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 Torres, Durand Jones & The Indications, Emma-Jean Thackray, and more.
Torres – Thirstier (Merge)
The excellent fifth album from Mackenzie Scott (aka Torres) finds her successfully adopting a bigger, edgier and more diverse sound with buzzing guitars, bright keyboards, pounding rhythms, soaring song hooks and lyrics of love and desire, with the music ranging from ‘90s grunge-pop, anthemic indie-rock and propulsive dance-pop to atmospheric dream-pop, off-kilter folk-rock and more.
Durand Jones & The Indications – Private Space (Dead Oceans)
This Bloomington, IN band’s third album is a potent blend of ‘70s-steeped soul, funk and disco, combining warm keyboards, funky rhythm guitar, lush strings and often-propulsive beats with soulful, alternating lead vocals from Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer along with optimistically-minded lyrics of love, hope and joy.
Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow (Movementt)
This London-based producer/bandleader’s debut album is an impressive blend of spiritual jazz with funk, hip hop, brass band music, psychedelia and more, combining an intricate, shape-shifting sound with buoyant melodies and lyrics of hope and unity.
Foxing – Draw Down the Moon (Hopeless)
This St. Louis-based band’s fourth album is a potent set of diverse, hook-filled indie-rock combining a dynamic, dramatic and richly textured sound featuring heart-pumping rhythms and anthemic choruses with lyrics revolving around the importance of connection in giving meaning and purpose to life and the universe.
Yola – Stand For Myself (Easy Eye Sound/Concord)
The second album from this Nashville-based British artist is a well-crafted blend of soul, gospel, funk, disco, country and other styles. Produced again by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, the album combines a warm, ‘70s-steeped sound with her impassioned, dynamic vocals and lyrics of heartache, inequality and resilience.
Marcey Yates & XOBOI – Culxr House:Freedom Summer (Saddle Creek)
This new collaborative project led by Omaha rappers Marcey Yates & XOBOI also features a host of other Omaha talent, all of which are connected to Culxr House, an innovative community hub that provides artists a safe space to grow their talent and obtain access to resources. The songs on this album were inspired by the social justice protests of 2020 (aka Freedom Summer), combining warm, soul and funk-inflected hip hop beats with rhymes about racism, injustice, poverty, struggle and resilience.
King Woman – Celestial Blues (Relapse)
The second full-length from this New York-based Iranian artist (aka Kris Esfandiari) is an impressive blend of doom metal and shoegazer psych-rock with an ominous, dynamic sound often alternating between haunting softer passages and loud, cathartic, distortion-laden rock.
Tiawa – Moonlit Train (Tru Thoughts)
This Brighton-based artist’s debut album is a well-crafted blend of moody R&B inflected with hip hop, jazz, reggae, bossa nova and other styles, with a mostly low-key sound combining warm keyboards, gentle guitars, sax and flute with her hushed vocals and lyrics revolving around relationships, healing and liberation.
Son Volt – Electro Melodier (Transmit Sound)
The tenth album from this veteran St. Louis band led by Jay Farrar is a well-crafted blend of often politically-minded country-rock, acoustic blues and folk and related styles, combining a warm sound and wistful melodies with Farrar’s weathered vocals and lyrics of struggle and hope during troubled times.
Prince – Welcome 2 America (Legacy)
The late Minneapolis legend recorded and then shelved this album in 2010, back when he was mired in a string of middling album releases. Oddly, this could be his strongest album from that era, though it’s still a bit hit-and-miss. The sound ranges from breezy funk and pop-rock to moody, Curtis Mayfield-inspired R&B. While there are a few odes to fun and sex, most of the album features politically charged lyrics aimed at racism, disinformation, celebrity culture and more.
Skirts – Great Big Wild Oak (Double Double Whammy)
The debut album from this Dallas artist (aka Alex Montenegro) is a well-crafted set of intimate folk-pop with an atmospheric sound combining acoustic and electric guitars, piano, horns, woodwinds, pedal steel, banjo, xylophone, synths and more with her hushed vocals, layered harmonies, dreamy melodies and lyrics of heartache and resilience.
Brian Jackson, Ali Shaheed Muhamad & Adrian Younge – JID008 (Jazz Is Dead)
The latest volume in Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad’s Jazz Is Dead series features Portland-based artist Brian Jackson, who was Gil Scott-Heron's longtime writing partner, keyboardist, arranger and bandleader. His Jazz Is Dead album, which is his first session as leader in over two decades, is a fine set of atmospheric jazz-funk with keyboards, guitar, woodwinds and breezy rhythms.
LUMP – Animal (Partisan)
The second album from the duo of Laura Marling and Tunng’s Mike Lindsay is an adventurous set of dark, psych-tinged electro-pop combining atmospheric synths and a variety of other instrumentation with eerie melodies and playful lyrics of desire.
Kasper Bjørke – Sprinkles (HFN Music)
This Danish producer’s latest album is a solid set of Balearic electronic grooves with shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms and sun-kissed melodies.
koleżanka – place is (Bar/None)
The debut solo album from this Brooklyn-via-Phoenix artist (aka Kristina Moore) is a solid set of atmospheric dream-pop combining shimmering keyboards and guitars with lyrics of anxiety and dislocation.
Hussy – Hussy EP (Rock Hag)
The debut EP from this London-based artist (aka Sophie Nicole Ellison) is a solid seven-song set ranging from eerie dream-pop to ‘90s-influenced grunge-pop, combining an often-spare sound with lyrics of self-confidence and resilience.
mui zyu – a wonderful thing vomits EP (Father/Daughter)
The debut solo EP from this London-based artist (aka Eva Liu, who also is part of the trio Dama Scout) is a solid set of lo-fi experimental pop combining ominous keyboards, atmospheric guitars, hypnotic rhythms and some traditional Chinese instrumentation with eerie melodies and lyrics of alienation, displacement and escape.
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 Tyler, the Creator, Darkside, Altin Gün, and more.
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 Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth, John Grant, Gaspard Augé, and more.