New Music Reviews (03/07)

Album Reviews

Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Abbie and Morning Show producer Owen Murphy) 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 Kojey Radical, Nilüfer Yanya, Melt Yourself Down, and more.

Kojey Radical – Reason to Smile (Asylum/Atlantic)
The official debut album from this London rapper (aka Kwadwo Adu Genfi Amponsah) is an excellent set of hip hop inflected with R&B, funk, spoken word, Afrobeats and other styles, with a variety of banging beats, keyboards and occasional guitars and sax accompanying his incisive delivery and hard-hitting rhymes blending the personal and the political. Quite a few special guests are also featured, including Tiana Major9, Kelis and Ego Ella May. — DY

Nilüfer Yanya – Painless (ATO)
This London-based artist’s second album is an impressive set of sharply detailed indie-pop ranging from crunchy, ‘90s-influenced rock to anxious, electronic-tinged pop. — DY

Melt Yourself Down – Pray For Me I Don't Fit In (Universal/Decca)
The adventurous six-piece returns with their fourth album continuing their mission of breaking open genre moulds as they fuse together afrobeats, horn sections, krautrock, punky sax, and various cultures lyrically. — AG

KAINA – It Was a Home (City Slang)
The second album from this Chicago artist of Venezuelan and Guatemalan heritage is a beautifully crafted set of dreamy R&B incorporating elements of bedroom pop, heavy rock, gospel and other styles, featuring an atmospheric sound combining pillowy keyboards and other instrumentation with her supple vocals and lyrics of love, hope and community. The album’s impressive guest list includes Sleater-Kinney, Helado Negro, and Sen Morimoto. — DY

Band of Horses – Things Are Great (BMG)
The sixth album from this Charleston, SC-via-Seattle band led by Ben Bridwell is a strong return-to-form of folk-tinged rock, combining ringing guitars and soaring melodies with often-dark lyrics of anxiety, lost love and falling apart. — DY

Sally Shapiro – Sad Cities (Italians Do It Better)
The fourth album (and first in nine years) from this Swedish duo comprised of semi-anonymous vocalist Sally Shapiro (not her real name) and producer Johan Agebjörn is a stylish blend of Italo-disco, city pop and related styles, combining sparkling synths, celestial strings; piano, guitar and gently propulsive rhythms with her ethereal vocals and wistful melodies. — DY

K.O.G. – Zone 6, Agege (Heavenly Sweetness/Pura Vida Sounds)
The fourth album from this Accra, Ghana-born, Sheffield, England-based artist (aka Kweku Sackey) is a vibrant blend of Afrobeat, highlife and other West African styles with hip hop, reggae and more, combining ringing guitars, bright keyboards, occasional sax and percolating rhythms with sometimes rapped, sometimes sung vocals and multilingual lyrics. — DY

Luna Li – Duality (In Real Life/AWAL)
The debut album from this Toronto-based Korean-Canadian multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer (aka Hannah Bussiere Kim) is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged dream-pop inflected at times with classical and other styles, combining guitars, keyboards, strings, harp and more with her ethereal vocals and lyrics of troubled relationships, autonomy and forging forward. Special guests include Jay Som, beabadoobee, and Dreamer Isioma. — DY

caroline – caroline (Rough Trade)
This eight-piece London-based band’s debut album is an adventurous blend of expansive post-rock with avant-classical, folk and other styles, featuring a dynamic, shapeshifting sound ranging from spare and hushed to full and cacophonous on songs featuring guitars, piano, cello, trumpet, clarinet, flute, saxophone, occasional choral harmonies and more. — DY

Swamp Dogg – I Need a Job...So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune (Don Giovanni)
The latest album from legendary singer/songwriter Jerry Williams (aka Swamp Dogg) is a solid set of Southern soul and funk with stinging guitars, punchy horns, keyboards, harmonica and more accompanying his frequently auto-tuned vocals and lyrics of love, sex and slipping around. — DY

Big Nothing – Dog Hours (Lame-O)
This Philadelphia band’s second album is a well-crafted set of folk-tinged indie-rock with jangly acoustic and electric guitars, warm keyboards, alternating lead vocals, buoyant harmonies and an abundance of catchy song hooks. — DY

MICHELLE – After Dinner We Talk Dreams (Canvasback)
This Brooklyn-based band’s second album is a well-crafted blend of R&B and pop, combining bright keyboards and guitar licks, gently propulsive rhythms, airy harmonies and buoyant melodies. — DY

The Spy From Cairo – Animamundi (Wonderwheel)
The fifth studio album from New York-based producer/musician Moreno “Zeb” Visini (aka The Spy From Cairo) is a potent, groove-driven blend of various Middle Eastern styles with dub, funk, cumbia, reggae and more, featuring a seamless blend of live and electronic instrumentation. — DY

