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 WITCH, Kari Faux, Jake Shears, and more.
WITCH – Zango (Desert Daze Sound/Partisan)
The first album in 39 years from these pioneers of Zamrock (a blend of traditional African styles with psych-rock, blues-rock and funk) is an excellent set of Zamrock with fuzzy psych/hard-rock guitars, muscular, funk-inflected rhythms and hypnotic song hooks. (The group now features two veteran Zambian members of the band along with four younger European musicians.)
Kari Faux – REAL B*TCHES DON’T DIE! (drink sum wtr)
This Little Rock, AR-bred artist’s latest release is a potent album of Southern hip hop inflected with R&B, funk, psych-rock and other styles, combining a variety of funky beats with a smooth blend of confident rapping and hazy singing along with personal rhymes of remembrance and self-affirmation. Special guests include Big K.R.I.T., Phoelix, theMIND, Devin the Dude and other notables.
Jake Shears – Last Man Dancing (Mute)
The second solo album from the San Juan Island-bred, London-based Scissor Sisters frontman is a potent set of ebullient dance-pop inflected at times with glam-rock and other styles, combining propulsive house rhythms, bright keyboards, soaring strings and buoyant melodies. Special guests include Kylie Minogue, Big Freedia, Amber Martin and Jane Fonda.
Beach Fossils – Bunny (Bayonet)
The fourth album (and first in six years) from this Brooklyn band led by Dustin Payseur is a potent set of psych-tinged dream-pop with jangly guitars, shimmering keyboards, occasional strings, gauzy vocals and wistful melodies.
Jess Williamson – Time Ain’t Accidental (Mexican Summer)
The fifth solo album from this Texas-bred artist (who’s also one-half of the duo Plains) is a well-crafted set of country-tinged folk-pop combining guitars, keyboards, horns, pedal steel, banjo and more with her aching, crystalline vocals and lyrics of heartache and desire.
RVG – Brain Worms (Fire)
This Australian band’s third album is a potent set of dramatic post-punk combining surging guitars, atmospheric keyboards and punchy rhythms with lyrics of struggle, division and resilience during troubled times.
Generationals – Heatherhead (Polyvinyl)
This New Orleans/Wisconsin duo’s sixth album is a well-crafted set of buoyant indie-pop combining bright synths, occasional sax and other instrumentation with bouncy rhythms, glowing harmonies and soaring melodies.
FRANKIIE – Between Dreams (Paper Bag)
This Vancouver, BC band’s second album is a well-crafted set of atmospheric dream-pop inflected with shoegaze, surf and other styles, combining fuzzy guitars and shimmering keyboards with haunting melodies and lyrics blending dreams and reality.
Juan Wauters – Wandering Rebel (Captured Tracks)
This Queens, NY artist’s sixth solo album is a well-crafted set of psych-tinged folk-pop inflected with various Latin styles, hip hop and more, featuring a warm, sometimes playful sound combining guitars, keyboards and occasional strings, vibraphone and other instrumentation with bilingual lyrics and wistful melodies. Special guests include Y La Bamba, Frankie Cosmos and John Carroll Kirby.
Lanterns on the Lake – Versions of Us (Bella Union)
This British band’s fifth album is a solid set of moody indie-pop combining jangly guitars, atmospheric synths, piano, strings and more with soaring song hooks and lyrics of hope and resolve.
BCUC – Millions of Us (On the Corner)
This South African band’s fourth album is a magnetic blend of traditional South African styles with hip hop, psych-rock and more, combining hypnotic polyrhythms with fiery lead vocals, buoyant harmonies and soaring melodies.
Louise Post – Sleepwalker (El Camino Media)
The debut solo album from the Veruca Salt vocalist/guitarist is a solid set ranging from ‘90s-steeped grunge-pop to moody indie-pop, with buoyant song hooks often juxtaposed with dark lyrics of heartache and loss.
Brandt Brauer Frick – Multi Faith Prayer Room (Because Music)
This Berlin trio’s fifth album is a solid set of hypnotic, sometimes playful techno inflected with neoclassical and other styles, combining propulsive rhythms supplied by a blend of acoustic drums and drum machines along with layered bass, atmospheric synths, piano and occasional guest vocals from Mykki Blanco, Azekel and other notables.