Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – May 21

Kevin George, Dana Williams, STARBENDERS, Sarah McGowan, Jozzy, *repeat repeat.

Clockwise from top left: Kevin George, Dana Williams, STARBENDERS, Sarah McGowan, Jozzy and *repeat repeat.

Every week, there’s a plethora of new music at our fingertips.

Artists on platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp are plentiful, and the radio offers a steady deluge of new singles, but who has time to sort through all that? RIFF does!

We pooled our resources to find some of the best new singles from all genres and backgrounds, so you can find your newest earworm without all the drama. Enjoy this week’s hidden gems.


Sarah McGowan, “It Felt Good” — Singer-songwriter Sarah McGowan writes about an intense summer romance in “It Felt Good.” The song’s combination of pop and country seamlessly balances grit and serenity. McGowan sings about how she likes being in the relationship even though both partners knew it won’t last. Its perfect for the coming months due to its upbeat and catchy sonics, while its bittersweet undertone captures true-to-life romantic misadventures.


*Repeat Repeat, “Apocalyptic” — The song has a bass-heavy, synth-laden indie punk sound to it. *Repeat Repeat creates a soundscape of overlapping guitars and drums mixed with tasteful hi-hat trickery to support the whimsical tone of the lyrics. It’s a song I found myself dancing to without even realizing it.


STARBENDERS, “London” — Psychedelic punk group  STARBENDERS released “London” after they signed to Sumerian Records. The video seems inspired by David Bowie’s “Man Who Fell to Earth” with its woodsy sci-fi theme. The song itself is about chasing the highs in life. It leans into the moody, haunting rock and roll sound that they’ve cultivated over the years.


Kevin George, “Lay It On Me” — Kevin George released “Lay It On Me” as one of two singles from his upcoming debut album, My Darling’s a Demon. “Lay It On Me” sees his voice take on an Auto-Tuned R&B flavor, recalling The Weeknd over a trap-influenced beat. The song has an interesting take on how people can idealize relationships in the face of an imperfect reality. George takes off the rose-colored glasses to reveal the ups and downs that people don’t talk about—idealization, and how those lead to many relationship issues that are talked about all too often.


Dana Williams, “Holiday” — L.A.’s Dana Williams sings about self-love on this artsy alt-soul jam. She emphasizes her desire to stay and find comfort within herself instead of throwing herself to others for meaningless affirmation. The hook—”it’s only a holiday when you’re away”—implies her need to be separate from her lover in order to be happy. She has her own space and can be herself when the other person is gone. Williams’ calming, yet captivating voice achieves an emotive timbre not very common in mainstream music.


Jozzy featuring Lil Wayne, “Sucka Free” — “Sucka Free” packs a deeper message of staying true to yourself into a auro-croon trap banger. Jozzy differentiates himself from his contemporaries, taking the lead in both singing in the choruses and his rap flow in most of the verses. Having Lil Wayne as his backup certainly helps, and his natural place in the music evidences the song’s adaptable groove. It still follows the cloud-rap pattern, but both the beat and vocals maintain a memorable vibe.


Aarushi’s Pick: My personal choice for this week has to be “Holiday” by Dana Williams. The bumping, yet ethereal production goes together beautifully with her voice, creating the perfect balance of catchy melody and visceral rhythm. The song’s positive, vital message makes it hard not to love. I’ve had “Holiday” on repeat since I heard it. Each listen reveals a bit more of its deeper impact.

Follow reporter Aarushi Nanda at Instagram.com/aarushi_nanda and at Twitter.com/aarushi_nanda.

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