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 Bob Mould, Mercury Rev, Oceanwires, and more.
Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock (Merge)
The 13th solo album from the legendary former Husker Du and Sugar frontman continues his musical renaissance with another impressive set of anthemic post-punk combining fuzzy, bristling guitars, punchy rhythms and occasional keyboards and strings with bright, soaring pop hooks and often-optimistic lyrics that strike a more hopeful tone than usual.
Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited (Partisan)
The veteran Buffalo-bred psych-rock band’s latest album is a reworking of Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 concept album The Delta Sweete with vocals provided by a stellar lineup of guest singers including Hope Sandoval, Margo Price, Marissa Nadler, and Beth Orton. It’s a successful reimagining of Gentry’s album that transforms the songs with a dreamier, more psychedelic and majestic sound.
Oceanwires – There Never Was A Was (Factory Belt)
The debut album from this Seattle band comprised of members of Head Like A Kite, Gibraltar, Long Dark Moon, and Princess is a promising set of urgent post-punk with ringing angular guitars, energetic rhythms, anxious vocals, and razor-sharp song hooks.
Y La Bamba – Mujeres (Tender Loving Empire)
The fifth album from this Portland band led by Luz Elena Mendoza is an expansive set of dreamy, psych-tinged folk-pop combining an adventurous, atmospheric sound with bilingual lyrics revolving around feminism, heritage, and community.
Panda Bear – Buoys (Domino)
The sixth solo album from this Animal Collective member (aka Noah Lennox) is a potent set of stripped-back psych-pop with a spacious, often-reverbed sound featuring muted guitar, occasional unusual samples, spare, at times hip-hop-influenced beats, buoyant auto-tuned vocals, and beatific melodies.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer)
This LA-based artist’s third album was the first produced in a studio, and it features a bit fuller sound for her intimate, psych-tinged folk-pop by adding subtle touches of synth, organ, flute, and piano to her spare nylon-string guitar work, hushed vocals, enigmatic lyrics, and wistful melodies.
Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness (Third Man)
This London trio’s second album is a potent, diverse set ranging from raucous garage-rock, stomping glam and psych-tinged dance-rock to horn-driven soul-pop and hypnotic space-rock.
HEALTH – VOL. 4: SLAVES OF FEAR (Loma Vista)
This LA band’s fourth album is a strong set of industrial noise-rock with pounding rhythms, noisy synths, and guitars, gentle, melodic vocals, dystopian lyrics, and hypnotic song hooks.
Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere (ANTI-)
This nomadic singer-songwriter’s ninth album is an expansive set of ‘70s-steeped folk-pop inflected with psych-rock, prog, jazz, country and more, combining a warm, diverse and richly textured sound with well-crafted lyrics revolving around end times.
Sir Babygirl – Crush On Me (Father/Daughter)
The debut album from this New Hampshire artist (aka Kelsie Hogue) is a promising set of sparkling indie-pop with bright synths, bouncy beats, occasional crunchy guitars, sugary melodies and lyrics of discovery and identity.
The Lemonheads – Varshons 2 (Fire)
The first album in ten years from this veteran Boston-bred band spearheaded by Evan Dando is a sequel to their 2009 covers album Varshons. Like that album, this one features Dando and company ably covering a variety of rock and country songs.
Galactic – Already Ready Already (Tchoup-Zilla/Thirty Tigers)
This veteran New Orleans band’s latest album is a brief eight-song set that finds them stretching out their New Orleans jazz-funk with more modern rhythms and some electronic instrumentation, aided by a diverse lineup of guest vocalists.
Lonesome Shack – Desert Dreams (Alive Naturalsound)
The latest album from this London-via-Seattle trio led by Ben Todd is a potent blend of hypnotic Mississippi hill country blues and rangy folk-rock.
Perfect Son – Cast (Sub Pop)
Formerly performing as Coldair, Polish singer/producer Tobiasz Bilinski has revamped his sound for his latest project, setting aside the dark electro-pop of Coldair for a brighter, more pop-oriented sound with intricate arrangements and majestic melodies.
Michael Chapman – True North (Paradise of Bachelors)
The veteran British guitarist’s latest album is a well-crafted set of mostly dark folk-rock. Produced by Steve Gunn with accompaniment from Gunn, BJ Cole on pedal steel, Sarah Smout on cello, and Bridget St. John on backing vocals, the album combines an atmospheric, free-flowing sound with melancholy melodies and lyrics revolving around memory and mortality.
Tiny Ruins – Olympic Girls (Ba Da Bing)
The third album from this New Zealand band led by Hollie Fullbrook is a well-crafted set of warm, psych-tinged folk-pop with bittersweet lyrics and wistful melodies.