New Music Reviews (5/17)

Album Reviews
05/17/2021
KEXP

Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by Morning Show Producer Owen Murphy) 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 St. Vincent, CHAI, Patrick Paige II, and more.


St. Vincent – Daddy's Home (Loma Vista)
This New York-based artist’s sixth solo album is a mostly subdued, ‘70s-influenced blend of glam-rock, psych-pop, funk, soul, folk-rock, orchestral pop and more, with an intricate sound combining guitars, vintage keyboards, horns, strings, sitar and other instrumentation with lyrics revolving around flawed people trying to survive. — DY

CHAI – WINK (Sub Pop)
This Tokyo band’s third album finds them successfully adopting a relatively more subdued, less maximalist sound while also broadening their effervescent, hook-filled indie-pop by incorporating elements of dance-pop, hip hop, R&B and other styles. — DY

Patrick Paige II – If I Fail Are We Still Cool? (Fat Possum)
The second solo album from this producer and bassist for The Internet is a sharply crafted set of hip hop and R&B combining bubbly synths and propulsive beats with lyrics revolving around flying, success and failure. Special guests include Syd, Steve Lacy, Saba, and other notables. — DY

Tony Allen – There Is No End (Blue Note)
This posthumous release from the great Nigerian drummer is an album he was working on before he passed away. It’s a hip hop-oriented release with a variety of sharp up-and-coming rappers rhyming over Allen’s creative beats blending hip hop with Afrobeat, jazz and more. — DY

Damien Jurado – The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania (Maraqopa)
This Seattle artist’s 17th album is an often-poignant set of intimate folk-pop with a dry, mostly spare sound featuring acoustic and occasional electric guitar, keyboards, strings and a basic rhythm section accompanying his hushed vocals and well-crafted narratives of folks struggling and surviving. — DY

Mara TK – Bad Meditation (Extra Soul Perception)
This New Zealand artist of Maori Scottish heritage was the vocalist for the Kiwi future soul trio Electric Wire Hustle. His debut solo album is a well-crafted blend of psych-tinged soul and folk with an atmospheric, mostly spare sound combining guitars, keyboards and occasional violin and harp with falsetto-laden vocals, layered harmonies and lyrics of love, loss, healing and identity. — DY

PACKS – Take the Cake (Fire Talk)
The debut album from this Toronto band led by Madeline Link is a promising set blending moody ‘90s slacker-rock with scruffy garage-pop, with the lyrics revolving around aimlessness, loss and change. — DY

Glüme – Tne Internet (Italians Do It Better)
This LA artist’s debut album is an often-mesmerizing blend of atmospheric Italo disco and cinematic torch-pop, combining moody synths and strings with her airy vocals and haunting melodies. — DY

Pardoner – Came Down Different (Bar/None)
This San Francisco band’s third album is a potent blend of ‘90s-influenced slacker-rock and sardonic post-punk, combining discordant guitar riffs and punchy rhythms with declaimed vocals and lyrics revolving around hopelessness, escape and grinding to survive. — DY

nasimiYu – P O T I O N S (Figureight)
The first album in seven years from this Brooklyn artist (aka Nasimiyu Murumba) is an atmospheric blend of R&B, pop and various global influences, featuring a spare sound combining shimmering synths and a variety of percussion with her silky vocals and hypnotic melodies. — DY

Fiddlehead – Between the Richness (Run For Cover)
This Boston band’s third album is a potent set of melodic post-hardcore with buzzing guitar riffs, punchy rhythms, anthemic choruses and personal lyrics of loss and mortality. — DY

Man On Man – Man On Man (Polyvinyl)
The debut album from this duo comprised of Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen) and his boyfriend Joey Holman (HOLMAN) is a potent set of well-crafted indie-pop inflected with shoegazer dream-pop, ‘80s synth-pop, atmospheric folk-pop and other styles, combining fuzzy guitars, synths and piano with sunny melodies, warm harmonies and frank, often-playful lyrics celebrating gay love. — DY

Karate, Guns & Tanning – Concrete Beach (self-released)
This Indianapolis band's debut is a blast of goth-tinged shoegaze fueled by riot-grrrl anger. Born out of restlessness and pent-up aggression during the pandemic, the distorted bass lines and 80's keys mixed with empowering lyrics creates a formidable set of music. — OM

Current Joys – Voyager (Secretly Canadian)
The seventh album from this LA-based artist (aka Nick Rattigan) is a well-crafted, fairly diverse set ranging from driving post-punk and brooding folk-pop to lush orchestral and spare piano ballads, with many of the songs inspired by classic films. — DY

Tony Joe White – Smoke From the Chimney (Easy Eye Sound)
This posthumous release from the legendary swamp rocker features home demo recordings from White’s last few years that were then fleshed out by album producer Dan Auerbach and some stellar Nashville studio musicians. It’s a well-crafted, fairly diverse set ranging from hypnotic swamp rock to wistful country and some warm, soulful ballads. — DY

Marinero – Hella Love (Hardly Art)
The third album from this LA-via-Bay Area artist (aka Jess Sylvester) is a well-crafted set of atmospheric folk-pop inflected with bossa nova, psych-pop and other styles, with many of the songs reflecting on his former life in the Bay Area and the forces of gentrification that drove him away. — DY

The Chills – Scatterbrain (Fire)
The seventh studio album from this veteran New Zealand band led by Martin Phillipps is a well-crafted set of moody indie-pop with jangly guitars, atmospheric keyboards and lyrics reflecting on life, destiny and mortality. — DY

India Jordan – Watch Out! EP (Ninja Tune)
This London-based DJ/producer’s latest release is a strong five-song EP of energetic techno and house grooves combining propulsive rhythms with looped samples and spacy synths. — DY

John Andrews & The Yawns – Cookbook (Woodsist)
The third album from New Hampshire-based artist John Andrews and his imaginary band The Yawns is a well-crafted set of atmospheric, ‘70s-steeped folk-pop, combining jangly guitars, piano and more with his serene vocals and lyrics of love and gratitude. — DY

Doss – 4 New Hit Songs EP (LuckyMe)
The latest release from this New York vocalist/songwriter/producer is a solid four-song EP of atmospheric electronic dance grooves with propulsive beats, shimmering synths, ethereal vocals and hypnotic melodies. — DY

Deekapz – Ensaio Sobre Você (Essay About You) EP (self-released)
This Brazilian production duo’s latest release is a fine five-song EP of introspective electronic grooves blending Baile funk with hip hop and R&B. — DY

Lucinda Chua – Antidotes 2 EP (4AD)
This London cellist/vocalist’s second EP is a haunting four-song set of slow-burning ambient chamber-pop, with a spare sound combining cello and piano with her breathy vocals and often-dark lyrics. — DY

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