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 Destroyer, Ibibio Sound Machine, Denzel Curry, and more.
Destroyer – Labyrinthitis (Merge)
The 13th Destroyer album from Vancouver, BC artist Dan Bejar & co. is a masterful blend of New Wave dance-pop and psych-tinged indie-rock, with a densely produced sound combining moody guitars and keyboards, often-propulsive rhythms and occasional horns and other instrumentation with often-cryptic, humor-laced lyrics.
Ibibio Sound Machine – Electricity (Merge)
This London-based band’s fourth album is an impressive blend of Afrobeat, funk, disco, electro-pop and other styles. Produced by Hot Chip, the album combines bright synths, punchy sax, fiery guitar riffs and propulsive rhythms with Eno Williams’ commanding vocals and bilingual lyrics of connection.
Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future (Loma Vista)
This LA-via-South Florida rapper’s excellent fifth album finds him toning down his high-energy hip hop fpr a smoother, jazz-tinged sound and ‘90s-steeped boom-bap beats, and while it’s less aggressive-sounding than his previous releases, it’s just as powerful, ranging from personal rhymes of self-reflection, accountability, struggle and resilience to searing depictions of the ill effects of poverty and racism. Special guests include Robert Glasper, Saul Williams, Rico Nasty, T-Pain, J.I.D and slowthai.
Aldous Harding – Warm Chris (4AD)
This New Zealand artist’s fourth album is an impressive set of quirky art-pop with an often-spare sound combining light guitars and piano along with occasional organ, sax, banjo and other instrumentation with her elastic vocals and often-enigmatic lyrics.
Guerilla Toss – Famously Alive (Sub Pop)
This upstate New York band’s fifth album is a colorful blend of arty psych-pop, motorik post-punk, glam-flavored dance-rock, atmospheric dream-pop and other styles, combining shimmering synths, atmospheric guitars and spiky rhythms with lyrics of self-acceptance and joy.
Camp Cope – Running With the Hurricane (Run For Cover)
This Melbourne trio’s third album is a gentler, more reflective and folk-tinged take on the band’s emotive indie-rock sound, combining guitars, piano and occasional horns with wistful melodies and lyrics of resilience, growth, hope and love.
Ex-Vöid – Bigger Than Before (Don Giovanni)
The debut album from this British band formed by former Joanna Gruesome members Lan McArdle and Owen Williams is a potent blend of punkish power-pop and jangly indie-pop with fuzzy dual guitars, energetic rhythms, buoyant harmonies and sparkling pop hooks.
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble – Step Down (Colemine)
This San Diego’s band’s fourth album is a potent set of cinematic soul and jazz-funk instrumentals reminiscent of El Michels Affair and Budos Band, combining psychedelic guitar riffs, moody organ, soaring horns, flute and more with in-the-pocket rhythms.
Oso Oso – sore thumb (Triple Crown)
The fourth album from this Long Island band led by Jake Lilitri is a potent set of punkish power-pop combining buzzing guitars, driving rhythms and occasional synths and piano with buoyant harmonies and anthemic song hooks. Oso Oso guitarist Tavish Maloney (who’s also Lilitri’s cousin) unexpectedly passed away shortly after these recordings were made.
Bellows – Next of Kin (Topshelf)
The fifth Bellows album from Brooklyn artist Oliver Kalb is a well-crafted set of reflective folk-pop combining guitars, synths, piano and occasional strings and other instrumentation with warm harmonies, uplifting melodies and lyrics of loss and renewal.
Kilo Kish – American Gurl (Moonshot)
This LA-based artist’s second album is a colorful blend of glitchy electro-pop, hip hop and R&B, combining bright synths and propulsive rhythms with lyrics revolving around power and identity.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Night Gnomes (What Reality/Marathon Artists)
This Australian band’s fifth album is a well-crafted set of expansive psych-rock ranging from driving, energetic rockers to hazy, sun-dappled ballads, featuring a shape-shifting sound combining guitars, synths and a variety of other instrumentation with an abundance of catchy song hooks.
Fana Hues – flora + fauna (Bright Antenna)
This LA artist’s second album is a well-crafted set of intimate R&B combining celestial synths, spare guitar lines, downtempo beats and occasional strings, piano and other instrumentation with her silky vocals and introspective lyrics of heartache and self-care.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Nightclub Daydreaming (Carpark)
This Baltimore duo’s fourth album is a fine set of goth-tinged post-punk with angular guitars, driving rhythms, gloomy vocals and lyrics of alienation.
The Smokes – G.O.V.T. Graffiti (Uprising)
This Spokane duo’s third album is a fierce blend of hard-driving garage-rock and hard-rock. Recorded with Jack Endino, the album’s raw, visceral sound combines buzzing guitar riffs and punchy rhythms with lyrics of struggle and resilience.
<p[>Thumper – Delusions of Grandeur (EMMS)
The debut album from this Dublin-based six-piece band featuring three guitarists and two drummers is a solid set of noise-addled post-punk with buzzing guitar riffs, punchy rhythms, anthemic choruses and angst-fueled vocals and lyrics.</p[>
<p[>Young Prisms – Drifter (Fire Talk)
This San Francisco band’s third album (and first in 10 years) is an evocative set of shoegazerish dream-pop with fuzzy guitars, atmospheric synths, buoyant rhythms, ethereal vocals and lyrics of love, loss, desire, healing and acceptance.</p[>
The Mary Veils – Esoteric Hex (PNKSLM)
This Philadelphia band’s debut full-length is a potent set of psych-tinged garage-punk with fuzzy guitars, energetic rhythms and soaring song hooks.
Black Midi – Cavalcovers EP (Rough Trade)
This adventurous British band’s latest release is a fun three-song EP of diverse covers ranging from Captain Beefheart and King Crimson to Taylor Swift.
ginla – Everything (No Content)
This Toronto/Brooklyn duo’s third album is a solid set of folk-tinged dream-pop with acoustic and electric guitars, moody synths, hypnotic melodies and reflective lyrics of trying to find meaning in the world.