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 The Mountain Goats, Hot Chip, Kiwi Jr., and more.
The Mountain Goats – Bleed Out (Merge)
The 20th studio album from this Durham, NC-based project spearheaded by John Darnielle is a powerful set of anthemic indie-rock that’s also some of the most urgent music of his illustrious career. Produced by Bully’s Alicia Bognanno, the album combines ringing electric guitars, warm keyboards, punchy rhythms, occasional sax and more with narrative lyrics of desperation and revenge inspired by vintage action films.
Hot Chip – Freakout/Release (Domino)
This London-based group’s eighth album is a diverse set of electro-pop incorporating elements of house, funk, disco, hip hop, electro, New Wave and other styles. The songs range from propulsive dance-floor bangers to bittersweet, atmospheric downtempo, with often-dark lyrics revolving around struggle, alienation, anxiety and a desire for connection.
Scarves – Delicate Creatures (Good Eye)
This Seattle band’s fourth album is a well-crafted set of dynamic, ‘90s-steeped indie-rock reminiscent at times of Built To Spill, combining fuzzy, twisting guitar lines with lyrics of anxiety, dread, struggle and hope.
Cassandra Lewis – Always, All Ways (Low Country Sound/Elektra)
This Portland-based artist’s debut album is an impressive blend of dramatic, soul-country ballads, brooding psych-rock and haunting country noir, combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, fiddle, sax and other instrumentation with her dynamic, powerhouse vocals and lyrics of heartache, loss, struggle and resilience.
Moreish Idols – Float EP (Speedy Wunderground)
This London-based band’s debut EP is a potent blend of post-punk, jazz, funk and other styles. Produced by Speedy Wunderground mastermind Dan Carey, the EP combines angular guitars, keyboards, sax and often-driving rhythms with catchy song hooks and lyrics of alienation and dystopian times.
Why Bonnie – 90 in November (Keeled Scales)
The debut full-length from this Brooklyn-via-Austin band led by Blair Howerton is a well-crafted set of moody, country-tinged indie-rock with a warm sound combining rumbling electric guitars, keyboards, unhurried rhythms, plaintive harmonies and wistful melodies with bittersweet reflections on the past.
Oneida – Success (Joyful Noise)
This veteran Brooklyn band’s latest album finds them returning to a more guitar and rock-oriented sound, mostly reining in their latter-day experimental tendencies for a strong set energetic, psych-tinged rock with fuzzy, squalling guitars, driving, often-motorik rhythms and anthemic song hooks.
Russian Circles – Gnosis (Sargent House)
This Chicago trio’s eighth album is a potent blend of bone-crushing metal and atmospheric post-rock with a dark, dynamic sound combining heavy/grimy guitar riffs, occasional moody synths and forceful rhythms.
Early James – Strange Time to Be Alive (Easy Eye Sound)
This Birmingham, AL artist’s impressive second album is a noirish blend of blues, folk, jazz, cabaret and other styles that’s sometimes reminiscent of Tom Waits, combining moody electric guitars, atmospheric keyboards and often-ominous rhythms with his elastic crooning and lyrics of heartache, isolation and dystopian times.
Cass McCombs – Heartmind (ANTI-)
This California artist’s 10th album is a well-crafted set of dark, psych-tinged folk-pop combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, occasional sax, fiddle and other instrumentation with wistful melodies and lyrics of loss.
Franklin Gothic – Into the Light (Very Jazzed/Pleasure Tapes)
The debut full-length from this Portland artist (aka Jay DiBartolo) is a well-crafted set of hook-filled indie-pop ranging from shoegazerish dream-pop to jangly folk-pop. Produced by Erik Blood, the album combines atmospheric guitars and synths with wistful melodies and lyrics revolving around change and rebirth.
The Berries – High Flying Man (Run For Cover)
The third album from this LA-via-Seattle project spearheaded by Matt Berry is an expansive set ranging from driving garage-rock and energetic psych-rock to jangly, country-tinged rock and moody, atmospheric ballads, with many of the songs revolving around loss and a desire for connection.
Silversun Pickups – Physical Thrills (New Machine Recordings)
This LA band’s sixth album is a solid set ranging from fuzzy psych-rock and wiry post-punk to atmospheric dream-pop.
Salt Lick – The Gift of Missing (Den Tapes)
The debut full-length from this Seattle band led by Malia Seavey (ex-Dogbreth) is a solid set of well-crafted indie-rock with fuzzy, sprawling guitars, magnetic vocals and catchy song hooks.
Terence Etc. – Vortex (Brainfeeder)
The debut Terence Etc. Album from filmmaker/musician Terence Nance is an adventurous blend of jazz, R&B, psych-pop and other styles, combining an intricate, shape-shifting sound with lyrics depicting the ups and downs of a relationship.
Multiplayer – Multiplayer (self-released)
Multiplayer is the latest project from Seattle-via-Kansas City keyboardist/vibraphonist Matt Williams. His debut album under that name is a solid set of atmospheric jazz fusion incorporating elements of prog, funk and other styles.
Night Moves – The Redaction EP (Domino)
This Minneapolis band’s latest release is a solid four-song EP of moody, psych-tinged indie-pop with fuzzy guitars, shimmering keyboards and soaring song hooks.
Calm Down Party – In a Dream EP (self-released)
This Seattle band’s third EP is a solid six-song set of ‘90s-steeped rock ranging from hook-filled grunge to atmospheric dream-pop.