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 billy woods & Kenny Segal, Overmono, SBTRKT, and more.
billy woods & Kenny Segal – Maps (Backwoodz Studioz)
The second collaboration between New York rapper billy woods and LA producer Kenny Segal is a concept album about life as a touring musician, combining diverse, inventive beats ranging from off-kilter boom-bap to ominous, sometimes jazz-inflected soundscapes with woods’ complex, intricately detailed rhymes of alienation and dread. Special guests include Danny Brown, Aesop Rock, Quelle Chris, Samuel T. Herring, ELUCID, Benjamin Booker and other notables.
Overmono – Good Lies (XL)
This Welsh brother duo’s debut album is a masterfully crafted blend of UK garage, techno and other electronic grooves, combining propulsive rhythms, shimmering synths, chopped-up, manipulated vocal samples and soaring, melancholy-tinged melodies.
SBTRKT – The Rat Road (Save Yourself/AWAL)
The third SBTRKT album (and first in seven years) from London-based producer Aaron Jerome is a well-crafted set of moody electronic grooves incorporating elements of post-dubstep, ambient, R&B and other styles. The album’s impressive guest list includes Sampha, Toro Y Moi, George Riley, Leilah, Little Dragon, Teezo Touchdown and other notables.
Dean Johnson – Nothing For Me, Please (Mama Bird)
This Seattle artist’s debut solo album is a well-crafted set of intimate, country-tinged folk-pop combining acoustic guitar, easy-rolling rhythms, occasional piano, lap steel and other instrumentation with his plaintive tenor, bittersweet melodies and lyrics of love, longing and heartache.
Alison Goldfrapp – The Love Invention (BMG)
The debut solo album from the vocalist for London-based duo Goldfrapp is a potent set of dance-friendly electro-pop combining propulsive disco and house rhythms and glittering synths with her breathy vocals and lyrics of love and desire.
waveform* – Antarctica (Run For Cover)
This Connecticut-based duo’s fifth album is a solid set of moody indie-pop pop with gentle acoustic and fuzzy electric guitars, shimmering synths, bittersweet melodies and melancholy lyrics of isolation and loneliness.
Gnawing – Modern Survival Techniques (Refresh)
This Richmond, VA band’s latest release is a potent set of ‘90s-steeped slacker rock with buzzing guitars, punchy rhythms, often-sardonic lyrics and an abundance of catchy song hooks.
LP Giobbi – Light Places (Counter)
This Austin-based artist’s debut album is a solid set of emotive house grooves with propulsive rhythms, shimmering synths, bright piano lines and often-euphoric song hooks. Special guests include Sofi Tukker, Little Jet, Caroline Byrne, Le Chev, Monogem, DJ Tennis and Joseph Ashworth.
Bobby Harden & The Soulful Saints – Bridge of Love (Dala/BQE)
The debut album from this Brooklyn band (which features members of the late Charles Bradley’s former backing group) is a solid set of ‘60s/’70s-steeped soul and funk combining guitars, organ, piano, horns, strings and often-buoyant rhythms with Harden’s grainy vocals and lyrics of love, heartache and connection.
Daisies – Great Big Open Sky (K/Perennial)
This Olympia band’s latest release is a well-crafted blend of psych-tinged folk-pop and electro-pop, combining jangly guitars, atmospheric synths, buoyant rhythms and soaring song hooks.
Madison McFerrin – I Hope You Can Forgive Me (MADMCFERRIN MUSIC)
This Brooklyn artist’s debut album is a potent blend of dreamy R&B, electro-pop, jazz and more, combining an atmospheric sound with her ethereal vocals and lyrics of love, fear and self-preservation.
Seán Barna – An Evening at Macri Park (Kill Rock Stars)
This Philly-based artist’s second album is a concept album revolving around Brooklyn gay bar Macri Park, combining surging, sometimes glam-tinged indie-rock with lyrics of loss, grief, connection and joy. Special guests include Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz and David Immerglück, Mikaela Davis, Danielle Ponder and Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor.
Rahill – Flowers at Your Feet (Big Dada)
The debut solo album from this New York-based Iranian-American artist (and founding member of Habibi) is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged electro-pop inflected with trip-hop, jazz and other styles, combining often-buoyant soundscapes with lyrics reflecting on childhood, family, love and loss.
Dead Bars – Sinkhole EP (Really Rad)
This Seattle band’s latest release is a potent three-song EP of anthemic garage-punk with buzzing guitars, muscular rhythms and catchy song hooks.
Iguana Death Cult – Echo Palace (Innovative Leisure)
This Dutch band’s third album is a well-crafted blend of post-punk, psych-pop, funk and other styles, combining angular guitars, occasional sax and more with often-sardonic lyrics depicting dystopian times.
Island of Love – Island of Love (Third Man)
This London-based trio’s debut full-length is a solid set of ‘90s-steeped rock ranging from explosive grunge-punk and raucous garage-rock to downer slacker-rock, combining dueling fuzzy guitars, energetic rhythms and catchy song hooks.