Atmospheric and Electric: 5 Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Atmospheric and Electric: 5 Albums You Need to Hear This Week (Photo: Spencer Middleton)

As the summer begins and the weather gets warmer, music is bursting through the floodgates. Here are five projects that are worth checking out that might brighten your day or fit as a soothing backing for days in the summer sunshine.

UMI – Introspection
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Introspection EP • out 6/21 🦋

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Seattle’s UMI writes songs from a place of empathy and healing, she sings in a crisp, mellow tone that pairs well with the flowery instrumentals she chooses. On her most recent EP, “Introspection,” she not only reaches inward for inspiration but looks to her peers and friends to embrace youthful energy that’s felt throughout much of her music. “Introspection” is electric with reflective songwriting and transient instrumentals that ooze with clever mixing and melodies.

Tracks to listen to: Pretty Girl hi!, Open Up, Broken Bottle

Arca – KiCk i
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KLK OUT NOW! KLK YA ESTA AQUI! ft @rosalia.vt on the track & co production from my friend since teenage years in caracas @cardopusher / con la @rosalia.vt y coproducida con @cardopusher, un pana del alma desde mi adolescencia mia en caracas 🇻🇪 🔥🐾 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Yo siempre pienso en el furruco cuando programo un subbass ! <3 I always think of the furruco when I program sub bass <3 Es un instrumento autóctono de Venezuela que se toca con friccion, frotas una vara enganchada del cuero de un tambor grande y tiene un super infra sub bajo, marca el pulso en la gaita, un estilo de musica típico de Venezuela! Yo aprendi y tocaba furruco años porq lo tocaba en el grupo de gaitas de mi cole y tb la academia de musica, y me influyó mucho además de estudiar y tocar el cuatro también. La música venezolana siempre ha estado conmigo, y me siento agradecida de poder haber estudiado algunos de los estilos típicos de musica venezolana<3 The furruco is an autoctonous musical instrument that is played via friction of a rod attached to a large drum head. when rubbed it produces a big sub bass pulse that marks the tempo for the whole gaita groupm, gaita is typical venezuelan music. I played furruco for years it in the gaita groups of my school and a music academy i went to and it influenced me a lot, as well as learning cuatro. Venezuelan music has always been with me, and I'm so grateful to have studied some of its musical stylings. You can listen to my new single KLK ft. ROSALÍA on the #NewMusicDaily playlist on @applemusic right now if u wanna <3

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As part one of four upcoming albums, “KiCk i” explores the lines between genders, language and genre. Arca has been a standout artist throughout her career, publicly coming out as non-binary two years ago in 2018. She easily sets herself apart through her music, which consistently introduces new sounds and ideas to the music industry. In “KiCk i,” each song has its own vibe, branching out into many different topics and tones. Her album easily breaks through today’s norm and keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.

Tracks to listen to: KLK, Time, Riquiqui

Khruangbin – Mordechai 

Khruangbin’s third official album, “Mordechai,” is now the first album that shows off vocals from all three members of the group, adding substance to their very atmospheric music. A mixture of mellow surf-rock and soul, Laura Lee, Mark Speer and Donald Johnson have no trouble creating a hallucinatory mood — in the best way possible.

Tracks to listen to: Time (You and I), Father Bird, Mother Bird, Shida

6LACK – 6pc Hot EP 

6LACK’s first release since 2018’s “East Atlanta Love Letter,” the Atlanta native marks his return with “6pc Hot EP.” Fans haven’t missed out his music completely, though, since he’s been keeping himself busy featuring on a range of collabs with Normani, Tinashe and more. The project keeps the “6” brand going with six new tracks, further cementing himself as one of the best in today’s male R&B. Taking us through life in the game in Atlanta and closing it with a soft quarantine love song, he delivers the smooth vocals he’s known for that just emanate chill. 

Tracks to listen to: Know My Rights (ft. Lil Baby), Float, Outside

IDK – IDK & FRIENDS 2 (Basketball County Soundtrack)
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IDK brings us his latest project with the sequel to 2018’s EP of the same name. The work serves as the soundtrack for Kevin Durant’s upcoming doc, a fellow PG County native, thanks to IDK’s role as music director for the film. IDK keeps the love for his home going on the album. “495,” a highlight from the album, features some of the DMV’s best and up-and-coming artists. Bringing back collaborators from the last edition along with some new faces, IDK proves his pen. 

Tracks to listen to: 495 (ft. Rico Nasty, Big Flock, Big JAM & Weensey), Mazel Tov (ft. A$AP Ferg)End Of Discussion (ft. PNB Rock) 

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