New Music Reviews (06/27)

Album Reviews

Each week, Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Kevin Cole) 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 Soccer Mommy, BOAT, Hollie Cook, and more.

Soccer Mommy – Sometimes, Forever (Loma Vista)
The third Soccer Mommy album from Nashville-based artist Sophie Allison is an expansive set of ‘90s-steeped rock ranging from fuzzy dream-pop and industrial-tinged trip-hop to country-influenced folk-rock. Produced by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), the album’s combines an adventurous, intricately textured sound with bittersweet melodies and intimate lyrics of love, heartache, depression and change. — DY

BOAT – No Plans to Stick the Landing (Magic Marker)
This Seattle band’s seventh album is a diverse, sharply crafted set of indie-pop ranging from buoyant, anthemic power-pop and ‘90s-steeped slacker rock to jangly psych-pop and wistful, folk-tinged pop. — DY

Hollie Cook – Happy Hour (Merge)
This London artist’s fourth solo album is a consistently strong set of roots reggae, and more specifically lovers rock, with a sunny blend of shimmering synths, organ, horns, easy-going rhythms, mellifluous vocals, gentle harmonies and breezy melodies. — DY

Rabii Harnoune & V.B. Kühl – Gnawa Electric Laune II (Tru Thoughts)
The second album from this duo comprised of Moroccan musician Rabii Harnoune and German electronic producer V.B. Kühl is a potent blend of Moroccan Gnawa music and electronic grooves, combining traditional instrumentation with propulsive electronic rhythms and hypnotic melodies. — DY

Automatic – Excess (Stones Throw)
This LA trio’s second album is a strong set of dark, dance-friendly post-punk combining icy synths and driving rhythms with deadpan vocals and lyrical themes of corporate excess, climate change and dystopian times. — DY

Theo Croker – Love Quantum (Star People Nation/Sony)
This New York-based trumpeter/composer/producer’s seventh album is an expansive blend of jazz, R&B, hip hop and other styles. Billed as a celebration of love in all its forms, the album features an impressive cast of guest vocalists and musicians includes Jill Scott, Ego Ella May, Jamila Woods, Wyclef Jean, Gary Bartz, Kassa Overall, Teedra Moses and other notables. — DY

Damien Jurado – Reggae Film Star (Maraqopa)
This veteran Seattle artist’s 18th studio album is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged folk-rock with a cinematic, often-spare sound combining guitars, strings and more with lyrics often revolving around the film industry. — DY

MUNA – MUNA (Saddest Factory)
This LA trio’s third album is a well-crafted set ranging from euphoric dance-pop to country-tinged pop ballads, combining sparkling synths, atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms, buoyant song hooks and lyrics of queer love, joy and identity. — DY

Young Guv – GUV IV (Run For Cover)
The fourth Young Guv album (and second released this year) from Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook is a more psych-tinged take on his hook-filled power-pop, with the sound ranging from Manchester dance-rock to Laurel Canyon folk-rock. The album’s buoyant sound combines jangly guitars, shimmering keyboards, occasional sax and other instrumentation with lush harmonies and dreamy melodies. — DY

Art d’Ecco – After the Head Rush (Paper Bag)
This Victoria, B.C. artist’s third album is a well-crafted set of glam-tinged post-punk and electro-pop with a maximalist, ‘80s-steeped sound featuring gleaming guitars, bright synths, occasional horns, often-propulsive rhythms and lyrics revolving around reflections of growing up. — DY

Zola Jesus – Arkhon (Sacred Bones)
The sixth Zola Jesus album (and first in five years) from Wisconsin artist Nika Roza Danilova is a potent set of goth-tinged post-punk and industrialized electro-pop with a cavernous, sometimes shapeshifting sound combining keyboards, strings, forceful drums and other instrumentation with her operatic vocals and lyrics of loss and disconnection. — DY

Empress Of – Save Me EP (Major Arcana)
The latest EP from this Brooklyn artist (aka Lorely Rodriguez) is a strong five-song set of dance-friendly electro-pop with moody synths, propulsive rhythms, occasional strings and lyrics of heartache and renewal. — DY

