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 Little Simz, Low, Bomba Estéreo, and more.
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Age 101)
The fourth regular studio album from this London rapper (aka Simbiatu Ajikawo) is an impressive set of expansive hip hop. Produced by Inflo, the album ranges from lush orchestral hip hop and buoyant, R&B-flavored songs to percolating Afro-pop and lean, hard-hitting bangers, combining a variety of soundscapes with her conversational delivery and thoughtful lyrics contrasting her public image with her private thoughts while also tackling family and societal dysfunction, racism, inequality and other weighty subjects.
Low – HEY WHAT (Sub Pop)
This Duluth, MN duo’s 13th album is a masterful set of otherworldly avant-pop. Produced by B.J. Burton, who also produced Low’s groundbreaking 2018 album Double Negative, this album continues their use of distorted digital textures and heavily processed guitar sounds, though this time the duo’s heavenly harmonies are out front and center with lyrics of love and resilience providing a bit of hope and solace during dystopian times.
Bomba Estéreo – Deja (Sony Music Latin)
This Colombian duo’s sixth studio album is a beautifully crafted, groove-driven blend of cumbia, champeta and various other Colombian/Caribbean styles with hip hop and electronic dance grooves, combining a variety of traditional and electronic instrumentation with buoyant melodies and lyrics revolving around connection, alienation, mental health and climate change.
Nite Jewel – No Sun (Gloriette)
The fifth Nite Jewel album from LA artist Ramona Gonzalez is her most adventurous and accomplished set to date, edging her R&B-tinged electro-pop into more avant-garde territory via a spare, moody sound with imaginative song arrangements, glitchy synth textures, various ambient sounds and occasional haunting strings and horns accompanying her aching vocals and lyrics of heartache, loss and healing.
The Bug – Fire (Ninja Tune)
The latest release from this British producer (aka Kevin Martin) is a powerful set of dystopian bass music incorporating elements of grime, dub, ambient and other styles, combining bombarding bass and tension-filled rhythms with an impressive lineup of guest vocalists spitting dark lyrics of societal collapse, anger and rebellion.
Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort to Me (ATO)
This Melbourne, Australia band’s second album is a potent set of visceral garage-punk combining crunchy guitar riffs and energetic rhythms with Amy Taylor’s shouted vocals and impassioned lyrics alternating between defiance and vulnerability.
Common – A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 2 (Loma Vista)
This veteran Chicago rapper’s 13th studio album is a potent set of often-politically inspired hip hop with a warm sound incorporating elements of funk, soul, jazz, Afro-beat and other styles while featuring a healthy amount of live instrumentation along with Common’s trenchant rhymes offering hope, love and community in the face of racism and inequality. Special guests include Black Thought, Seun Kuti and Brittany Howard.
Matthew E. White – K Bay (Domino)
This Richmond, VA-based producer/muisician’s third regular solo album (and first in six years) is an imaginative blend of rock, funk, R&B, cinematic torch songs and more. White recorded every song twice – once, using the traditional band-in-the-room approach with every part worked out, and again as a more exploratory instrumental composition, and those two versions of the songs were sometimes spliced, sometimes layered together to create the finished product.
Breeze – Only Up (Hand Drawn Dracula)
The second album from this project spearheaded by Toronto producer/musician Josh Korody pays homage to earlier eras of British rock, from late ‘70s post-punk and ‘80s synth-pop to ‘90s Madchester dance-rock and early 2000s post-punk/new wave revivalists, with a colorful, rhythm-driven sound fleshed out by an impressive supporting cast including members of Broken Social Scene, TOPS, Ducks Ltd., Orville Peck’s band and other Toronto-based musicians.
Colleen Green – Cool (Hardly Art)
This LA artist’s fourth album is a diverse, hook-filled set ranging from crunchy power-pop and moody grunge to atmospheric psych-pop, motorik electro-rock and more, with the songs’ positive-minded lyrics revolving around embracing happiness and love.
Spencer. – Are U Down? (4AD)
This Brooklyn-based artist’s debut album is a promising blend of atmospheric R&B and bedroom indie-pop, combining a dusky, mostly low-key sound with lyrics of loneliness and desire.
(Various) – Home in this World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads (Elektra)
An impressive lineup of roots-friendly musicians ranging from Waxahatchee, Shovels & Rope and Mark Lanegan to Swamp Dogg, Colter Wall and Lee Ann Womack reimagine Woody Guthrie’s classic 1940 concept album Dust Bowl Ballads. Interpretations range from faithful to dramatically different, though nearly all do a fine job honoring Guthrie’s legendary set of class-conscious songs.
Men I Trust – Untourable (self-released)
This Montreal band’s fourth studio album is a well-crafted set of atmospheric dream-pop and related styles, combining shimmering synths, muted guitars, languid rhythms, ethereal vocals and haunting melodies.
박혜진 Park Hye Jin – Before I Die (Ninja Tune)
This LA-based South Korean artist’s debut full-length is a well-crafted, beat-driven blend of house, hip hop, techno, indie-pop and more, with a hazy sound combining icy synths, piano and hypnotic beats and melodies with introspective bilingual lyrics of loneliness and desire.
Saint Etienne – I've Been Trying to Tell You (Heavenly)
This veteran British band’s 10th album is a concept record meant to evoke half-remembered memories of life around the turn of the millennium, with an atmospheric, sample-laden sound combining ambient sounds and samples from the years 1997-2001 with dreamy melodies
Pokey LaFarge – In the Blossom of Their Shade (New West)
This LA-via-St. Louis artist’s latest album is his most expansive set to date of roots-tinged rock, incorporating elements of reggae, R&B, calypso, doo wop, cumbia, gospel and other styles.
Homeshake – Under the Weather (Sinderlyn)
The fifth Homeshake album from Toronto artist Peter Sagar is a solid set of hazy, R&B-inflected indie-pop with an often-spare sound combining shimmering keyboards and laid-back beats with wispy vocals and lyrics revolving around depression and isolation.
Navy – Bleu EP (The Other Songs/Pretty Window)
This Dominican artist’s debut EP is a sunny, well-crafted blend of R&B, hip hop, reggae and other styles, combining head-nodding rhythms with her grainy vocals and breezy melodies.
Hamzaa – Full Circle EP (Parlophone)
This young British artist’s latest EP is a solid set of buoyant, pop-leaning R&B with warm keyboards and layered harmonies accompanying her silky, elastic vocals and personal lyrics revolving around mental health, self-acceptance and identity.
Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed (Interscope/UMG Nashville)
This Texas-bred, Nashville-based artist’s fourth regular studio album is a concept record about her recent divorce from fellow musician Ruston Kelly. The album’s expansive, moody sound is a continuation of her previous record (2018’s Golden Hour), blending elements of synth-pop, folk, psych-pop, disco, orchestral pop and more, while the lyrics depict the messy, mixed emotions of love falling apart.
Deekapz – Poly EP (self-released)
This Brazilian production duo’s latest EP is solid five-song, rhythm-driven set blending tropical bass music, baile funk, house, trap and other electronic grooves.
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.
Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Gabriel Teodros) 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 Jungle, Ty Segall, Liars, and more.
Each week, Music Director Don Yates 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 Torres, Durand Jones & The Indications, Emma-Jean Thackray, and more.