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 Car Seat Headrest, Lucinda Williams, The Mountain Goats, and more.
Car Seat Headrest – Making a Door Less Open (Matador)
The latest album from Will Toledo’s Seattle-based band features an adventurous, more electronic-oriented sound with moody synths, buzzing guitars, often-propulsive beats, and anxiety-fueled lyrics revolving around the desire for transformation.
Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers)
This veteran Nashville-based artist’s 15th album is the most pointedly political of her career, combining a raw, sometimes heavy roots-rock sound inflected with blues, folk, country, and more with often-barbed lyrics aimed at abusers and misrulers (though there are also songs about more personal concerns like depression and substance abuse).
The Mountain Goats – Songs for Pierre Chuvin (Merge)
After Covid-19 hit, John Darnielle changed plans for his latest Mountain Goats album. He wrote a song per day inspired by A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, a book written by French historian Pierre Chuvin about the collapse of the Roman Empire, and then recorded them on the same Panasonic boombox that he used for his earliest recordings. It’s a typically well-written set of lo-fi indie-folk that hearkens back to those beloved early records of his.
RVG – Feral (Fire)
This Melbourne band’s second album is a strong set of sharply crafted post-punk with jangly guitars and often-politically charged lyrics attacking apathy and encouraging resilience.
Alice Bag – Sister Dynamite (In The Red)
The fourth solo album from the former lead singer/co-founder of pioneering LA punk band The Bags (aka Alicia Armendariz) is a potent set of visceral, politically charged punk combining buzzing guitars and energetic rhythms with pointed lyrics attacking racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
Pure X – Pure X (Fire Talk)
This Austin band’s fourth album (and first in six years) is a potent set of hazy, spacious psych-rock with atmospheric electric and gentle acoustic guitars, mostly slow-rolling rhythms, alternating lead vocals, and dreamy melodies.
dvsn – A Muse in Her Feelings (OVO Sound/Warner)
This Toronto duo’s third album is a more expansive take on their dark R&B, combining a greater variety of beats and textures (along with a number of high-profile guests including PARTYNEXTDOOR, Future, Popcaan, Snoh Aalegra and other notables) with Daniel Daley’s limber vocals and downcast lyrics of lost love.
Man Man – Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between (Sub Pop)
The sixth album (and first in seven years) from this Philly-based project led by Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) is a vibrant, carnivalesque blend of folk-rock, jazz, various African and South American styles and much more, with shape-shifting songs combining a colorful variety of instrumentation including piano, guitars, horns, woodwinds, vibraphone, etc. with vivid, at times acerbic lyrics of love, life, and death.
Devon Williams – A Tear in the Fabric (Slumberland)
This LA artist’s fourth album (and first in six years) is a well-crafted blend of pensive post-punk, New Waveish power pop and reflective folk-rock with jangly guitars, atmospheric synths, occasional pedal steel, and wistful melodies.
Ghostpoet – I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep (Play It Again Sam)
The fifth album from this London artist (aka Obaro Ejimiwe) is a brooding set of atmospheric electro-rock combining a variety of dark, ominous soundscapes with spoken vocals and bleak lyrics of living in dystopian times.
Fire in the Radio – Monuments (Wednesday)
This Philly band’s third album is a potent set of anthemic post-punk with buzzing, at times shoegazerish guitars, driving rhythms, and soaring song hooks.
Austra – HiRUDiN (Domino)
The fourth album from this Toronto artist (aka Katie Stelmanis) is a solid set of arty electro-pop combining moody synths and classical orchestration with her sky-scraping vocals and personal lyrics depicting toxic relationships and rebirth.
Houses of Heaven – Silent Places (felte)
This Oakland band’s debut full-length is a bewitching blend of goth-tinged synth-pop and industrial, combining dark synths, atmospheric guitars, icy strings, propulsive rhythms, gloomy vocals, and hypnotic song hooks.
Johanna Warren – Chaotic Good (Wax Nine/Carpark)
This Portland artist’s fifth album brings a bit heavier and more muscular sound at times to her intimate folk-pop, though there are still quite a few spare-sounding piano and acoustic guitar-oriented songs.
Chicano Batman – Invisible People (ATO)
This LA band’s fourth album is a breezy, well-crafted blend of R&B, psych-pop, Tropicalia, funk, and other styles, combining shimmering guitars and keyboards with gently propulsive rhythms and dreamy melodies.
serpentwithfeet – Apparition EP (Secretly Canadian)
The latest release from this Brooklyn-based musician (aka Josiah Wise) is an adventurous 3-song EP of experimental, R&B-inflected pop combining an atmospheric sound with his ethereal vocals and hope-filled lyrics.