New Music Reviews (4/10)

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 Wednesday, YaejiBlondshell, and more. 

Wednesday – Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans)
This Asheville, NC band’s excellent fourth regular studio album is an impressive blend of volatile shoegazer psych-rock, country-tinged folk-rock and other styles, combining loud, fuzzy guitars and languid lap steel with Karly Hartzman’s cracked, aching vocals and vividly detailed, often-autobiographical lyrics of southern decay.

Yaeji – With a Hammer (XL)
The debut Yaeji full-length from Brooklyn-based, Korean-American producer/vocalist Kathy Yaeji Lee is an impressive set of adventurous electro-pop incorporating elements of hip hop, house, drum ‘n’ bass, trip hop, jazz and other styles, combining moody, intricately constructed electronic grooves fleshed out with horns, woodwinds, guitars and more with lyrics of trauma, transformation and healing.

Blondshell – Blondshell (Partisan)
The debut Blondshell album from LA-based artist Sabrina Teitelbaum is an impressive set of ‘90s-steeped indie-rock and grunge-pop combining a dynamic, hook-filled sound with brutally honest lyrics of desire, addiction, trauma, grief and resilience.

Mudhoney – Plastic Eternity (Sub Pop)
This veteran Seattle band’s 11th album is a strong set of psych-tinged garage-punk with scuzzy guitars, atmospheric keyboards, pummeling rhythms, snarling vocals and mostly sardonic lyrics aimed at environmental devastation, misinformation and other ills of these dystopian times (though there are also a couple of loving odes: to Pere Ubu guitarist Tom Herman and frontman Mark Arm’s dog Russell.

Zuco 103 – Telenova (Six Degrees)
This Amsterdam-based trio’s ninth album is a beautifully crafted blend of various Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and electronic styles with funk, jazz and more, combining bright keyboards and propulsive rhythms with buoyant harmonies and breezy melodies.

Daughter – Stereo Mind Game (Glassnote)
This London trio’s third album (and first in seven years) is a well-crafted set of brooding dream-pop combining shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths and occasional strings with often-melancholy melodies and lyrics of separation and lost love.

Devon Gilfillian – Love You Anyway (Fantasy)
This Philadelphia-bred, Nashville-based artist’s second album is a potent set of warm, ‘70s-steeped soul that’s subtly injected with synths, samples and other modern touches on well-crafted songs ranging from expressions of love and desire to the struggle for equality.

Robbie Fulks – Bluegrass Vacation (Compass)
This LA-via-Chicago artist returns to his bluegrass roots for his latest album with help from an impressive cast of bluegrass luminaries including Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Sierra Hull, Ronnie McCoury, Tim O’Brien, Alison Brown, John Cowan and other notables. The songs are a stellar batch, ranging from tales of music and family to lyrics of loneliness and hard times.

Crocodiles – Upside Down in Heaven (Lolipop)
This San Diego duo’s eighth album is a potent blend of energetic garage-rock and ‘70s punk with fuzzy guitars, driving rhythms and an abundance of catchy song hooks.

Worriers – Warm Blanket (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
The fourth album from this LA-based project spearheaded by Lauren Denitzio is a solid set of melancholy, folk-tinged indie-pop combining acoustic and electric guitars and warm keyboards with emotive lyrics of struggle, heartache and loss.

Bruiser and Bicycle – Holy Red Wagon (Topshelf)
This Albany, NY band’s second album is an adventurous set of arty indie-pop inflected with psych-pop, prog and other styles, combining dense, shapeshifting arrangements with bright harmonies and buoyant song hooks.

Mike Spine & the Underground All-Star Band – Guided by Love (Global Seepej)
This Seattle artist’s 11th studio album is a well-crafted set of often-politically charged folk-rock combining lyrics of struggle and solidarity with accompaniment by an impressive supporting cast including Lori Goldston, Jeff Fielder, Paul Brainard, Johnny Sangster, Barbara Luna and other notables.

Fly Anakin – Skinemaxxx (Side A) (Lex)
This Richmond, VA rapper’s latest release is the first of a two-part project made in collaboration with Mutant Academy producer Foisey. It’s a solid set of underground hip hop combining diverse beats and adventurous soundscapes with rhymes ranging from reflecting on growing up in Richmond to off-kilter battle raps.

Heather Woods Broderick – Labyrinth (Western Vinyl)
This LA-based artist’s fifth album is a well-crafted set of moody electro-pop with an often-spare sound combining atmospheric keyboards and occasional strings with her ethereal vocals and often-haunting melodies.

William Tyler & The Impossible Truth – Secret Stratosphere (Merge)
This Nashville-bred, LA-based guitarist’s latest release is a live album recorded at Yellowhammer Brewing in Huntsville, Alabama in May 2021. On this live set, Tyler and his band imaginatively rework songs from his catalog along with some new ones, with the music blending psych-tinged prog, motorik post-rock, Southern rock, ambient and more.

Stephanie Anne Johnson – Jewels (self-released)
This Seattle artist’s second solo album is a solid set of rootsy folk-pop inflected with country, soul and other styles, combining a warm sound with their soulful vocals and lyrics of love and heartache.

Desire Marea – On the Romance of Being (Mute)
This South African artist’s second solo album is an adventurous blend of spiritual jazz, black classical, electronic, gospel, traditional South African music and more, with a dynamic, often-dramatic sound ranging from densely textured and percussion-driven to atmospheric and hypnotic.

Jana Horn – The Window is the Dream (No Quarter)
This Austin artist’s second album is a well-crafted set of folk-tinged indie-pop with an often-spare sound combining acoustic and electric guitars, strings and more with her serene vocals and wistful melodies.

Mediocre – To Know You’re Screwed EP (Dangerbird)
This Boston-via-LA duo’s second EP is a potent five-song set of ’90s-steeped indie-rock and power-pop, combining crunchy guitars and punchy rhythms with wry lyrics and catchy song hooks.

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