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 J.I.D, Marianne Faithfull, Art Brut, and more.
J.I.D - DiCaprio 2 (Dreamville/Interscope)
This Atlanta rapper’s second album is an impressive set of urgent hip-hop-inflected at times with R&B, jazz, and other styles. The album features a variety of banging trap and boom bap beats, but the focus is on J.I.D’s intricate, colorfully descriptive rhymes and masterfully elastic and rapid-fire delivery that’s drawn comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000.
(Various) - Brainfeeder X (Brainfeeder)
This 36-track compilation from the Los Angeles-based label founded by Flying Lotus celebrates 10 years of the label’s forward-looking, experimental beat music with this excellent, wide-ranging 2CD compilation, featuring one disc of previously released recordings (along with a couple of new remixes) and a second disc comprised of new songs.
Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability (Panta Rei)
This veteran British artist’s 21st studio album is a powerful set of elegiac chamber-pop. Co-produced by Warren Ellis of The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis and featuring contributions from Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, and Ed Harcourt, the album features an intimate, acoustic-oriented sound accompanying her craggy vocals on deeply personal songs of love, loss, loneliness, and mortality.
Art Brut – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! (Alcopop!)
This Berlin-based British band’s fifth album (and first in seven years) is a potent set of crunchy, New Waveish power-pop combining buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms, occasional horns, buoyant harmonies and catchy pop hooks with Eddie Argos’ speak-singing vocals and often self-deprecating lyrics.
Moonface – This One’s For The Dancer & This One’s For The Dancer’s Bouquet (Jagjaguwar)
The seventh and final Moonface album from Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, etc.) is a concept album alternating between moody, jazz-tinged art-rock with personal lyrics of anxiety, loneliness and alienation and rhythmic, marimba and steel-drum-driven pop with vocodered vocals sung from the perspective of the mythical Greek monster the Minotaur.
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – Blackout Cowboy (By The Time It Gets Dark)
This British band’s second album is a potent set of ‘90s-steeped, lo-fi rock with fuzzy guitars, energetic rhythms and sunny melodies juxtaposed with often-dark lyrics.
Stephen Steinbrink – Utopia Teased (Western Vinyl)
This Oakland-based artist’s eighth album was written as a response to the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland that killed 36 people. It’s an emotionally powerful set of well-crafted indie-pop combining inventive arrangements and bright melodies with often-dark lyrics of loss.
Star Slinger – Home Is Where We Start From (self-released)
The latest release from this Slovenia-based British DJ/producer is a fine set of propulsive, sample-based electronic grooves inflected with soul, hip hop, disco and more.
Left At London – Transgender Street Legend Vol. 1 EP (self-released)
The second EP from this Seattle transgender artist (aka Nat Puff) is a strong set ranging from buoyant soul-pop and moody hip-hop-infused pop to lo-fi folk-pop with often politically charged lyrics revolving around identity and community.
The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra – Naming & Blaming (HopeStreet)
This 17-piece Melbourne, Australia band’s second album is a potent set of hard-driving Afro-Beat with hypnotic rhythms, fiery guitar licks, soaring horns, and often-politically charged lyrics.
My Brightest Diamond – A Million and One (Rhyme & Reason)
The fifth album from this Detroit artist (aka Shara Nova) features a more electronic-oriented sound for her chilly avant-pop, combining atmospheric synths and driving beats with her crystalline vocals.
Glintshake – Belief (self-released)
This Moscow band’s latest release is an intense, often-bracing blend of post-punk, No Wave, jazz and more, combining angular guitars and skronky sax with driving rhythms and dynamic vocals.
Value Void – Sentimental (Tough Love)
The debut album from this London-based Argentine/British trio is a fine set ranging from jangly post-punk to atmospheric drone-pop.
Prism Bitch – Prism Bitch EP (Freakout)
This Albuquerque band’s debut EP is a solid five-song set of fiery garage-rock with crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms, and fist-pumping song hooks.