Out This Week 8/2

Our guests yesterday, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, have returned after four years with their fourth album, and no doubt it was well worth the wait. I’ll admit that as much as I loved Jesse’s smoky voice and guitarist Phil Wandscher’s haunting western twang, I doubted there was much room for the band to grow... but I’m glad to have been proven wrong because Marble Son is a sure evolution and a revelation for listeners. The recent external and internal events of their lives -- the BP oil spill and the dissolution of Sykes’ and Wandscher’s decade plus relationship, among them -- have infused a dark current that invigorates the new songs and allows the whole band to expand, experiment and just let loose.

But Marble Son isn’t the only album worth picking up at record stores right now. Several long-time KEXP favorites are releasing albums today. Chicagoan Eric Johnson’s project Fruit Bats, featured recently as a Song of the Day podcast, follows a more narrative path on Tripper, his fifth album on Sub Pop, and retraces some early travels in his life. Get a preview when he performs live on KEXP today at noon! Zach Condon’s Balkan-inspired project Beirut is set to release the long-awaited follow up to 2007′s The Flying Cup Club later this month, but the band is making the digital version of it available today. Nashville trio The Ettes have a new LP of fuzzy, bluesy retro rock, and Richard Buckner has come out of a long hibernation for his first album of new material in five years.

In stores this week, you’ll also find the dizzying debut of Chilean turntablist DJ Raff, the latest from the ever-prolific Spencer Krug (of Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, etc.) recording as Moonface, solo releases from Ra Ra Riot bassist Mathieu Santos and Jim Ward, formerly of Sparta and At the Drive-In), plus expanded versions of Archers of Loaf’s Icky Mettle and Arcade Fire‘s The Suburbs, which includes the Spike Jonze film short.

Head over to Largehearted Boy for a full rundown of this week’s releases, but don’t forget to sample all of the great tunes collected here first:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
from The Suburbs Deluxe on Merge

Archers of Loaf - What Did You Expect (MP3)
from Icky Mettle (remastered and expanded) on Merge

Beirut - East Harlem (MP3)
from The Rip Tide (digital release) on Pompeii Records

Richard Buckner - Escape (MP3)
from Our Blood on Merge

Buffalo Killers - Circle Day (MP3)
from 3 on Alive Records

Collections of Colonies of Bees - Lawn
from GIVING on Hometapes

The Deep Dark Woods - West Side Street (MP3)
from The Place I Left Behind on Sugar Hill Records

Diva - Glow Worm (MP3)
from The Glitter End on Critical Heights

DJ Raff - Latino & Proud (MP3)
from Latino & Proud on Nacional Records

The Ettes - The Pendulum
from Wicked Will on Krian Music Group/Fond Object/SFTRI

Fountains of Wayne - Richie and Ruben (MP3)
from Sky Full of Holes on Yep Roc

Fruit Bats - Tangie and Ray (MP3)
from Tripper on Sub Pop

Brian Keenan - From Scratch (MP3)
from Today This Year (self-released)

Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Sophia In Gold (MP3)
from Paper Crush EP on Old Flame Records

Love of Everything - Three Way Answers (MP3)
from Sooner I Wish EP on Polyvinyl Records

Moonface - Fast Peter (MP3)
from Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped on Jagjaguwar

Mathieu Santos - I Can Hear the Trains Coming (MP3)
from Massachusetts 2010 on Barsuk

Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter - Pleasuring the Divine (MP3)
from Marble Son on Station Grey

Jim Ward - Broken Songs (with Tegan Quin) (MP3)
from Quiet in the Valley, On the Shores the End Begins / The Electic Six on Tembloroso Recordings

Wise Blood - Penthouse Suites (MP3)
from These Wings on Dovecote Records

The Wood Brothers - Shoofly Pie
from Smoke Ring Halo on Southern Ground

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