New Music Reviews (6/26)

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 Geese, Militarie Gun, Cory Hanson, and more. 

Geese – 3D Country (Partisan)
This Brooklyn band’s impressive second album is an expansive, hook-filled blend of adventurous, sometimes volatile post-punk, Stonesish glam and country-rock, soul-tinged balladry and much more, with a maximalist, shapeshifting sound combining guitars, keyboards, strings and other instrumentation with elastic, often theatrical lead vocals, soulful harmonies and magnetic song hooks.

Militarie Gun – Life Under the Gun (Loma Vista)
The official debut album from this LA-based band led by Ian Shelton (frontman for LA-via-Seattle project Regional Justice Center) is an impressive, hook-filled blend of hardcore punk, anthemic indie-rock, energetic pop-punk and more, combining loud, fuzzy guitars, punchy rhythms, occasional keyboards and other instrumentation with soaring melodies and angst-fueled lyrics of insecurity, desperation, betrayal and regret.

Cory Hanson – Western Cum (Drag City)
The third solo album from the frontman for LA band Wand is a potent set of crunchy, sometimes shapeshifting rock inflected at times with ‘70s country-rock, prog, psych-rock, metal and other styles, combining dual guitars, occasional pedal steel and more with warm harmonies and catchy song hooks.

Fust – Genevieve (Dear Life)
The second album from this Durham, NC band led by Aaron Dowdy is a well-crafted set of country-tinged folk-rock combining acoustic and electric guitars, piano, pedal steel and more with warm harmonies, wistful melodies and lyrics of love, loss and renewal. Special guests include Indigo De Souza, MJ Lenderman and Michael Cormier-O’Leary.

Skating Polly – Chaos County Line (El Camino Media)
This Tacoma-via-Oklahoma City trio’s sixth full-length is an expansive double album ranging from hook-filled grunge and energetic punk-pop to moody, psych-tinged rock, soaring power-pop and more.

The Watson Twins – Holler (Bloodshot)
This Kentucky-bred, Nashville-based twin sister duo’s latest album finds them leaning hard into energetic country-rock, uptempo honky tonk and soulful roots-rock with buzzing guitars, keyboards, stomping rhythms, tight harmonies and often-sunny melodies.

Joanna Sternberg – I’ve Got Me (Fat Possum)
This New York artist’s second album is a well-crafted, often-poignant set of piano-based, folk-tinged pop with a mostly spare sound accompanying their plaintive vocals and brutally honest lyrics of heartache, anxiety, insecurity, hope and renewal.

Pahua – Habita (Nacional)
The debut Pahua album from Mexican artist Paulina Sotomayor is a seamless blend of various Latin styles and electronic grooves, with a bright, rhythm-driven sound featuring a colorful blend of traditional and electronic instrumentation along with a variety of Latin American guest artists.

Sweeping Promises – Good Living is Coming for You (Feel It)
This Lawrence, KS duo’s second album is a potent set of lo-fi post-punk with a skeletal, reverbed sound combining jagged angular guitars, occasional horns and other instrumentation with angst-fueled lyrics and catchy song hooks.

Cable Ties – All Her Plans (Merge)
This Australian band’s third album is a potent blend of incendiary garage-punk and soaring post-punk with buzzing guitars, punchy rhythms, volatile vocals and pointed lyrics dealing with sexism, addiction, mental health and resilience.

Portugal. The Man – Chris Black Changed My Life (Atlantic)
This Portland-via-Wasilla, AK band’s ninth studio album is named after one of the band’s best friends, who passed away in 2019. It’s an expansive set of psych-pop inflected with funk, hip hop and other styles, combining bright keyboards, atmospheric guitars, occasional sax and other instrumentation with falsetto harmonies and buoyant song hooks. The album’s eclectic guest list includes Black Thought, Natalia Lafourcade, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Edgar Winter.

