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 Hatchie, The Raconteurs, Hot Chip, and more.
Hatchie – Keepsake (Double Double Whammy)
This Australian artist’s debut full-length is an impressive set of ‘80s-steeped dream-pop with shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars, airy vocals, soaring melodies and anthemic choruses.
The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger (Third Man)
The third album (and first in 11 years) from this band led by Jack White and Brendan Benson is a smartly crafted blend of fiery garage-rock, psych-pop, glam, classic early ‘70s hard rock, soulful blues-rock, wistful folk and more, highlighted by playful, inventive arrangements, combustible guitar solos and an abundance of catchy song hooks.
Hot Chip – A Bath Full of Ecstasy (Domino)
This British band’s seventh album finds them as sharp as ever. Working with outside producers for the first time, the band recruited Philippe Zdar (one-half of the duo Cassius, who just tragically passed away by accidentally falling from a highrise) and Rodaidh McDonald, and they helped broaden the band’s sonic palette a bit on this consistently strong set of hook-filled electro-pop with colorful synths, propulsive house rhythms, tender vocals and hope-filled lyrics revolving around love and loss.
Tyler, The Creator – IGOR (Columbia)
This LA rapper’s sixth solo album is an adventurous, psych/prog-tinged blend of R&B, funk and hip hop combining woozy, shapeshifting arrangements with his elastic, often pitch-shifted vocals and deeply personal lyrics of lost love.
Mannequin Pussy – Patience (Epitaph)
This Philadelphia band’s third album is their sharpest set to date, with a dynamic sound ranging from hook-filled indie-rock and atmospheric balladry to raging punk and brooding grunge. Whatever the style, Marisa Dabice’s songs are intense and emotionally hard-hitting, revolving around heartache and loss.
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain (Method)
This Northampton rapper’s debut album is an impressive set of hard-hitting British hip hop, combining diverse though mostly dark beats with his anxiety-fueled delivery and scathing politically charged lyrics taking aim at inequality, nationalism and racism.
Black Midi – Schlagenheim (Rough Trade)
This London band’s debut album is an adventurous, shape-shifting blend of improvisational post-punk, prog, post-rock and more, combining clanging and meandering angular guitars and unpredictable rhythms along with occasional piano, synths, accordion, banjo and more accompanying Geordie Greep’s eccentric vocals.
Kate Tempest – The Book of Traps and Lessons (Republic)
This British artist’s third album takes a sharp musical left turn away from the more beat-oriented approach of her previous two releases. Produced by Rick Rubin, the album features a spare and often-haunting sound comprised mainly of somber piano and organ and atmospheric strings accompanying her dramatic spoken-word delivery and sharply chiseled lyrics blending the political and the personal.
Prince – Originals (Warner Bros)
The latest compilation released in collaboration with the Prince estate collects his original demo versions of 15 songs that he wrote for others, and only one of these original demos have been released until now. The sound ranges from hard-edged funk to sparkling pop and tender ballads, and overall, the sound is fairly well-produced for demos, with nearly all of them made during Prince’s 1980s-era peak.
Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk (Merge)
This New Jersey-bred band’s sixth album was produced by Bob Mould, who helped provide them with a rawer, more immediate sound for the band’s anthemic punk, recasting it with inspiration from early British working-class punk bands like Crass and Cockney Rejects for a fist-pumping set of songs raging at the ills of the modern world while also calling out their own complicity and responsibility to do better.
Holy Ghost! - Work (West End)
This Brooklyn duo’s third full-length is a strong set of disco-inflected electro-pop with bright synths, propulsive rhythms and buoyant song hooks.
Jeanines – Jeanines (Slumberland)
This Brooklyn duo’s debut album is a promising set of lo-fi indie-pop with jangly guitars, energetic rhythms, ethereal harmonies, melancholy lyrics and soaring song hooks.
Select Level – Select Level (Wax Thematique)
The debut full-length from this Seattle project spearheaded by Andy Sells (Afrocop, Nosretep, FCS North) is a smooth and sultry blend of post-punk, disco, funk and electro, combining shimmering synths, propulsive rhythms, funky guitar riffs and occasional sax with his breathy vocals and lyrics of love and escape during these increasingly dystopian times.
Drunken Prayer – Cordelia Elsewhere (self-released)
The fifth album from this Asheville, NC-via-Portland project spearheaded by Morgan Geer is a well-crafted blend of spirited roots-rock, wistful folk-pop, driving psych-rock and more.
Quantic – Atlantic Oscillations (Tru Thoughts)
This Brooklyn-based British producer/multi-instrumentalist’s latest album is a solid set blending propulsive dance grooves with a variety of styles and instrumentation from around the world.
Black Pumas – Black Pumas (ATO)
The debut album from the Austin-based duo of Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada is a well-crafted, ‘70s-steeped blend of psych-rock and soul, combining fuzzy guitars with Burton’s soulful vocals and often-dark lyrics.
Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out of Sight (Paradise of Bachelors)
This Durham, NC-based guitarist/vocalist’s latest album is a beautifully crafted set of expansive folk. Recording with a full band on every song for the first time, Fussell transforms a variety of traditional tunes into dreamy, exploratory songs with hypnotic guitar lines, violin, pedal steel, piano, organ and relaxed rhythms accompanying his serene vocals.
Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Bill Callahan, Bruce Springsteen, Calexico and Iron & Wine, and more.