Ash Koosha: I AKA I With I AKA I, Koosha has taken his musical experiments a step further. Fascinated for many years by his own synaesthesia (the ability to ‘see’ sound), Koosha has tried to systematise this ability by treating sound “like a physical matter which can be broken down, liquified, rescaled or spatially positioned.”
Big Black Delta: Trágame Tierra Big Black Delta is Jonathan Bates’ solo project. With Trágame Tierra, Bates has created a multi-layered collection of songs that continue to build on his already explosive electronics by adding more icy Scandinavian-leaning beats, near-country acoustic warmth, and more live instrumentation. He’s also going to be embarking on an extensive US tour with support from Sego.
Wire: Nocturnal Koreans Wire is like that old friend I see every once in a while. Each time I'm not sure what to expect: upbeat sometimes, complex and multi-layered other times or simply straight to the heart. In all cases, Wire is a welcome friend. My relationship with the band began in 1977 with the high-speed and extraordinary punk record Pink Flag. Then, just nine months later, they gave birth to one of my favorite arty rock albums ever, Chairs Missing. Wire's brilliant new record, Nocturnal Koreans, comes out just about a year after its 2015 self-titled album, and the pair have sent me back — at least in my mind — to the first days and months of falling in love with the band.
Haroula Rose: Here the Blue River It is hard enough to write a good pop song, but to make it sound like it is coming from a convincing emotional place, invested with thoughtfulness and artistry, well, that's a whole other kettle of fish! Musician and filmmaker Haroula Rose attacks this problem with delicate gusto on her sophomore album, Here the Blue River, creating a balanced mix of compelling storytelling and memorable melodies.
Bibio: A Mineral Love Prolific British musician Stephen Wilkinson offers up his 8th album under the Bibio moniker with A Mineral Love, and while his trademarked acoustic/electronic hybrid dream-pop sound is still in full effect, there is a curious funk undercurrent throughout this new record.
Brett: Mode Dream imagery runs throughout LA-by-way-of-Washington D.C. band Brett’s sophomore album, Mode. The guitars shimmer, the melodies embed themselves immediately inside your brain, and the astute, bittersweet lyrics will keep you in this world long after the record has stopped spinning.
Unloved: Guilty of Love Unloved have a wholly inaccurate name, as they have quickly become a station-wide favorite here at KCRW. Their retro-leaning soundscapes, processed through modern productions techniques and topped by evocative female vocals, undeniably hit our sweet spot, so unconditional love is required, not merely requested.