Son Volt – Day of the Doug (Transmit Sound/Thirty Tigers)
This St. Louis band’s 11th album pays tribute to the late Texas musician Doug Sahm with an eclectic selection of mostly obscure Sahm songs that honors Sahm’s diverse musical interests, ranging from buoyant country-rock and British Invasion rock to Tex-Mex, ambling honky tonk, Cajun rock and more.

Django Django – Off Planet (Because Music)
This London-based band’s fifth full-length is a solid double album of dance-friendly indie-pop inflected with techno, house, hip hop and other styles, combining synths, guitars, horns and more with sparkling song hooks and a variety of guest vocalists including Jack Penate, Self Esteem, Isabelle Woodhouse and Stealing Sheep.

Nickodemus – Soul & Science (Wonderwheel)
This New York-based DJ/producer’s latest album is an eclectic, dance-friendly blend of house, disco and hip hop with various Latin, African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean styles, combining a variety of propulsive rhythms and sunny melodies with guest vocalists from around the world.

Wye Oak – Every Day Like the Last (Merge)
This Baltimore-bred, North Carolina-based duo’s latest album collects various singles the band has released since 2019 for a solid set of atmospheric, folk-tinged indie-pop, combining a variety of acoustic and electronic instrumentation with bittersweet melodies and lyrics of connection and hope.

bdrmm – I Don’t Know (Rock Action)
This British band’s second album is a transportive blend of atmospheric dream-pop, shoegazer psych-rock, moody post-punk and trip hop and other styles, combining effects-laden guitars, often-driving, sometimes dance-friendly rhythms, synths, piano, strings and more with gauzy vocals and hypnotic song hooks.

Albert Hammond Jr. – Melodies on Hiatus (Red Bull)
The fifth solo album from the LA-based Strokes guitarist is a 19-song double set ranging from jangly indie-rock and driving New Wave and post-punk to some slinky hip hop and disco-influenced tracks.

M. Ward – Supernatural Thing (Anti-)
This Portland artist’s 12th studio album is a well-crafted set of expansive folk-pop ranging from rollicking pop-rock and buoyant folk-rock to some haunting atmospheric ballads. The album’s impressive guest list includes First Aid Kit, Neko Case, Shovels & Rope and other notables.

Pardoner – Peace Loving People (Bar/None)
This San Francisco band’s fourth album is a potent blend of ‘90s slacker-rock and energetic punk, combining clanging guitars, pummeling rhythms, angst-fueled, sometimes self-deprecating lyrics and catchy song hooks.

James & the Giants – James & the Giants (Kill Rock Stars)
The debut album from the latest project spearheaded by James Jackson Toth (aka Wooden Wand) is a well-crafted blend of wistful folk-rock, moody, blues-tinged rock, plaintive country-folk and other styles. Produced by his longtime collaborator Jarvis Taveniere, the album features a warm sound with glowing harmonies, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, occasional horns, strings and more.

Mason Lowe – Morning People (Killroom)
The debut solo album from this Seattle artist (and Bread & Butter drummer) is a well-crafted set of buoyant power-pop inflected with glam-rock, grunge and other styles, combining crunchy guitars and energetic rhythms with effervescent harmonies, sunny melodies and lyrics of love, desire and friendship.

Angelo De Augustine – Toil and Trouble (Asthmatic Kitty)
This LA-based artist’s fourth solo album is a well-crafted set of gentle folk-pop combining acoustic guitars, atmospheric keyboards and a variety of other instrumentation, various ambient sounds and field recordings with hushed vocals, bittersweet melodies and lyrics of longing, heartache and loss.

Creep Show – Yawning Abyss (Bella Union)
The second album from this collaborative project pairing Michigan-born, Iceland-based artist John Grant with London electronic trio Wrangler is a solid set of moody electro-pop combining vintage synths and drum machines with buoyant song hooks and wry, often-dark lyrics of humanity’s follies.

Kedr Livanskiy – K-Notes EP (2MR)
This Moscow producer’s latest release is a solid five-song EP blending drum ‘n’ bass with ethereal electro-pop, combining atmospheric synths and propulsive rhythms with gossamer vocals and dreamy melodies.

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