New Music Reviews (5/8)

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 Durand Jones, Avalon Emerson, Westerman, and more. 

Durand Jones – Wait Til I Get Over (Dead Oceans)
The debut solo album from this co-founder of Durand Jones & the Indications pays tribute to his hometown of Hillaryville, LA with a reflective, wide-ranging blend of southern soul, gospel, funk, jazz, blues-rock and more, with the sound ranging from lush orchestral ballads and atmospheric spoken-word to gritty, gospel-steeped ballads and muscular funk-rock on songs revolving around love, faith and connection.

Avalon Emerson – Avalon Emerson & The Charm (Another Dove/One House)
The official debut album from this Arizona-bred, upstate New York-based DJ/producer is a beautifully crafted blend of Balearic electro-pop and shimmering dream-pop, with a warm, breezy sound combining glistening synths, jangly guitars, strings, sax and more with buoyant rhythms, wistful melodies and reflective lyrics of relationships, climate change, and the passage of time.

Westerman – An Inbuilt Fault (Partisan)
This London-born, Athens-based artist’s second album is an impressive set of melancholy indie-pop. Co-produced by Big Thief’s James Krivchenia, the album features an imaginatively textured, often percussion-driven sound combining atmospheric synths, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and more with rich harmonies and lyrics of isolation and alienation.

Dinner Party – Enigmatic Society (Sounds of Crenshaw/EMPIRE)
The second album from this supergroup comprised of multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, pianist Robert Glasper and producer 9th Wonder is a smooth blend of R&B, funk and jazz, combining shimmering synths, airy sax, delicate piano, gently propulsive rhythms, breezy melodies and guest vocals from Phoelix, Arin Ray, Ant Clemons & Tank.

NAVVI – V EP (Hush Hush)
This Seattle duo’s latest release is an evocative five-song set of atmospheric electronic grooves inflected with trip hop, dream-pop, house, downtempo and other styles, with moody keyboards, hypnotic rhythms, ethereal vocals, bittersweet melodies and lyrics revolving around love.

KAMAUU – LACUNA in the House of Mirrors (Atlantic)
This Maryland rapper’s official debut full-length is a potent blend of hip hop, funk and R&B, combining a variety of adventurous, often-densely produced beats with rhymes of struggle, escapism, spirituality and community.

Eilen Jewell – Get Behind the Wheel (Signature Sounds)
This Boise artist’s ninth studio album is a well-crafted, cinematic blend of psych-tinged roots-rock, blues, folk-rock and country, combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and occasional mandolin, pedal steel, harmonica and more with lyrics of lost love and resilience.

Asher Gamedze – Turbulence & Pulse (International Anthem)
This South African drummer’s second album is a potent set of post-bop and astral jazz with sax, trumpet and rolling polyrhythms.

The Lemon Twigs – Everything Harmony (Captured Tracks)
This New York brother duo’s fourth album is a well-crafted set of ‘60s/’70s-steeped, baroque folk-pop combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, strings, horns and more with bright harmonies and sunny melodies juxtaposed with often-dark lyrics of loss and isolation.

Five Fingers of Funk – Portland Say It Again (Kill Rock Stars)
This Portland-bred group’s first album with the original band since 1998 is a fun set of funk-inflected hip hop combining punchy horns and funky beats with often-humorous, sometimes self-deprecating rhymes of music and celebration. Special guests include Black Sheep’s Dres, Jamalski, Cool Nutz, Lifesavas’ Jumbo, Bosko and Mic Crenshaw.

dragonchild – dragonchild (FPE)
The debut dragonchild album from Boston-based saxophonist (and Debo Band leader) DA Mekonnen is a hypnotic blend of Ethiopian music with jazz, ambient, gqom and other styles, combining sax with atmospheric synths, samples and field recordings.

Emily King – Special Occasion (ATO)
This NYC-bred artist’s fifth album is a well-crafted blend of R&B, folk-pop and other styles, with the music ranging from buoyant dance-pop to folk and orchestral ballads, combining guitars, keyboards, horns, woodwinds and more with her breathy vocals and often-dark lyrics of heartache and resilience.

Atmosphere – So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously (Rhymesayers)
This veteran Minneapolis duo’s 13th studio album is an expansive set blending moody hip hop beats inflected with funk, psych-rock, ominous space-pop, reggae and other styles with often-dark rhymes of anxiety, alienation, struggle and resilience. – U Street Anthology (Leola)
This DC-bred artist’s second album is a well-crafted set of lowkey R&B with atmospheric keyboards, feathery vocals and lyrics of love, heartache, loss and grief.

Immaterial Possession – Mercy of the Crane Folk (Fire)
This Athens, GA band’s second album is a fine set of theatrical, psych-tinged folk-rock with atmospheric psych/surf guitars, eerie keyboards, dramatic harmonies and haunting melodies.

LA Priest – Fase Luna (Domino)
The third album from this British artist (aka Sam Eastgate) is a solid set of aquatic psych-pop inflected at times with funk and other styles, combining shimmering guitars and woozy rhythms with lyrics inspired by the ocean.

The Album Leaf – Future Falling (Nettwerk)
The seventh album from this LA-based artist (aka Jimmy LaValle) is a solid set of ambient electronic grooves combining shimmering synths, piano, strings, horns and more with haunting melodies and occasional guest vocals.

7ebra – Bird Hour (PNKSLM)
The debut album from this Swedish twin-sister duo is a solid set of moody, psych-tinged indie-pop combining guitars and keyboards with glowing harmonies and lyrics of self-reflection.

C.S. Armstrong – The Southwestern Love Songs EP (Top of the Boot)
This LA-based artist’s latest release is a solid three-song set of woozy R&B.

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