Friends Manifest!

Friends Manifest!
While diving into love affairs with friends is rarely advisable, when it comes to the Brooklyn, NY quintet, it's fair to say most of us leapfrogged the crush phase and steamed into tongue-on-tongue action immediately upon hearing 2011's slinky "I'm His Girl" single. The song married lethal sass with blog-friendly insouciance, sending fingers of funk-smeared bass creeping up your thighs as tight percussion lent a dose of composure, before follow-up "Friend Crush" set tongues wagging at a similar rate. Both are featured here, and while they represent a debut that occasionally swoons where it should swagger, there's ultimately a sense that for all of Manifest!'s waft and wooze, there's vitality, volatility and inventiveness by the vat. Samantha Urbani's punchy, yet ethereal, vocals emphasize twilit synths and slick rhymes as smooth and decadent as the leather of a sports car's passenger seat. "You can't just run away leavin' my heart broke all of a sudden/And come knocking the next day when you need some good lovin'," she spits on "Home." Refusing to recline in any one style, Manifest! dashes from brilliance to indecency without losing sight of its goal: to cultivate a cohesive, indefinable and occasionally vulnerable personality, limbs in motion and ears to the ground. An intriguing effort, Manifest! borrows from all the right places with such headlong joy that it never cries out for a style all its own, which is just fine, for now. (Fat Possum)