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
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.
Arca - KiCk i
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.
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.
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.
IDK - IDK & FRIENDS 2 (Basketball County Soundtrack)
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.