Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 24

Alexander 23, Vistas, lilspirit, Mikhala Jené, Alec Wigdahl, Nilo Blues, Mikhala Jene

Clockwise from top left: Alexander 23, Vistas, lilspirit, Mikhala Jené, Alec Wigdahl and Nilo Blues.

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.


Vistas, “15 Years” — Scotland trio Vistas comes in hot with its latest single, “15 Years,” from the band’s upcoming debut album, Everything Changes In The End. The song expands the band’s style, combining its established indie pop sound with a new penchant for spunky rock and roll. As a song, “15 Years” generates a sunny vibe for these recent overcast days with uptempo drumming and guitar playing, charged with energetic singing. The song centers on everlasting relationships—romantic or platonic—and interpersonal connections that last between two people.


Alexander 23, “Loving You Gets Hard” — In his third appearance in Tuesday Tracks, singer-songwriter Alexander 23 maintains as much normalcy as possible in times of uncertainty on“Loving You Gets Hard.”His words hits hard, showing how easy it is to be there for the people during the good, but also how much more it matters during the turbulent. The video creates a point of view where the you, the viewer, follows Alexander 23 around on a hill. Toward the end, he presents himself at his most vulnerable—dancing on his own and vibing to his music. The infectious beat changes ever so slightly as the song progresses, in tandem with Alexander 23’s unique voice, creating an experience to repeat for hours on end.


lilspirit, “droptopbitch” — Bay Area native lilspirit’s ’90s-inspired video for “droptopbitch,” spotlights his soulful vocals and sense of melody. His lyrics speak on wanting affection from the girl he likes—if only she were ready for that kind of commitment. He does all these elaborate things for her, but she still doesn’t reciprocate. The video follows his internal struggle with her mixed signals, and her continual instance that she isn’t ready for an exclusive relationship.


Nilo Blues, “Akira Harakiri” — Nilo Blues brings a new facet to the Toronto trap scene with “Akira Harakiri.” The Akira anime universe became the inspiration for the persona he took on when recording the song. “Akira Harakiri” fills the hard-hitting trap beats with vocal performances that capture the essence of some of Nilo Blues’ favorite cartoon and anime shows he watched as a child. The results have a nostalgic undercurrent, used more as a springboard into a distinct sound within trap.


Alec Wigdahl, “Cologne” — With “Cologne,” Alec Wigdahl takes a step away from the stripped-down sound of his debut EP, Strawberry, in favor of a more beat-driven pop sound. Wigdahl maintains his raw emotion, putting the listener in his shoes as he describes his efforts to prove that he’s over a girl to a new flame. At his wit’s end, he tries to internalize his emotional progression. But toward the end, he takes a step back and realizes he’ll never fully get over her, after all. It’s the ultimate ode to the one who got away, held together with an airtight indie pop groove.


Mikhala Jené, “Lyin 2 My Friends” — Mikhala Jené teamed up with Escape Tracks to produce this live version of “Lyin 2 My Friends.” Stripping down the song’s arrangement, her emotive vocal performance fills the sonic space. Mikhala Jené’s powerful voice and timbre is a gift that keeps on giving, even with just one acoustic guitar for accompaniment. She sings about seeing her ex in public, and trying to prevent the people around her finding out about their past relationship. It’s an especially relatable situation—reconvening with a bad decision and worrying about your friends’ reactions, should they make the connection.


Aarushi’s Pick: My favorite song from this week, far and away, is “Cologne.” Wigdahl’s depressive themes remain in such stark contrast to the instrumentation that I almost get a sense of whiplash. It’s energized sound drives raw emotion in a way that songs with sadder arrangements can’t touch. He does a great job of placing me in the midst of his struggle to show that he’s over an ex even though he clearly isn’t. The complex contrast between themes and instrumentation give it incredible replay value, allowing opportunities to focus on different parts of the song. The production, coupled with the juxtaposed lyrics and beat, deepens its appeal.

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

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