From upbeat summer jams by Neon Indian and Samantha Urbani to darker downtempo tracks from Mr Twin Sister and newcomers NAKED, this week's look at music
Experimental trio NAKED are based in Edinburgh but prefer to be free of any geographical labels—and the hypnotic, escapist tracks off their debut EP Youth Mode speak to a generation defined more by their time on the internet than the city they inhabit. The part-epileptic, part-dazed black-and-white music video for their song "Bubble" hints of modern life as tomorrow's contemporary ruins. Reminiscent of Die Antwoord, Grimes and a pinch of Björk.
Neon Indian: Annie
The talented Neon Indian (aka Alan Palomo) has just released what is set to be one of this summer's regular jams: "Annie." It's a welcome return from Neon Indian, whose last album was released back in 2011. The track is a bubbly synth-pop bonanza, with traces of reggae and an '80s tinge that sets up an upbeat, energetic mood for sunlit adventures.
Samantha Urbani: Uno Dos Tres
We've had one longstanding woman crush on Samantha Urbani, the free-spirited force of creativity behind Brooklyn quintet Friends and the sultry vocals you've heard on Blood Orange's Cupid Deluxe. Thus the news that she might be working on a full-length solo album was more than welcome. Sample a taste with "Uno Dos Tres"—which is actually a Spanish translation of her track "1 2 3 4." Urbani will be performing at MoMA PS1's annual summer concert series Warm Up on their kickoff weekend, 27 June 2015.
The Alchemist: Israeli Salad
The Alchemist (who has produced for acts including Nas, Ghostface Killah and Snoop Dogg) released his Israeli Salad instrumental LP this week, and it's quite a doozy. Inspired by a 2011 trip to Israel, and using just samples from the Middle East, the DJ/producer and sometimes rapper has crafted a mix that's laid-back yet incredibly layered. With just a tinge of sleaze, Israeli Salad makes for a captivating late-night soundtrack.
Mr Twin Sister: The Erotic Book
Mr Twin Sister have been embracing their new musical identity (they formerly went by Twin Sister) with tracks that intentionally elude straightforward labels. Riding the mood of their most recent self-titled album, Mr Twin Sister's latest release "The Erotic Book" blends cheerful, poppy strums of the guitar with a dark, nefarious bass synth line. Frontwoman Andrea Estella—who also created the artwork—takes a breather as guitarist Eric Cardona sings in an airy, semi-falsetto: "You'll see me on another page / And I'm posing just for you." Catch the five-piece band live as they tour through the Midwest and East Coast throughout July.