New Music Reviews (2/4)

Album Reviews

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 Girlpool, Porter Ray, Cherry Glazerr, and more.

Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary (ANTI-) 
This LA duo’s third album is their more expansive and musically sophisticated to date, ranging from shoegazerish dream-pop and brooding grunge to spare acoustic folk and atmospheric chamber-pop. — DY

Porter Ray – Eye of the Beholder (Sub Pop) 
The official sophomore album from this Seattle rapper is another strong set of vivid aqueous hip-hop bolstered by his nimble delivery, exceptional wordplay, and expressive lyricism, which all find a perfect partner in the album's spacey, wavy, syrupy beats. Guests on the album include KEXP's own Stas THEE Boss, Jake One, Bruce Leroy, Astro King Phoenix, Nate Jack, and more. — AR

Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready (Secretly Canadian) 
This LA trio’s third album is a potent set of ‘90s-steeped rock with fuzzy guitars and punchy rhythms accompanying Clementine Creevey’s dynamic vocals and pointed, angst-fueled lyrics. — DY

Beirut – Gallipoli (4AD) 
The fifth album from this project led by Santa Fe native Zach Condon is an often-beautifully crafted set of orchestral folk-pop recorded in southern Italy, featuring a richly textured sound with a variety of keyboards and guitars along with brass horns, accordion, ukulele and more accompanying his gentle quaver and evocative lyrics. — DY

Harriet Brown – Mall of Fortune (Innovative Leisure) 
This LA-based artist’s second album is an expansive set of futuristic R&B combining a variety of adventurous beats with his soulful vocals and lyrics ranging from personal issues of anxiety, paranoia, and indecision to more socially conscious songs of environmental devastation and police brutality.

Tullycraft – The Railway Prince Hotel (HHBTM) 
This veteran Seattle band’s seventh album is a well-crafted set of twee indie-pop with jangly guitars, bright keyboards, occasional horns, and buoyant pop hooks. — DY

Boy Harsher – Careful (Nude Club) 
This Northampton, MA-based duo’s second album is a potent set of minimalist darkwave with icy, hypnotic synths and stark beats accompanying Jae Matthews’ haunting vocals and lyrics of love, lust, and loss. — DY

Ess Ford – 206 (self-released) 
Ess Ford is the solo project of Snuff Redux frontman Skyler Ford. His debut album under that name is a promising set of lo-fi pop with often-poignant songs of addiction, recovery, and resilience, with the sound ranging from shimmering dream-pop and stark folk-rock to experimental ambient. — DY

Little People – Landloper (Future Archive Recordings) 
The third album from Portland-based UK electronic producer Laurent Clerc (aka Little People) is an impressive set of colorful and immaculate electronic grooves that range from glistening house rhythms to textured downtempo fare in a style reminiscent of Maribou State and Bonobo. The album features both upfront guest vocalists (GIVERS' Tif Lamson and three appearances from London's Rahel) as well as PDX R&B starlet Reva Devito, whose vocals are chopped and re-purposed throughout the record to give the album an engaging pop sensibility. — AR

FIDLAR – Almost Free (Mom+Pop) 
This LA band’s third album dramatically recasts their sound from raw garage-punk to something much more freewheeling and diverse, ranging from snotty Beastie Boys hip hop and slinky, funk-inflected rock to fuzzy glam and emo-pop. — DY

Leikeli47 – ​​​​​​​Acrylic (Hardcover/RCA) 
The second album from this mysterious NYC rapper – she’s never revealed her real name and has only been photographed wearing her signature ski mask – is another hard-hitting set of vivid, energetic, charismatic hip-hop filtered through a smart pop filter that fully spotlights her commanding delivery, nimble lyricism, and smart production. — AR

Rustin Man – Drift Code (Domino) 
The first album in 16 years from former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (aka Rustin Man) is an adventurous, richly detailed set of prog-tinged folk-rock. — DY

Vansire – ​​​​​​​Angel Youth (Spirit Goth) 
The sophomore album from this Rochester, Minnesota duo is a stellar set of moody dream-pop, groovy psych-pop, and gauzy hip-hop that consistently floats within a beautifully fuzzy sonic cloud. Along the blissful journey they get help from a stacked roster of guests, including a grip of talented underground MCs (Deem Spencer, Chester Watson, Ivy Sole, Jeremiah Jae, MED, Guilty Simpson, Quelle Chris) and a smattering of exciting up-and-coming bedroom musicians (Floor Cry, Sophie Meiers, Fog Lake, Paul Cherry, Mellow Fellow, Ruru). — AR

Ben Zaidi – All / Alone EP (self-released) 
This New York-via-Seattle artist’s debut EP is a fine set of intimate electro-pop with combining a spare, haunting sound with his gently aching vocals and lyrics revolving around isolation. — DY

Klein Zage – Womanhood (Orphan.) 
Klein Zage is the solo alias of Seattle-born, NYC-based musician Sage Redman, also one-half of electro-pop duo FKL. Her debut release under this new moniker is a sweet set of edgy, empowering, emphatic dance-pop that fuses her heavily-treated expressive vocals and cutting lyrics within cutting-edge club-friendly productions. The three stellar original tracks are backed by adventurous remixes from DJ Python, Ariel Zetina, and Local Artist. — AR