Martin Courtney – Magic Sign (Domino)
The second solo album from the frontman for Real Estate is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged indie-pop combining jangly guitars and atmospheric keyboards with wistful melodies and lyrics revolving around aimless days of fading youth. — DY

Anteloper – Pink Dolphins (International Anthem)
This Brooklyn-based duo’s third album is an adventurous blend of psych-tinged jazz and electronic grooves. Produced by Tortoise’s Jeff Parker (who also plays on the album), Pink Dolphins combines Jaimie Branch’s fiery trumpet and Jason Nazary’s intricate drumming with guitar, synths and various electronic loops and samples. — DY

Joan Shelley – The Spur (No Quarter)
This Kentucky artist’s sixth album is a well-crafted set of bittersweet folk-pop combining acoustic and gentle electric guitars, piano, cello, brass and other instrumentation with her crystalline vocals and lyrics of love, loss, family, hope and renewal. — DY

Day Wave – Pastlife ([PIAS])
The second Day Wave album (and first in five years) from LA-based musician Jackson Phillips is a solid set of bedroom indie-pop with shimmering synths, streamlined guitars, often-driving rhythms, wistful melodies and lyrics of love and loss. — DY

Sessa – Estrela Acesa (Mexican Summer)
The second album from this Brazilian artist (aka Sergio Sayeg) is a dreamy blend of tropicalia, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles, combining gentle acoustic guitars, strings, woodwinds, percussion and more with hushed vocals and hypnotic melodies. — DY

JoyCut – TheBluWave [TWSIAP - TIHM - ABGFOT] (PillowCase)
Italian post-rock, dark wave band’s 4th studio album and their first in nine years. At times, ambient, delicate, and reflective, at other times bombastic and violent, TheBluWave is at all times powerful, cinematic, and defiantly uplifting and optimistic for a band deeply committed to environmental issues.  Endorsed by Robert Smith, JoyCut have contributed music to Brian Eno’s Earth/Percent organization, which raises funds for environmental organizations. You’ll hear elements of New Order, the Cure, and Depeche Mode in this primarily instrumental ambitious double album. — KC

Drake – Honestly, Nevermind (OVO Sound/Republic)
This Canadian artist’s seventh album finds him mostly setting aside hip hop for a solid set of club music inflected with house, Baltimore club, ampiano and other styles, combining airy synths and propulsive rhythms with typically melancholy melodies and lyrics. — DY

Emily Stranger – Labor of Love (Killroom)
This Seattle artist’s debut full-length is a solid set of brooding electro-pop with scuzzy synths, mostly downtempo rhythms and lyrics of love and desire. — DY

Nyamekye Junction – Dasein EP (Kitto)
The debut EP from this Accra, Ghana-based trio comprised of Burundian producer/vocalist Betina Quest, Ghanaian singer/songwriter Eli A Free and German percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Ma.ttic is a potent blend of traditional West African percussion with buzzing synths and electronic rhythms and samples. — DY

Hazel English – Summer Nights EP (self-released)
This LA-based Australian-American artist follows up her 2020 debut album WAKE UP! with this five song EP of sharply crafted dream-pop combining fuzzy guitars and atmospheric keyboards with airy vocals and wistful melodies. — DY

Tijuana Panthers – Halfway to Eighty (Innovative Leisure)
This Long Beach, CA trio’s sixth album is a solid set of surf-inflected post-punk with ringing guitars, driving rhythms and catchy song hooks. — DY

Ferkat Al Ard – Habibi Funk 019: Oghneya (Habibi Funk)
The latest volume in Habibi Funk’s series of vintage Middle Eastern recordings is a reissue of Lebanon trio Farkat Al Ard’s 1978 album Oghneya, which blended Arabic pop with jazz, folk, psych-pop and various Brazilian styles. The album blends guitars, keyboards, strings, bouzouki, oud, flute and sax with Issam Hajali’s smooth vocals and soaring melodies. — DY

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