New Music Reviews (08/01)

Album Reviews

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 Beyoncé, DOMi & JD BECK, Hooveriii, and more.

BeyoncéRENAISSANCE (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia)
The first album in a planned trilogy of releases, this Houston-bred artist's seventh solo album (and first in six years) is a potent, club-focused blend of R&B with disco, house, Jersey Club, Afrobeats, New Orleans bounce, hip hop and more, combining a variety of propulsive dance rhythms with her elastic, soul-steeped vocals and lyrics of love, desire, sex, connection and liberation.

DOMi & JD BECK – NOT TiGHT (Apeshit/Blue Note)
This young duo's debut album is an impressive set of modern jazz fusion incorporating elements of R&B, hip hop and other styles, with an inventive, sometimes shapeshifting sound combining bright, cascading keyboards with intricate, often-skittering rhythms. The album's impressive guest list includes Anderson .Paak, Herbie Hancock, Thundercat, Mac DeMarco, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and other notables.

Hooveriii – A Round of Applause (The Reverberation Appreciation Society)
The third studio album from this LA band led by Bert Hoover is a potent set of hook-filled psych-rock incorporating elements of prog-rock, glam, funk and other styles, with the sound ranging from buoyant Madchester psych-rock and funk-inflected glam to breezy psych-pop and hard-driving motorik jams.

Friendship – Love the Stranger (Merge)
The fourth album from this Philadelphia band led by Dan Wiggins is a well-crafted set of country-tinged indie-pop combining guitars, keyboards, pedal steel and more with finely chiseled lyrics of friendship and connection.

Florist – Florist (Double Double Whammy)
The fourth album from this New York-bred band led by Emily Sprague is a beautifully crafted set of hushed folk-pop with an intimate sound combining acoustic and sometimes electric guitars, synths, piano, occasional sax and sampled ambient sounds of nature with often-melancholy melodies and lyrics of loss, acceptance, connection and community.

Amanda Shires – Take It Like a Man (ATO)
This Nashville-based artist's seventh album is a sharply crafted set of moody rock influenced with folk-rock, soul, '60s pop and other styles, combining atmospheric guitars, keyboards, strings, horns and more with her quavering vocals and vulnerable, deeply personal lyrics depicting the ups and downs of love.

Caramelo Haze – NOESTASAQUÍ (Nacional)
The debut album from this Austin-based project featuring members of Grupo Fantasma, Brownout and Quetzal is a diverse, well-crafted blend of psych-pop, cumbia, funk, soul, electro-pop and much more.

Lava La Rue – Hi-Fidelity EP (Marathon Artists)
This London artist’s third EP is a well-crafted five-song set blending R&B, hip hop, psych-pop and more, combining a moody, groove-driven sound with alternating rapping and singing, along with lyrics of love, desire and heartache.

Sun’s Signature – Sun’s Signature EP (Partisan)
The debut EP from the duo of former Cocteau Twins vocalist Elizabeth Fraser and Massive Attack drummer Damon Reece is a transportive five song-set of atmospheric, prog-tinged dream-pop inflected with trip hop, chamber pop and other styles. The album’s intricate, at times shapeshifting arrangements combine acoustic and electric guitars, vibraphone, mellotron, Moog, dulcimer, clarinet and other instrumentation with Fraser’s celestial vocals and lyrics of love and nature.

Lee Bains + The Glory Fires – Old-Time Folks (Don Giovanni)
This Birmingham, AL band’s fourth album is a more diverse and reflective take on roots-rock ranging from hard-charging punk to country-tinged Stones rock and gospel-steeped ballads. Produced by David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Sugar, Son Volt, etc.), the album’s warm, dynamic sound combines guitars, piano, organ, pedal steel, synths, horns, strings and more with politically charged lyrics revolving around racism, inequality, labor, struggle and liberation in the deep south.

Wombo – Fairy Rust (Fire Talk)
This Louisville, KY trio’s debut full-length is an adventurous blend of post-punk, prog, dream-pop and other styles, with sometimes shapeshifting songs combining angular guitars, jagged, occasional driving rhythms, serene vocals and hypnotic song hooks.

Maggie Rogers – Surrender (Capitol)
This East Coast artist’s second album is a well-crafted set of emotive, hook-filled pop-rock inflected with folk-pop, post-punk and other styles, combining fuzzy guitars, bright keyboards, sometimes dance-friendly rhythms, anthemic choruses, soaring vocals and lyrics of surrendering to love, desire and joy.

Pahua & Terror/Cactus – Amuleto EP (Nacional)
Mexican artist Paulina Sotomayor (aka Pahua) teamed up with Seattle-based producer Martin Selasco (aka Terror/Cactus) for this vibrant five-song EP blending cumbia and other Latin styles with buoyant electro-pop, combining breezy vocals and twinkling zouk guitars with a variety of Afro-diasporic rhythms and propulsive electronic grooves.

Tallies – Patina (Kanine)
This Toronto band’s second album is a well-crafted set of jangly dream-pop with shimmering guitars, buoyant rhythms, ethereal vocals and wistful melodies.

Holiday Ghosts – Credit Note EP (FatCat)
This British band follows up their third album (2021’s North Street Air) with this fine EP of punkish indie-pop combining jangly guitars, hard-driving rhythms, catchy song hooks and politically charged lyrics for these dystopian times.

Julien Baker – B-Sides EP (Matador)
This Nashville-based artist’s latest release is an EP of previously unreleased songs recorded during the sessions for her last album (2021’s Little Oblivions), with the sound ranging from spare acoustic folk to melancholy, elegiac rock.

Sarah Bethe Nelson – Mental Picture (Speakeasy Studios SF)
This Bay Area artist’s latest album is a solid set of psych-tinged folk-pop combining atmospheric guitars and keyboards with her breathy vocals and haunting melodies.

Kuedo – Infinite Window (Brainfeeder)
The latest album (and first in six years) from this Berlin-based producer (aka Jamie Teasdale) is an evocative set of cinematic electronic grooves incorporating elements of hip hop, prog-rock and other styles, combining spacy synths with occasional cavernous beats.

Of Montreal – Freewave Lucifer f<ck f=""> (Polyvinyl)</ck>
The latest album from this veteran Athens, GA band led by Kevin Barnes is an adventurous seven-song set of expansive psych-pop with a densely produced sound, shapeshifting arrangements and surreal lyrics.

bad noons – The 1... in Thee Air! (Eye 2 Eye)
The second bad noons album from Oakland artist Jinro is a solid set of murky post-punk and hazy dream-pop with atmospheric guitars, sometimes driving rhythms, reverbed, half-obscured vocals and hypnotic song hooks.

Dining Dead – Stranger Wages EP (self-released)
This Seattle band's latest EP is a solid four-song set of moody, folk-tinged indie-rock with atmospheric, surf-influenced guitars, haunting vocals and hypnotic melodies.

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