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Add these three rising NYC local acts to your summer playlist ASAP

Written by
Ro Samarth

Cut Worms

In a snap: Max Clarke, who dropped his project’s debut LP, Hollow Ground, on May 4, is a one-man jukebox of sepia-toned ’60s pop.

Why we love him: Though the Brooklyn troubadour’s aesthetic sounds like it was unearthed from a dusty thrift-store rack, he isn’t your run-of-the-mill nostalgist. He has a pleasingly warm voice (think the Everly Brothers) and an encyclopedic ear, drawing from the lovelorn haze of the Byrds, the Kinks and early Beatles. 

Why his sound is summer-ready: It’s a perfect soundtrack for a rooftop sunset. 

Intro track: “Don’t Want to Say Good-Bye” 

Hear it live: Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th St, Brooklyn (718-486-5400, May 18 at 8pm; $18.


In a snap: As L’Rain, Taja Cheek, a curator at MoMA PS1, brews totally singular, soul-inflected ambient-
pop soundscapes.

Why we love her: Melding spiraling tape loops, intricately arpeggiated jazz guitar, eerily lilting vocals and tight drumming chops, L’Rain charts a genre-hopping terrain all her own.

Why her sound is summer-ready: Her self-titled debut delivers a fully enveloping experience, great for a musical staycation if you’re short on dough.

Intro track: “Stay, Go (Go, Stay)”

Hear it live: Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St (212-505-3474, May 25 at 8pm; $12–$15.


In a snap: The producer’s distinctive dance music winds between house and hip-hop as her hushed vocals flip from Korean to English.

Why we love her: Even as the music videos for her undeniably alluring bangers soar to upward of 4 million views, Yaeji’s shows remain familial and welcoming. Her Curry in No Hurry parties combine tunes spun by friends with servings of her favorite foods.

Why her sound is summer-ready: You won’t be sure whether you’re at a family reunion or a rave, but one thing’s for sure: You’ll be dancing.

Intro track: “Raingurl”

Hear it live: Panorama Music Festival, Randalls Island Park ( July 27 noon; $125. Buy tickets.

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