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’ve pooled our resources to find some of the best new singles coming out of all genres and backgrounds, so that you can find your newest ear worm without all the drama. Please enjoy this week’s hidden gems:
Benjamin Booker featuring Mavis Staples, “Witness” — Besides embodying the pure essence of blues and soul music, Booker presents a song with great political power. After moving to Mexico to focus on his writing, Booker reflected on the racial tensions in America as an outsider. With its strong vocal and harmonic clapping, the song questions Booker’s own experiences with racism in America, as well as the roles everyone on the outside plays. This song presents a powerful message.
Tinashe, “Flame” — Although there is no release date for her upcoming sophomore album, Joyride, this song will create excitement. Just as the title elicits, it’s passionate and heated. Unlike her first album, Aquarius, Tinashe plays with more pop beats rather than the R&B tunes she is known for. On the classic pop single, Tinashe belts the hypnotic lyrics over strong, synchronized beats. The song shows the excitement, struggles and confusion of relationships.
Lydia Ainsworth, “Into the Blue” — This song is right up my alley. The haunting, mystical vocals mesh effortlessly with the synthy, eccentric sounds. “Into the Blue” is the first single to be released off Ainsworth’s upcoming sophomore album, Darling of the Afterglow. The Toronto musician describes the track as reaching into the depths of one’s emotional state in order to achieve complete purification. The chorus sheds perfect light on this idea as Lydia belts the lyrics, “Drifting down below/ There’s a place in my mind that I go/ Where I feel renewed.” This song embodies the idea of fresh start.
Physical, “Islands” — This song is the perfect start to summer. The New Zealand duo has a sound similar to that of the XX, a voice of deep longing infused with tropical beats. Although a release date for the album has not been announced, I can’t wait to hear the other seven songs on the upcoming, Ride It Out.
RUBY’S PICK: Lydia Ainsworth hands down! The song is three and a half minutes of pure catharsis. Ainsworth’s vocals are enchanting while the accompanying synthetic beats and instrumentation make for a mesmerizing sound.
Follow columnist Ruby Virchow at Twitter.com/RubyVirchow.