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 Kelela, Yo La Tengo, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and more.
Kelela – Raven (Warp)
The second official album (and first in six years) from this DC-born artist of Ethiopian heritage is an expansive, expertly crafted blend of R&B with UK garage, techno, drum ‘n’ bass and other electronic styles, combining vaporous synths and often-propulsive rhythms with her liquid vocals and intimate lyrics of love, desire, connection and autonomy.
Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World (Matador)
This veteran Hoboken, NJ’s trio’s 17th studio album is an impressive set ranging from combustible motorik rock to pastoral dream-pop, psych-tinged space-rock and more, combining atmospheric, sometimes squalling guitars with often-dark lyrics of loss, mortality and living in troubled times.
Black Belt Eagle Scout – The Land, The Water, The Sky (Saddle Creek)
The third album from this Swinomish/Iñupiaq artist (aka Katherine Paul) is a powerful set of atmospheric dream-pop combining fuzzy guitars, occasional strings and other instrumentation with hypnotic melodies and lyrics of heritage, connection, resilience, healing and hope.
M83 – Fantasy Chapter 1 EP (Mute)
The latest M83 release from French artist Anthony Gonzalez is also the first half of the upcoming M83 album Fantasy (due out on 3/17). It’s a potent set of anthemic dream-pop with massive, shimmering synths and sky-scraping song hooks, though there are also a couple of acoustic-featuring mood pieces.
Narrow Head – Moments of Clarity (Run For Cover)
This Houston-based band’s third album is a potent set of grungy, hook-filled hard-rock, combining fuzz-drenched guitars, muscular rhythms, soaring melodies, gauzy vocals and emotive lyrics of loss, isolation, resilience and a desire for connection.
Quasi – Breaking the Balls of History (Sub Pop)
This veteran Portland duo’s 10th album (and first in 10 years) is a potent set of psych-tinged indie-rock with searing keyboards, thundering drums and often-acerbic lyrics of life during dystopian times.
CIVIC – Taken By Force (ATO)
This Australian band’s second album is a strong set of fierce garage-punk with blazing guitars, urgent rhythms and catchy song hooks.
Kassa Overall – Shades 3 (self-released)
The latest release from this Brooklyn-via-Seattle artist is the third installment in his Shades of Flu mixtape series, featuring sample-heavy remixes of jazz tracks ranging from Herbie Hancock and The Blackbyrds to Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp. The album combines a variety of samples and drum-machine beats with live instrumentation from Kassa’s fellow New York jazz luminaries.
Acid Arab – Trois (Crammed Discs)
This French-Algerian collective’s third album is a potent blend of rai, dabke and other North African and Middle Eastern styles with house, techno and other electronic dance grooves, combining pulsing synths and some traditional instrumentation with propulsive rhythms, hypnotic melodies and a variety of guest vocalists from North Africa, Syria and Turkey.
The Golden Dregs – On Grace & Dignity (4AD)
The third album under the name of The Golden Dregs from London-based, Cornwall-bred artist Benjamin Woods is a well-crafted set of bittersweet indie-pop inflected at times with psych-pop, folk-rock, funk and other styles, combining guitars, keyboards, horns, strings and other instrumentation with Woods’ breathy baritone, wistful melodies and lyrics of struggle and loss.
Andy Shauf – Norm (ANTI-)
This Saskatchewan artist’s eighth album is a well-crafted set of folk-tinged indie-pop combining atmospheric synths, guitar, clarinet, piano, strings and more with his wispy vocals and often-dark lyrics of love, loss, faith and mortality.
Tennis – Pollen (Mutually Detrimental)
This Denver husband-and-wife duo’s sixth album is a more polished take on the band’s breezy, ‘80s-steeped indie-pop, combining twinkling synths, sleek guitars and other instrumentation with Alaina Moore’s breathy vocals and lyrics of love and desire.
Maps – Counter Melodies (Mute)
The fifth Maps album from British producer James Chapman features a more club-oriented, electro-pop sound with bright synths, propulsive rhythms and uplifting song hooks.
Amber Arcades – Barefoot on Diamond Road (Fire)
The third album from this Dutch artist (aka Annelotte de Graaf) is a solid set of moody indie-pop combining shimmering synths, brass, cello and other instrumentation with personal lyrics of love and renewal.
Django Django – Off Planet Part 1 (Because Music)
This London-based band’s latest release is the first part of their upcoming fifth album Off Planet (due out June 16th), which is divided into four sections. The first section ranges from club-friendly dance-pop to psych-tinged grime, hypnotic acid pop and more.
Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Kevin Cole) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation, including this week's new releases from Young Fathers, Parannoul, Lil Yachty, and more.
Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation, including this week's new releases from Fucked Up, Samia, Hammock, and more.
Music Director Don Yates (joined this week by DJ Alex) shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases for KEXP's rotation, including this week's new releases from The Murder Capital, Oddisee, John Cale, and more.