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 Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, Bob Mould, and more.
Fleet Foxes – Shore (ANTI-)
The fourth album from this Seattle-bred band led by Robin Pecknold is a beautifully crafted set of orchestral, prog-tinged folk-pop, with a lush, intricate, melody-rich sound combining a variety of instrumentation including guitars, keyboards, horns and more with beatific harmonies and warm, open-hearted lyrics celebrating life, friendship and music while honoring departed musical heroes. Special guests include Grizzly Bear’s Chris Bear and Daniel Rossen, Hamilton Leithauser, Kevin Morby, Uwade Akhere and other notables.
Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty)
This Brooklyn-based artist’s latest album is a dark, often-powerful set of dystopian electro-pop with ominous synths and jittery drum-machine rhythms accompanying his hushed vocals and often-bleak lyrics of loss, death and a country badly damaged by environmental devastation, celebrity worship, excessive materialism and other ills.
Bob Mould – Blue Hearts (Merge)
The latest solo album from the former Hüsker Dü /Sugar frontman is an excellent set of anthemic guitar rock that echoes at times the post-hardcore ferocity of Hüsker Dü. Featuring Mould in prime power-trio mode with bassist Jason Narducy (Verbow, Split Single, etc.) and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, the album combines buzzsaw guitar riffs and energetic rhythms with angry, often-politically charged lyrics raging against climate change, bigotry, online escapism and extremism, economic injustice and a country falling apart.
Thurston Moore – By the Fire (Daydream Library Series)
The latest release from the London-based former Sonic Youth guitarist is a powerful double album of adventurous noise-rock, post-punk and more, with a dynamic, often-improvised sound ranging from dreamy guitar passages and hook-filled rock to intense discordance.
Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine (Skint)
The fifth solo album from this Irish artist (and formerly one-half of the duo Moloko) is a buoyant, club-friendly set of disco and house grooves with propulsive rhythms, moody synths, lush strings, smoky vocals and hypnotic melodies.
Teenage Halloween – Teenage Halloween (Don Giovanni)
This Asbury Park, NJ band’s debut full-length is a strong set of expansive, emotive punk combining buzzing guitars, soaring horns, bright piano and anthemic song hooks with Luke Henderiks’ raspy vocals and sharply crafted lyrics revolving around queer identity, mental health issues, struggle and resilience.
Fenne Lily – BREACH (Dead Oceans)
This British artist’s second album is a well-crafted set ranging from melancholy folk-pop to driving post-punk and atmospheric dream-pop, combining an often-dark sound and bittersweet melodies with introspective, sometimes biting lyrics revolving around lost love and solitude.
Pillow Queens – In Waiting (self-released)
This Dublin band’s debut album is a potent set of emotive, ‘90s-influenced indie-rock with a dynamic sound featuring ringing guitars, bright harmonies, anthemic song hooks and lyrics of identity, community and self-care.
Lydia Loveless – Daughter (Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late)
This Raleigh, NC-via-Columbus, OH artist’s fifth regular studio album is a sharply crafted set of moody, roots-tinged rock, combining a warm sound with her honeyed vocals and brutally honest lyrics of lost love, autonomy and moving on.
Will Butler – Generations (Merge)
The second studio solo album from this Brooklyn-based member of The Arcade Fire is a diverse set ranging from surging, anthemic rockers to quirky synth-pop and propulsive electro-pop, with many songs juxtaposing buoyant song hooks with dread-filled lyrics reflecting these dystopian times.
La Dame Blanche – Ella (Nacional)
This Havana-born, Paris-based artist’s fourth album is an energetic blend of hip hop, reggae, reggaeton and other styles with some Afro-Cuban influences, combining a groove-driven sound with her confident blend of rapping/singing and lyrics celebrating some of the women who have influenced her life.
Mint Field – Sentimiento Mundial (felte)
This Mexico City-via-Tijuana band’s second album is an evocative set shoegazerish dream-pop with an atmospheric sound featuring fuzzy guitars, occasional brass and strings, ethereal vocals and hypnotic melodies.
A Certain Ratio – ACR Loco (Mute)
This veteran British band’s first album in twelve years is a fine set of stylish dance-pop inflected with funk, Batucada and other styles. Special guests include the late Manchester vocalist Denise Johnson along with Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey and Manchester vets Mike Joyce and Eric Random.
Surfer Blood – Carefree Theatre (Kanine)
This West Palm Beach, FL band’s fifth album is a fine set of hook-filled indie-rock inflected with surf and other styles, combining ringing guitars, bright keyboards, driving rhythms, warm harmonies and wistful melodies.
Nana Adjoa – Big Dreaming Ants (Bloomer)
This Ghanian Dutch artist’s debut album is a fine set of moody, expansive indie-pop combining a variety of instrumentation ranging from guitars and keyboards to thumb piano and vibraphone with her breathy vocals and lyrics revolving around relationships, identity and growth.
Sad13 – Haunted Painting (Wax Nine)
The second Sad13 album from Speedy Ortiz leader Sadie Dupuis is a solid set of synth-heavy indie-pop combining bright synths and atmospheric guitars with lyrics ranging from expressions of loss, grief, and mental health struggles to critiques of misogyny and environmental devastation.
Rituals of Mine – Hype Nostalgia (Carpark)
The second Rituals of Mine album from LA-via-Sacramento artist Terra Lopez (and her first as a solo artist) is a dark blend of future R&B and brooding electro-pop, combining an often-spare sound with her ethereal vocals and lyrics of love and loss.
Shy Boys – Talk Loud (Polyvinyl)
This Kansas City band’s third album is a fine set of psych-tinged indie-pop with bright keyboards, bouncy rhythms and sparkling pop melodies often juxtaposed with dark lyrics.
Moses Hightower – Lyftutónlist (self-released)
This Icelandic trio’s latest release is a solid seven-song EP of soul-influenced dream-pop inflected with funk, jazz and other styles, combining atmospheric keyboards with celestial harmonies.
Cayucas – Blue Summer (Park the Van)
This Santa Monica CA brother duo’s fourth album is a solid set of breezy beach-pop with jangly guitars, bright keyboards, glowing Beach Boys harmonies, and sunny melodies.
Each week, KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJs Gabriel Teodros and Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Sault, The Flaming Lips, Doves, and more.