“Ethically, it’s pretty fucked,” coos Friends singer Samantha Urbani on “Sorry,” weighing her guilt over a sketchy love affair before shrugging, “I want you to come over to my house.” Sure, we’re in! The sexy Bushwick, Brooklyn, outfit sounds less conflicted elsewhere on a debut that often recalls New York’s Eighties downtown glory days, when punk, funk and disco commingled on labels like 99 and ZE. Percussion-packed rhythms rule on Manifest!, and Urbani’s raplike verses sometimes favor flow over literal meaning – see the call-and-response holler “Van Fan Gor Du,” which nearly means “What the hell are you doing?” in Swedish. The band’s sweet B-side reading of Ghost Town DJs’ 1996 hit “My Boo” is sadly absent from the album. But these guys clearly don’t need covers to throw a killer rent party.
Listen to ‘Manifest!’:
• Photos: Random Notes