(Various) – Covers of Covers: Celebrating 20 Years of Under the Radar Magazine (American Laundromat)
American Laundromat celebrates the 20th anniversary of Under the Radar Magazine with this double album set featuring a stellar lineup of indie-rock artists covering songs from other indie-rock artists who have graced the cover of the magazine sometime over the past 20 years. — DY

The Weather Station – How Is It That I Can Look at the Stars (Fat Possum)
The sixth album from Toronto-based artist Tamara Lindeman (aka The Weather Station) is a companion volume to her previous full-length (2021’s Ignorance). It’s a much more lowkey album than Ignorance, comprised of spare piano ballads of melancholy, jazz-tinged folk-pop occasionally fleshed out with other keyboards, woodwinds, guitar and lap steel. — DY

Guided By Voices – Crystal Nuns Cathedral (Guided By Voices, Inc.)
The 35th album from this long-running Dayton, OH band led by Robert Pollard is a potent blend of hook-filled power-pop, crunchy hard-rock and chiming psych-pop. — DY

The Dip – Sticking With it (Dualtone)
This seven-piece Seattle band’s third album is a well-crafted set of throwback soul and R&B, with a ‘60s-steeped sound featuring bright guitars, warm keyboards, punchy horns, soaring strings and buoyant harmonies accompanying Tom Eddy’s soulful vocals. — DY

Cloud Cult – Metamorphosis (Earthology)
The latest album (and first in six years) from this Minneapolis band led by Craig Minowa is a well-crafted set of orchestral folk-pop combining a warm, dynamic sound with lyrics of mortality, loss, addiction and recovery. — DY

Supernowhere – Skinless Takes a Flight (Topshelf)
The second album from this Seattle-via-Burlington, VT band is an expansive blend of dream-pop, math-rock and other styles. Produced by Great Grandpa guitarist Dylan Hanwright, the album combines angular guitar lines and knotty rhythms with fluttering vocals and occasional synth, harp and cello. — DY

Bob Moses – The Silence In Between (Domino/Astralwerks/Capitol)
This LA-via-Vancouver, B.C. duo’s third album is a solid set of sleek electro-pop with moody synths, atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms and hypnotic melodies. — DY

Sevdaliza – Raving Dahlia EP (Twisted Elegance)
This Iranian/Dutch artist’s latest release is a diverse six-song EP ranging from atmospheric dream-pop and moody folk-pop to ominous trip-hop and propulsive electro-pop, with the songs revolving around breaking free from oppressive systems and the unrealistic expectations placed on women by modern society. — DY

Blue Hawaii – My Bestfriend’s House EP (Arbutus)
This Montreal duo’s latest release is a EP featuring four new songs of buoyant, propulsive dance-pop, along with remixes of the three of the songs provided by the duo’s DJ Kirby. — DY

Chaka Getta – Daytime Eraser EP (self-released)
The debut EP from this Kharkiv, Ukraine-bred, New York-based band is a potent three song set of densely textured rock blending adventurous post-punk with psych-tinged dream-pop and moody trip-hop. — DY

Kristine Leschper – The Opening, Or Closing of a Door (ANTI-)
The debut album under her own name from this Philadelphia-based artist formerly known as Mothers is a well-crafted set of moody, psych-tinged chamber-pop combining synths, strings, woodwinds and a variety of percussion with her ethereal vocals and lyrics of love, desire and connection. — DY

Jordan Rakei – Bruises EP (Ninja Tune)
This London-based New Zealand-Australian artist’s latest release is a solid EP featuring three new songs along with an alternate version of a previously released song, with the music ranging from reggae-influenced R&B to moody electro-pop. — DY

The Veldt – Electric Revolution (Rhythm and Drone) EP (self-released)
This latest offering from shoegaze originators North Carolina's The Veldt (formerly Apollo Heights) is a delicious slab of soul infused `gaze and rock described as a teaser to a forthcoming full length Entropy Is The Mainline To God. Led by twin brothers Danny and Daniel Chavis, these songs weave in and out of genres, varying from the intense drone of the opening track "Electric Revolution" to the hip-hop meets dreampop "interpolation" of MOBB DEEP's "Getaway."  The EP's final track “I Told The Stars About You,” was produced by Wu-Tang Clan engineer Carlos Bess (C12). It's nice to see/hear this creative force still pushing artistic boundaries. — OM

Eyelids – Everything That I See You See Better EP (self-released)
This Portland band’s latest release is a solid three-song set ranging from jangly power-pop to high-energy post-punk. — DY

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