Thursday Music News

photo by Beth Crook (view set)

  • Love & Hate, the sophomore release from soulful UK artist Michael Kiwanuka was a fave for many KEXP DJs last year. (It was even a nominee for the prestigious Mercury Award in 2016.) Kiwanuka revisits the release with a video for the track “Cold Little Heart” — watch below. The video was directed by David Helman and stars actor Keith Stanfield (Get Out, Straight Outta Compton, Atlanta). Love & Hate is out now via Polydor/Interscope. [ Stereogum ]


  • Reunited shoegaze band Ride are returning with their first new album in over 20 years. We’ve already heard the tracks “Charm Assault” and “Home Is a Feeling,” and today we’ve got a video to share for the former. Once you watch the psychedelic clip, you won’t be surprised to hear it was co-directed by Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe, with Jean de Oliveira. We’ve also got an album title: Weather Diaries will be out June 16 via Wichita. [ Spin ]

  • Local trio Dude York play mall rats in the video for “Tonight,” a highlight off their sophomore LP Sincerely. The clip was directed by Carlos Lopez, and I can’t tell if this is Southcenter or Alderwood? (I thought I knew the area malls better than this.) (Shut up.) Dude York have shows coming up with Weezer and the Anniversary, but they’ll be playing a hometown date Tuesday, May 9th at Vera Project. [ Stereogum ]

  • You may recognize her from projects like Wild Flag, or even her solo work under her own name, but back in the 90s, Mary Timony led the band Helium, and in May, they’ll release a rarities collection. Titled Ends With And, the 19-track double LP features the Pirate Prude EP, plus rarities, b-sides, and demos. (Check out a video for the rarity “Hole in the Ground” below.) Plus, Helium are reissuing their 1995 LP The Dirt Of Luck and 1997’s The Magic City (which will also be packaged with the No Guitars EP). In a press release, Timony shares, “Compiling Ends With And has been like stumbling upon a long forgotten time capsule and trying to put the pieces in order. I hadn’t heard most of the songs in a very long time. I pored over hours of unlabeled cassette demos, odd test pressings, and DAT tapes. A few of the live recordings and bonus tracks were hard to find — I knew that they existed but I had lost copies, but luckily a few kind souls had stored tapes in dusty basements and attics in various parts of the country. It’s good to know that these songs will all be in one place now.” All of this comes out May 19th via Matador Records. [ Pitchfork ]

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Upstream Music Fest + Summit: Announcing the Breakout Speakers

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The first-ever Upstream Music Fest + Summit is just around the corner, on Thursday, May 11th through Saturday, May 13th, in locations all over Pioneer Square. Earlier this year, the first wave of artists were announced (see here), as well as this year’s keynote speakers: Quincy Jones, Macklemore, and Portia Sabin, president of the independent record label Kill Rock Stars.

Their keynotes will spark smaller, most focused breakout sessions where attendees can explore important questions impacting artists and the music industry. Today, we’re excited to share the first eight of these speakers, as well as more information about their topic!
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Song of the Day: Erki Pärnoja – Doors Dance

photo by Riina Varol

photo by Riina Varol

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear.

In early February, I attended MENT Ljubljana, a three-day festival of new and emerging bands and artists from Europe and beyond—mostly Central and Eastern Europe. There’s a conference component to the festival too, and I was invited to share the KEXP story to delegates from the music industry in Europe gathered to discuss creativity, distribution, licensing, and the issues facing the music industry. KEXP is seen as a beacon of hope for independent artists and music lovers all over the world, and it was a great opportunity to discover new bands and to meet, connect, and engage with music makers from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia and more. The festival is lovingly curated, and I experienced a ton of excellent bands for the first time. I’m excited to share the highlights on the Afternoon Show, my recent Music That Matters podcast, and as part of this week’s Song of the Day Podcasts.

Today’s pick is “Doors Dance” by Erki Pärnoja from their 2017 album, Efterglow, on Erik Lindström Music.

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Midnight In A Perfect World: LUNA GOD

LUNAGOD

At the epicenter of some of the most exciting current local hip-hop, R&B, and cutting-edge club music, there’s a solid chance you’ll find LUNA GOD, the alias of Seattle’s Caleb Talbert. A chameleonic musician, he’s recently turned his attention to wildly diverse and unpredictably vibrant productions, a style that also carries over to his infectiously kinetic DJ sets. With two EPs in his catalog and an increasingly busy DJ schedule, LUNA GOD has become a sought-after party-starter and in-demand collaborator, currently working with fellow ascending artists DoNormaal, Sleep Steady, ZELLi, and Paris Alexa. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World is a perfect showcase of his high-energy style, swiftly storming through 40+ tracks in less than an hour, sneaking in many of his own tracks, productions, and bootleg remixes, while also spotlighting a bunch of emerging local artist and thrilling underground club gems from all over the world.


