MIDTOWN SOCIAL,  Fantastic Colors (Midtown Studios) ****

The San Francisco indie-soul ensemble celebrate their hometown’s diversity and open, creative spirit with 14 tracks whose smooth arrangements and silky harmonies (from lead vocalists Kisura Nyoto and Aaron Joseph and background singer Whitney Moses) often recall 1970s-’80s soul. The strongest bond elastic grooves to positive messages of community, while hinting at the city’s struggles with income inequality and homelessness: buoyant disco-funk number “Savoir Faire,” “Everybody,” the thumping “Crossroads,” and sing-along lead single “Candlelit” (“We are all one people/ Different from the last/ Working towards our future/ To build a better past”). Midtownsocialband.com

ROBERT VINCENT, In This Town You’re Owned (Thirty Tigers) ****

“You’d better know your friend and know your foe/ You’d better test the water with your toe,” Vincent advises during “This Town,” an astute opener for this smartly crafted, Ethan Johns-produced collection of songs considering work, love, societal inequities, and the place — or absence — of faith and forgiveness in the world. The Liverpool-raised songwriter has a knack for distilling big-picture questions down to everyday moments with conversational language and ingratiating melodies, and merits inclusion on playlists favoring John Fullbright, Lucinda Williams and Charlie Rich. Highlights:  “Conundrum,” “Husk of a Soul,” “The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore.” robertvincentmusic.com

SOTOMAYOR, Orígenes 

(Wonderwheel) ***½

The third album (following 2015’s “Salvaje” and 2017’s “Conquistador”) from vocalist Paulina Sotomayor and drummer brother Raul Sotomayor, who co-produced with Calle 13’s storied Eduardo Cabra, is a strikingly arranged platter of Latinx electronic pop. Cumbia electronica setpiece “Quema” centers the album, with Puerto Rico bomba veteran Totín (Arará) Agosto’s guest vocals sounding like a remembered ghost amid the clapping synths and electronic beats. Other standouts include the sticky “Lo que tu quieres de mi”; “Latin History Month,” throbbing with percussion, call-and-response harmonies, and psychedelic organ riffs; and sultry “Ella.” Wonderwheelrecordings.com

ALEXANDRA SAVIOR, The Archer (30th Century) ***

Whereas the Portland native seemed to be negotiating her place amid the thick arrangements of 2017’s “The Belladonna of Sadness,” her smoky vocal tones center her more spacious sophomore album. “You bit my head right off with your tiny little mouth/ I licked the blood from your lips,” she sings with little affect during the title track; dark, reverbed guitars haunt this psychedelic dream world, but even when calling out a lover’s betrayal (the disturbing “Saving Grace,” “Send Her Back”), emotion’s referenced more than displayed. Lana del Rey comparisons are inevitable; also RIYL Lera Lynn. At Pico Union Project in Downtown LA Saturday, Feb. 15. Alexandrasavior.com