Baja Boy – Baja Boy (self-released) 
The debut release from 16-year-old Tacoma-based vocalist/producer Christian Taylor (aka Baja Boy) is a promising set of colorful, warped, groovy synth-pop that nostalgically glances back at the halcyon of chillwave. Baja Boy is also a semifinalist at this year's Sound Off! — AR

True Blossom – Heater (Citrus City) 
The debut album from this Atlanta five-pieced formed around the core duo of singer Sophie Cox and guitarist Chandler Kelley is a sweet set of groove-driven synth-tinged indie pop with a funky, nostalgic, romantic streak that consistently shines, ultimately yielding a sound that ranks comfortably alongside TOPS and Yumi Zouma. — AR

Juan Wauters – La Onda de Juan Pablo (Captured Tracks) 
This Uruguayan-American artist’s third solo album (and first sung entirely in his native Spanish) was recorded with local musicians while traveling in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. It’s an often-gorgeous set combining various Latin folk styles with breezy psych-tinged pop. — DY

Peaking Lights – Sea Of Sand (Dekmantel) 
The 6th album from this LA-based husband/wife duo comprised of Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes is another intoxicating and kaleidoscopic set of psychedelic vocal-laced dance-pop infused with dub, house, disco, and leftfield pop flavors. — AR

Flat Worms – Into the Iris EP (GOD?) 
This LA-based trio’s latest release is a potent six-song EP of grimy post-punk with squalling guitars, driving rhythms, sneering vocals, and dystopian lyrics. — DY

Dude York – Happy in the Meantime EP (Hardly Art) 
This Seattle band’s latest release is a solid four-song EP of New Waveish power-pop and crunchy garage-rock. — DY

Children of Zeus – The Winter Tape (First Word) 
Manchester, UK duo Children of Zeus (emcee Konny Kon and vocalist Tyler Daley) wrapped up a massive 2018 that ushered in their adored official debut album Travel Light with the accompanying album The Winter Tape, a sharp collection of songs released on Christmas Eve that continues to showcase their consistently solid "fly lo-fi dusty street soul" that fuses warm R&B vibes with boom-bap hip-hop flavors. Black Milk, DJ Green Lantern, Henry Wu, and Peedi Crakk make guest appearances. — AR

Joy Postell – Diaspora (self-released) 
The debut album from Baltimore's Joy Postell is a powerful set of expansive soul/R&B with jazz and hip-hop flourishes that are distinguished by her impressive ability to sway between sultry smooth pieces and dynamically charged songs while sneaking in some playful humor along the way. — DY

Ólafur Arnalds – re:member (Mercury KX) 
The 4th solo album from the revered Icelandic composer and KEXP favorite is another supremely beautiful set of rich neo-classical arrangements that blend intimate piano and elegiac strings in an elegant and relatively restrained fashion.  “unfold” features light vocal assistance from SOHN. — AR

The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy (Dine Alone) 
This veteran Portland band’s 10th studio album is a diverse set of song sketches ranging from moody glam and droning psych to smirking country-punk. — DY

park hye jin – IF U WANT IT ( 
Quickly reminiscent of Yaeji, the debut release from this Seoul-based DJ, electronic producer, and vocalist is a sweet set of vocal-laced house grooves that showcases her ethereal vocal style that delivers lyrics in both English and Korean atop her warm, fuzzy, propulsive productions. — AR

Open Mike Eagle – What Happens When I Try To Relax EP (Auto Reverse) 
The latest album from Chicago-bred, LA-based rapper (aka Michael W. Eagle II) is another excellent set of cerebral, clever, singular hip-hop spotlighted by his lyrical style that blends self-deprecation, social commentary, over-analysis, and smart humor in unique fashion. — AR

Deer Tick – Mayonnaise (Partisan) 
The latest release from this Providence, RI band is an odds ‘n’ ends compilation of previously unreleased songs, alternate versions and covers. — DY

Naked Giants – Green Fuzz EP (New West) 
This Seattle trio’s latest EP of freewheeling garage-rock features the lengthy live-favorite title song, a couple versions of another new one and a live version of a previously released song.

Evigheten – Evig (self-released) 
Spearheaded by AURORA keyboardist Njål Paulsberg and fronted by vocalists Tonje Indrehus, Iselin Børve Toft and Mathilde Saunes-Skarsgaard, this Bergen, Norway outfit debuts with an amazing set of baroque chamber-pop infused with an analog funk streak that recalls the likes of Stereolab  and Adrian Younge's nostalgic soul/pop projects, except with lyrics sung entirely in Norwegian. — AR

Related News & Reviews

Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (1/25)

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 Better Oblivion Community Center, Business Of Dreams, Sneaks, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (1/18)

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 Sharon Van Etten, James Blake, Deerhunter, and more.

Read More
Album Reviews

New Music Reviews (1/11)

Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by KEXP DJ Abbie Gobeli) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Pedro The Lion, Lost Under Heaven, and more.

Read More