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Wednesday Music News

photo by Bebe Labree Besch (view set)

  • What the hell? Are the planets aligned? Did they work this out in advance? Because today, we have a slew of new releases to share. First up, a new solo album from Thurston Moore. We had a hunch it was coming after he shared the stand-alone track “Cease Fire.” Now you can check out the track “Smoke of Dreams,” a first look at the LP Rock ‘n’ Roll Consciousness out April 28th via Caroline International. Hear the new songs live on Tuesday, May 9th at Neumos. [ Spin ]


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Live Video: Cherry Glazerr

Photo by Alan Lawrence (view set)

If your first impression of Cherry Glazerr is that they don’t take themselves too seriously, you’re probably right. The L.A. band’s new album, Apocalipstick, includes songs like “Trick or Treat Dance Floor”, their twitter account features occasional updates on the band members’ bowels, and, well, if you need further proof, look no further than their session at KEXP. In-studio, the band performed in homemade vagina costumes and revealed that drummer Tabor Allen is actually a drumming robot concocted in a lab. What’s also immediately apparent in this session is the raw musicianship behind Cherry Glazerr’s humor. Frontwoman and guitarist Clementine Creevy – who released her debut on Burger Records while still in high school – reigns supreme on her Fender with heavy riffage, while Allen lays down tight grooves. Stay tuned until the looping, five-note freakout ending of “Chewing Cud”, and you’ll understand the band’s appeal: Cherry Glazerr may not take themselves too seriously, but they seriously shred.


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Song of the Day: Oligarkh – Tri Devi

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear.

In early February, I attended MENT Ljubljana, a three-day festival of new and emerging bands and artists from Europe and beyond—mostly Central and Eastern Europe. There’s a conference component to the festival too, and I was invited to share the KEXP story to delegates from the music industry in Europe gathered to discuss creativity, distribution, licensing, and the issues facing the music industry. KEXP is seen as a beacon of hope for independent artists and music lovers all over the world, and it was a great opportunity to discover new bands and to meet, connect, and engage with music makers from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia and more. The festival is lovingly curated, and I experienced a ton of excellent bands for the first time. I’m excited to share the highlights on the Afternoon Show, my recent Music That Matters podcast, and as part of this week’s Song of the Day Podcasts.

Today’s pick is “Tri Devi” by Oligarkh from their 2017 self-released EP, Vstan’ i Idi.

Oligarkh – Tri Devi (MP3) Read More »

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

  • As we announced last month, Seattle’s own Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) has a new album coming out this Spring, titled No Shape. Stream a video for the first single “Slip Away” below. Via a press release, Hadreas elaborates, “I pay my rent. I’m approaching health. The things that are bothering me personally now are less clear, more confusing. I don’t think I really figured them out with these songs. There’s something freeing about how I don’t have it figured out. Unpacking little morsels, magnifying my discomfort, wading through buried harm, laughing at or digging in to the embarrassing drama of it all. I may never come out the other side but it’s invigorating to try and hopefully, ultimately helpful. I think a lot of them are about trying to be happy in the face of whatever bullshit I created for myself or how horrible everything and everyone is.” No Shape hits stores on May 5th via Matador, and Perfume Genius will be playing Capitol Hill Block Party on Sunday, July 23rd. [ Under the Radar ]


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Photos: Sound Off! 2017 Finals

All photos by Bebe Labree Besch

For 16 years, the Sound Off! competition has supported all ages music by giving a platform to young, local artists. All competitors are under 21, reside within the Pacific Northwest, and almost always give us a few show-stopping moments. We’ve seen Sound Off! kick off the careers of Northwest favorites like The Lonely Forest, Dave B, Manatee Commune, Naked Giants, Tomten, Sol, and numerous others. Now you can add this year’s first place winner, singer-songwriter Jason McCue, to the list. McCue stunned the crowd and judges, performing alone with his acoustic guitar on the spacious Sky Church stage on March 11 at MoPop. His intricate finger-picking and soaring hypnotizing vocals were undeniable, reverberating throughout the hushed room.
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Song of the Day: Bernays Propaganda – Armija

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear.

In early February, I attended MENT Ljubljana, a three-day festival of new and emerging bands and artists from Europe and beyond—mostly Central and Eastern Europe. There’s a conference component to the festival too, and I was invited to share the KEXP story to delegates from the music industry in Europe gathered to discuss creativity, distribution, licensing, and the issues facing the music industry. KEXP is seen as a beacon of hope for independent artists and music lovers all over the world, and it was a great opportunity to discover new bands and to meet, connect, and engage with music makers from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia and more. The festival is lovingly curated, and I experienced a ton of excellent bands for the first time. I’m excited to share the highlights on the Afternoon Show, my recent Music That Matters podcast, and as part of this week’s Song of the Day Podcasts.

Today’s pick is “Armija” by Bernays Propaganda from the 2016 album Politika on Moonlee Records.

Bernays Propaganda – Armija (MP3) Read More »

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