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 Polyrhythmics, Damien Jurado, Happyness, and more.
Polyrhythmics – Man From the Future (Code Red)
This Seattle band’s sixth album is a more cinematic and expansive take on their sharply crafted jazz-funk incorporating elements of Afrobeat, Spaghetti Western, and other styles, combining funky guitar riffs, punchy horns, simmering keyboards, and in-the-pocket rhythms.
Damien Jurado – What's New, Tomboy? (Mama Bird)
This Seattle artist’s 15th album is a beautifully crafted set of often-spare, psych-tinged folk-pop with a warm, ‘70s-steeped sound featuring acoustic and electric guitars along with vintage keyboards accompanying his intimate vocals and artfully drawn character sketches.
Happyness – Floatr (self-released)
This London group’s third album (and first as a duo) is a more reflective and polished take on their ‘90s-steeped slacker-rock, often finding a bittersweet spot somewhere between Elliott Smith and Girls.
Buscabulla – Regresa (Ribbon Music)
This Puerto Rico-born, New York-based duo returned to their homeland to help in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, while also recording their debut album there. The album’s expansive sound blends elements of electro-pop, psych-rock, dream-pop, R&B, and various Latin styles with lyrics of loss, anger, and resilience.
Mark Lanegan – Straight Songs of Sorrow (Heavenly)
The former Screaming Trees frontman’s latest solo album is a companion volume of sorts to his recently released memoir Sing Backwards and Weep. The album combines a dark, brooding sound featuring a variety of keyboards, guitars and occasional other instrumentation with Lanegan’s grainy vocals and brutally honest lyrics of troubled relationships, addiction, loss, and mortality. The album’s impressive supporting cast includes Ed Harcourt, Greg Dulli, Warren Ellis, John Paul Jones, Adrian Utley, Simon Bonney, and other notables.
Little Simz – Drop 6 EP (AWAL)
This British rapper’s latest EP features five mostly brief songs produced in April during quarantine, combining a variety of hard-hitting beats with her ruthless delivery and razor-sharp, often-acerbic rhymes.
I Break Horses – Warnings (Bella Union)
The third album (and first in six years) from this Swedish duo led by Maria Linden swathes their indie-pop in a more cinematic and atmospheric sound, combining layered synths with her breathy vocals and anxiety-fueled lyrics revolving around troubled times ahead.
Diet Cig – Do You Wonder About Me (Frenchkiss)
This Richmond, VA-via-New Paltz, NY duo’s second album is a more expansive take on the band’s punkish power-pop, broadening their sound with influences ranging from fuzzy shoegaze and piano balladry to Riot Grrrl punk, while lyrically, the songs often battle insecurity with self-acceptance.
Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – What Kinda Music (Blue Note)
London-based producer Tom Misch collaborated with London jazz drummer Yussef Dayes for this expansive blend of various electronic grooves with jazz and hip hop, combining an atmospheric, often laid-back sound with Misch’s smooth vocals.
Shiner – Schadenfreude (De Soto)
This Kansas City, MO band’s fifth album (and first in 19 years) is a potent set of heavy post-hardcore combining grungy guitars and muscular rhythms with melodic vocals and often-dark lyrics.
Blake Mills – Mutable Set (New Deal/Verve)
This LA-based producer/musician’s fourth solo album is a well-crafted set of hushed chamber-pop incorporating elements of neo-classical, prog-folk and other styles, combining an often-spacious sound with lyrics revolving around impermanence, many of which were co-written by Cass McCombs.
Sunwatchers – Oh Yeah (Trouble In Mind)
This New York band’s fourth album is another potent set of driving instrumental jazz rock combining fuzzy guitars, wailing sax and urgent rhythms.
Caleb Landry Jones – The Mother Stone (Sacred Bones)
Best-known for his acting, this LA-based artist is also an adventurous musician. His debut album is an imaginative, occasionally bewildering set of cinematic, often-dark, shape-shifting psych-rock incorporating elements of jazz, prog, musical theater and more.
Blakkamoore – Upward Spiral (Baco)
Previously known as Jahdan, this veteran Guyana-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s latest release is a seamless blend of reggae, hip hop and reggaeton.
Konradsen – Rodeo No. 5 EP (Cascine)
This Norwegian duo follows up their 2019 debut album with this 5-song set of atmospheric indie-pop inflected with folk, R&B, post-rock and other styles, combining a spacious sound with serene vocals and dreamy melodies.
DJDS – No Trust / Feel Nice EP (Loma Vista)
This LA-based production duo’s latest EP is a well-crafted set of dance-friendly electro-pop and reggaeton, with guest vocals from Bibi Bourelly, Kiah Victoria, Projexx and Artikal.
Kali Uchis – To Feel Alive EP (Virgin EMI/Interscope)
This Colombian American artist’s latest release is a brief 4-song demo EP of atmospheric R&B.