New Music Reviews (6/14)

Album Reviews

Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJs Alex and Abbie) 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 Wolf Alice, Children of Zeus, Loraine James, and more.

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend (Dirty Hit)
This British band’s excellent third album is an expansive blend of shoegazer dream-pop, grungy, swaggering rock, soaring folk-pop, driving garage-punk and other styles, combining a polished, impeccably detailed sound with Ellie Rowsell’s dynamic vocals and emotive, sharply crafted lyrics revolving around relationships. — DY

Children of Zeus – Balance (First Word)
This British duo’s second album is an impressive blend of soulful R&B and hip hop, with an introspective, mostly laid-back sound featuring warm keyboards, gently propulsive beats, wistful melodies and reflective lyrics delivered through the potent combination of Tyler Dailey’s supple singing and Konny Kon’s husky rapping. — DY

Loraine James – Reflection (Hyperdub)
This London producer’s third album is an impressive set of adventurous electronic grooves incorporating elements of techno, drill, jungle, grime, R&B and other styles, combining moody synths and a variety of often-fractured beats with vocals from James along with a few guest vocalists. — DY

Anthony Joseph – The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives (Heavenly Sweetness)
The latest album from this Trinidad-born, London-based poet is an impressive set of adventurous jazz inflected with occasional Caribbean influences. Produced and arranged by saxophonist Jason Yarde and featuring a strong supporting cast, the album combines expansive arrangements and fiery musicianship with Joseph’s powerful phrasing and often-politically charged lyrics of identity, culture, history and community. — DY

L'Orange & Namir Blade – Imaginary Everything (Mello Music Group)
North Carolina-based producer L'Orange teams up with Nashville-based rapper Namir Blade for this strong and refreshing set of heady underground hip-hop with an edgy psychedelic bent fueled by L'Orange sample-heavy boom-bap beats and Namir's commanding flow. — AR

Left at London – t.i.a.p.f.y.h. (Left at London is Gay)
The latest release from this Seattle artist (aka Nat Puff) is a strong set blending electro-pop, folk, hip hop and other styles. Revolving around mental health struggles, the songs range from a shape-shifting epic opener and a theatrical piano ballad to breezy, hip hop-influenced pop and bouncy, hook-filled electro-pop. — DY

(Various) – The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four (Gill Music)
This tribute album to the late Gang of Four guitarist began as a celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary, but after Gill passed away in February 2020, the project became a tribute to him. It features an impressive variety of artists both familiar and obscure covering Gang of Four songs, with the interpretations ranging from reverent, straight-up takes to dramatic recastings. — DY

Linn Koch-Emmery – Being The Girl (Boys Tears)
Swedish rocker Linn Koch-Emmery follows up her 2018 EP Waves with her full-length debut of diary entries that are fueled by guitar driven pop that celebrate euphoria and sadness with the occasional dash of dark humor. — AG

Red Fang – Arrows (Relapse)
This Portland band’s fifth album (and first in five years) is another potent blend of grungy stoner-rock and crunchy metal with scuzzy guitar riffs, atmospheric synths and strings, driving rhythms and head-banging song hooks. — DY

Liz Phair – Soberish (Chrysalis)
This LA-via-Chicago artist’s seventh album (and first in 11 years) is a solid set of polished indie-pop ranging from jangly pop-rock and bouncy ‘80s-steeped pop to acoustic-oriented ballads, with the album’s sharp lyrics revolving around love, friendship and sobriety. — DY

Red Ribbon – Planet X (Danger Collective)
The second Red Ribbon album from LA-via-Seattle artist Emma Danner is a well-crafted set ranging from ominous, atmospheric indie-rock to moody folk-pop. — DY

Poté – A Tenuous Tale of Her (OUTLIER)
The debut album from this St. Lucia-born, Paris-based producer (aka Sylvern Mathurin) is a solid set of atmospheric electronic grooves incorporating various Caribbean influences and featuring anxiety-fueled lyrics about impending apocalyptic doom. — DY

Quincy Davis & Mic Crenshaw – Rebel Wise (7vision)
Portland producer/vocalist Quincy Davis collaborated with Portland rapper Mic Crenshaw for this potent set of politically charged hip hop combining a variety of beats and occasional global influences with hard-hitting lyrics from the duo (along with 16 guest rappers from around the world) revolving around racism, community and uplift. — DY

IAMTHELIVING x Teon Gibbs – JNGL EP (Tiny Kingdom)
Hailing from South London and Botswanna, this powerful duo met in Vancouver BC where they crafted this debut collaboration. They beautifully blur together genres that tie together IAMTHELIVING's soulful R&B and Teon Gibbs production and rap with banging Summer pop anthems. — AG

Lily Konigsberg – The Best of Lily Konigsberg Right Now (Wharf Cat)
Between being a part of the art-punk trio Palberta, one-half of Lily and Horn Horse, and putting out her own solo works, Brooklyn's Lily Konigsberg is proving to be a uniquely prolific songwriter. Following a breakout 2020 that included the release of her first proper solo EP It's Just Like All The Clouds for Wharf Cat Records, the Brooklyn-based label conveniently compiles all three of her previously-released solo EPs alongside the best of her more informal early output into a remastered collection that displays her expansive pop sound that bounces between melodic guitar rock, propulsive synth-pop, charming post-punk, and melancholic indie pop. The release kicks off with "Owe Me," her most recent standalone single that's an absolutely infectious slice of spritely synth-pop. — AR

Flamingo Pier – Flamingo Pier (Soundway)
Following a pair of hotly-tipped EPs, this New Zealand trio delivers their debut full-length album and it's a stellar set of colorful vocal-enhanced dancefloor grooves that vibrantly fuses disco, funk, house, Latin, balearic, and psychedelic styles in lively, infectious, and enthusiastic fashion. — AR

Dark0 – Eternity (YEAR0001)
The official debut full-length album from London-based electronic producer Dark0 is an impressive set of cinematic, vivid, emotional club music that plays like a JRPG-style soundtrack in its ability to sway between physically visceral beats to whimsically ethereal ambient passages in epic widescreen fashion. — AR

ShitKid – Sort Stjerne! (PNKSLM)
The final ShitKid album from Stockholm artist Åsa Söderqvist collects previously unreleased recordings from the project’s five-year existence, ranging from lo-fi garage-rock to buzzing synth-pop. — DY

Elkka – Euphoric Melodies EP (Technicolour)
Fresh off recent releases for Femme Culture and Local Action, London-based electronic DJ/producer Emma Kirby (aka Elkka) makes her debut on Ninja Tune's Technicolour imprint with a sharp EP of exploratory house grooves that are cerebral, slinky, and hypnotic. Lead single "Burnt Orange" is a knockout highlight. — AR

The Narcotix – Mommy Issues EP (self-released)
This Brooklyn-based band’s debut EP is a solid set of atmospheric, psych-tinged folk-pop blended with choral music and various African styles. — DY

Cameo Blush – Lucky EP (Scarlet Tiger)
The second release on Ross From Friends' newly-launched Scarlet Tiger imprint is a blistering hot EP from London-based electronic producer John Dunk aka Cameo Blush. His second EP release of 2021, Lucky is a strong display of Cameo Blush's forward-thinking club rhythms and sleek sound design that kicks off with the massive title track that's distinguished by an anthemic pitched-up vocal sample that nods to the 1990s. — AR

Das Beat – Identität EP (Arbutus)
The debut EP from this Berlin-based duo comprised of theatre actress Eddie Rabenberger and Blue Hawaii’s Alex “Agor” Kerby is a solid four-song set ranging from propulsive, disco-influenced dance-pop to atmospheric dream-pop. — DY

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