka Masego) is an addictive set of expansive, jazzy, synth-accented soul music that smoothly bounces between R&B, funk, and hip-hop with a seductive, charismatic, playful flair. Riding an organic wave following a pair of viral live performances and subsequent sold-out tours, Masego proves he's even more than the self-billed "Trap House Jazz" artist on Lady Lady as he continues to evolve and mature his genre-blurring sound. — AR

Okay Kaya – Both (Heavy Body)
The debut album from NYC-based Norwegian singer/songwriter/model Kaya Wilkins (aka Okay Kaya) is a provocative set of intimate, spacious, moody pop that pairs her warm yet restrained vocals and vivid lyrics that tackle sex, identity, love, and depression against skeletal synth-tinged arrangements. — AR

SRSQ Unreality (Dais)
Pronounced seer-skew, SRSQ is the new solo alias of Dallas-via-SF musician Kennedy Ashlyn, a project launched following the tragic death of Cash Askew, her partner in Bay Area underground duo Them Are Us Too. Her debut album is a cathartic, emotional, and triumphant set of celestial synth-pop featuring her soaring melodies atop icy synths and crisp drum machine beats for a sound that continues in TAUT's legacy of creating haunting, anthemic, widescreen anthems similar to Zola Jesus and Kate Bush. — AR

dream beach – lost angel (Hush Hush)
The debut EP from this Detroit-based artist (aka Andrew Oliver) is a solid four-song set ranging from ambient electro-pop to more propulsive club fare, with guest vocals by Lontalius, VLPXX and Little Brother. — DY

WESLEE 9F (self-released)
Boasting a slick sound reminiscent of Nao, Olivia Nelson, and Jessie Ware, the debut EP from this duo comprised of UK-born vocalist Emma DD and NYC electronic producer Josh Grant is an impressive set of progressive synth-led R&B that swings deftly between absorbing slow-motion anthems and uptempo dancefloor-baiting jams. — AR

Korey Wade – i feel it. (Brunch Collect)
Quickly reminiscent of Flamingosis, the latest mini-album from Phoenix-based producer Korey Wade is an impressive set of sweet, soulful, summery, sample-heavy beats that touches upon hip-hop, funk, boogie, and R&B flavors. — AR

J Fernandez – Occasional Din (Joyful Noise)
This Chicago-based artist’s second album is a fine set of prog-tinged psych-pop featuring an intricately produced sound with a variety of colorful instrumentation and sunny melodies juxtaposed with often-dystopian lyrics. — DY

Eric Copeland – Trogg Modal Vol. 1 (DFA)
The latest solo release from the Black Dice frontman is a fine set of playful electronic grooves combining propulsive rhythms, occasional tropical touches, and looped vocal samples. — DY

J'Von – orange suit (Empty Planet)
The latest EP from Seattle-based artist, producer, vocalist, MC, and illustrator J’Von is another quality set that finds him exploring his colorful blend of synth-enhanced hip-hop and introspective R&B that spotlights his elastic vocal delivery, contemplative lyrics, and bouncy production. — AR

MedejinEleni EP (self-released)
The latest release from this Seattle project led by Jenn Taranto is a solid five-song set of atmospheric dream-pop. — DY

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