Each week, Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. These reviews help our DJs decide on what they want to play. See what we added this week below (and on our Charts page), including new releases from Tirzah, Illuminati Hotties, Andy Shauf, and more.
Tirzah – Colourgrade (Domino)
This London artist’s second album is an impressive set of avant electro-pop inflected with R&B, trip hop and other styles, featuring dark, icy and sometimes disjointed soundscapes with hypnotic loops, hushed vocals, haunting melodies and lyrics of family, love and the mystery and wonder of life.
Ducks Ltd. – Modern Fiction (Carpark)
This Toronto-based duo’s debut full-length is an excellent set of hook-filled jangle pop with buoyant guitar lines, shimmering keyboards, driving rhythms and sunny melodies juxtaposed with often-dark lyrics of a world falling apart.
Illuminati Hotties – Let Me Do One More (Snack Shack Tracks/Hopeless)
The second official Illuminati Hotties album from LA artist Sarah Tudzin is a strong set of indie-rock ranging from punkish power-pop to atmospheric, folk-tinged dream-pop, featuring a dynamic, shape-shifting sound combining crunchy guitars and bright keyboards with her irreverent, sometimes darkly humorous lyrics revolving around anxiety, dysfunctional relationships and dystopian modern life.
Shad – TAO (Secret City)
This Toronto-based rapper’s sixth album is an impressive set of diverse hip hop ranging from warm boom bap and soul-steeped tracks to some bombarding, rock-influenced cuts, combining a variety of beats and buoyant song hooks with his elastic flow and lyrics of connection and relationships.
Andy Shauf – Wilds (ANTI-)
This Toronto-based artist's seventh album features songs recorded during the sessions for his previous full-length (2020’s Neon Skyline). Like that album, this one’s a strong set of bittersweet folk-pop combining a mostly stripped-down sound with poignant, sharply crafted lyrics of lost love, grief and acceptance.
Strand of Oaks – In Heaven (Galacticana/Thirty Tigers)
The eighth Strand of Oaks album (and the first since moving to Austin) from Tim Showalter is a fine set of psych-tinged folk-rock combining ringing guitars and shimmering keyboards with lyrics of hope, love, loss and resilience.
Hovvdy – True Love (Grand Jury)
This Austin duo’s fourth album is a well-crafted set of folk-tinged indie-pop with a warm sound featuring jangly guitars, atmospheric keyboards, glowing melodies and lyrics of love, relationships and growth.
Magdalena Bay – Mercurial World (Luminelle)
This LA-based duo’s debut full-length is a fine set of rhythm-driven electro-pop ranging from buoyant, disco-fueled dance-pop to fuzzy, shoegazerish space-pop.
Shannon Lay – Geist (Sub Pop)
This LA artist’s fourth album is a beautifully crafted set of atmospheric folk-pop combining a mostly acoustic-oriented sound with her serene vocals and lyrics of spiritual exploration and self-discovery.
Eternia & Rel McCoy – FREE (Fat Beats)
Veteran Toronto rapper Eternia teamed up with Toronto rapper/producer Rel McCoy for this solid album of boom-bap hip hop combining warm, ‘90s-influenced beats with reflective rhymes ranging from love, struggle and community to gentrification and modern technology.
Pays P. - Ça v aller (Peculiar Works)
This French band’s debut album is a potent set of brooding, experimental rock reminiscent at times of Sonic Youth and Swans, combining dissonant guitars with Laura Boullic’s volatile vocals.
Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days (Elektra)
This Seattle artist’s seventh album is a diverse set ranging from acoustic-oriented folk-pop and hard-driving country-rock to dynamic folk-rock and some lighter-waving arena piano ballads, with the album’s reflective lyrics revolving around parenthood, spirituality, acceptance and resilience.
Cali P x TEKA – Vizion (LowLow)
Swiss/Guadeloupe artist Cali P teamed up with German producer TEKA for this solid set of roots reggae blended with dancehall, hip hop, Afrobeats and other styles.
audiobooks – Astro Tough (Heavenly)
This British duo’s second album is an adventurous set of psych-tinged synth-pop and post-punk combining a variety of arty soundscapes with Evangeline Ling’s elastic vocals and eccentric lyrics often revolving around night life.
Pond – 9 (Spinning Top)
This Australian band’s ninth album is a diverse set ranging from driving electro-rock and slinky funk-rock to motorik post-punk and bombastic rock opera.
Kedr Livanskiy – Liminal Soul (2MR)
This Russian producer/musician’s third album is a solid set of dance-friendly electro-pop combining bright synths, propulsive rhythms and some live instrumentation with her crystalline vocals.
Boy Scouts – Wayfinder (ANTI-)
The second Boy Scouts album from Oakland artist Taylor Vick is a well-crafted set of introspective folk-pop. Recorded at the Unknown in Anacortes, the album combines acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, strings and more with layered harmonies, often-melancholy melodies and bittersweet lyrics of love, mortality, healing and growth.
The Green Pajamas – Sunlight Might Weigh Even More (Green Monkey)
The latest album from this long-running Seattle band led by Jeff Kelly is a well-crafted set of psych-pop combining jangly guitars, vintage keyboards, ambient birdsong and more with sunny melodies.
wych elm – Rabbit Wench EP (self-released)
This British band’s second EP is a solid set of ‘90s-steeped slacker rock with grungy guitars, muscular rhythms, ominous lyrics and hypnotic song hooks.
Explosions In The Sky – Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television) (self-released)
This Austin band’s latest release is a soundtrack to the PBS documentary about Big Bend National Park. It’s an evocative set of atmospheric post-rock combining acoustic and slide guitars with piano, bells and more for a sound evocative of the vastness and majesty of Big Bend.
Devin Hoff – Voices from the Empty Moor: Songs of Anne Briggs (Kill Rock Stars)
This New York bassist/composer’s latest release pays tribute to the music of 1960s-early ’70s-era British folk artist Anne Briggs with this beautifully crafted set of haunting avant-folk. The album’s impressive supporting cast includes Sharon Van Etten, Julia Holter, Shannon Lay, Emmett Kelly, Howard Wiley, The Dirty Three’s Jim White and other notables.
Nate Mercereau – Sundays (How So/Nice Life)
This LA-based multi-instrumentalist/producer’s second album is an adventurous blend of ambient, jazz and electronic music, featuring an exploratory sound combining celestial guitars, spacy keyboards, mostly glacial tempos and occasional sax and ambient sounds.
Silas Short – Drawing EP (Stones Throw)
This Milwaukee-bred, Chicago-based artist’s debut EP is a solid seven-song set of moody R&B combining a mostly low-key atmospheric sound with warm keyboards, gentle guitars, occasional sax and laid-back rhythms with wistful melodies.
Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation. See what we added this week below (and on our Charts page), including new releases from Deafheaven, Cleo Sol, Topaz Jones, and more.