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 Amber Mark, Samm Henshaw, Imarhan, and more.
Amber Mark – Three Dimensions Deep (PMR/Interscope)
This New York artist’s debut full-length is an impressive set of R&B inflected with funk, pop, house, Afrobeats and other styles, featuring a sumptuously arranged blend of guitars, keyboards, strings, horns and more, along with her dexterous, soulful vocals and personal lyrics combining an abundance of astral metaphors with overcoming self-doubt.
Samm Henshaw – Untidy Soul (Dorm Seven/AWAL)
This London-based, British-Nigerian artist’s debut album is a promising set of buoyant R&B inflected with hip hop, jazz, gospel and other styles, combining a warm sound with his grainy vocals and lyrics of struggle, growth and resilience.
Imarhan – Aboogi (City Slang)
The third album from this Tamanrasset, Algeria-based band is an excellent set of Tuareg desert blues that finds the band more firmly embracing Tuareg musical traditions and using more acoustic instrumentation, hypnotic rhythms and traditional vocal chants.
Lady Wray – Piece of Me (Big Crown)
The second Lady Wray album from Atlanta-based artist Nicole Wray is a well-crafted blend of warm, ‘70s-influenced soul and funk with chunky ‘90s-steeped beats along with her soulful vocals and lyrics of love, loss, struggle and resilience.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones – The Alien Coast (ATO)
This eight-piece Birmingham, AL band’s fourth album is their most adventurous set to date, combining the throwback soul of their earlier records with moody psych-rock, propulsive funk, disco and other styles on often-dark songs about living in end times.
The Soundcarriers – Wilds (Phosphonic)
This British band’s fourth album (and first in eight years) is a strong set of cinematic psych-rock with a brightly colored sound combining fuzzy guitars, shimmering keyboards, driving, sometimes motorik rhythms and occasional flute, zither and other instrumentation with ethereal vocals, soothing harmonies and sunny melodies.
(Various) – Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised (Legacy)
The soundtrack to Questlove’s acclaimed documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival features an all-star lineup of R&B, blues, jazz, gospel, psych-pop and Latin jazz musicians who performed at the festival, ranging from Abbie Lincoln and Nina Simone to B.B. King and The Staple Singers to Sly & The Family Stone, The Chambers Brothers and the 5th Dimension.
Beirut – Artifacts (Pompeii)
The latest release from this project led by Albuquerque-bred artist Zach Condon is an odds ‘n’ ends collection featuring some of the early Beirut EPs along with some B-sides, covers and previously unreleased songs. It’s a fine showcase of the project’s evolution from Balkan-influenced songs to a more expansive and experimental kind of folk-pop taking in a wide variety of musical styles.
The Diasonics – Origin of Forms (Record Kicks)
This Moscow band’s debut album is a cinematic, ‘70s-steeped blend of funk, soul, psych-rock and various East European influences, combining guitars and keyboards with chunky funk and hip hop rhythms.
Eels – Extreme Witchcraft (E Works/[PIAS])
The 14th Eels album from LA artist Mark Everett is one of his more lively sets. The songs range from blues and funk-tinged garage-rock to wistful psych-pop, with many of them revolving around the ups and downs of post-divorce life.
Combo Chimbita – IRÉ (ANTI-)
This New York band’s third album is an adventurous blend of various Afro-Latin styles with psych-rock, trip hop, astral jazz and more.
Anaïs Mitchell – Anaïs Mitchell (BMG)
This Vermont-based artist’s eighth solo studio album (and first in nine years) is a well-crafted set of atmospheric folk-pop with a mostly lowkey, acoustic-oriented sound featuring guitar, piano and celestial synths along with occasional sax, flute and other instrumentation accompanying her breathy vocals and sharply crafted, reflective lyrics.
Dowdelin – Lanmou Lanmou (Underdog)
The second album from this Lyon, France-based band comprised of musicians with roots in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Armenia is a seamless blend of various Caribbean styles with R&B, funk, jazz and more, combining a colorful, rhythm-driven sound with buoyant vocals and Creole lyrics.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3001 (KGLW)
This prolific Australian band’s latest release features remixed versions of songs from their previous album (2021’s Butterfly 3000) from an impressively wide variety of remixers including DJ Shadow, The Scientist, DaM-FunK, the Flaming Lips, Peaches, Peaking Lights, Confidence Man and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
Field School – It's Only Everything EP (Small Craft Advisory)
Field School is the new solo project from Charles Bert of Math & Physics Club. His debut EP under that name adds a rougher edge to the melodic jangle-pop of Math & Physics Club, combining raw, fuzzy guitars with his soaring vocals and wistful melodies.
Sun Tunnels – Where We Get Off EP (self-released)
The latest release from this Seattle band led by Louis O’Callaghan is a diverse five-song EP ranging from bright, driving indie-rock and soaring psych-rock to stark grunge-folk.
Squirrel Flower – Planet EP (Polyvinyl)
The latest release from this Chicago artist (aka Ella Williams) is a solid seven-song EP of intimate, lo-fi folk-pop with a spare sound featuring acoustic guitar and occasional piano, organ, synth and ambient sounds accompanying her haunting vocals.
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 Yard Act, Silverbacks, Anxious, 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 The Weeknd, Fine Place, Shay Hazan, and more.