Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – July 9

Ralph, Alessandro Cortini, Au/Ra, Alexander 23, Yuna, Ash Walker

Clockwise from top left: Ralph, Alessandro Cortini, Au/Ra, Alexander 23, Yuna and Ash Walker.

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.


Yuna featuring Little Simz, “Pink Youth” — On the verge of releasing Rouge, Yuna has dropped her third single from the highly anticipated album. “Pink Youth” celebrates girl power in its many forms, calling for “more lipstick” and “more knowledge” in its opening lines. By embracing all things empowered, the song encourages girls to believe in their own agency to accomplish their goals. Against a futuristic soundscape, Yuna’s soaring vocals and Little Simz’s effortless flow drive the song with a triumphant rush. You can catch the duo in action in the single’s video—which features an animated Yuna and Little Simz taking the world by storm. 


Au/Ra, “Dance In The Dark” — Sometimes, the only way out is to go through, and alt-pop artist Au/Ra comes to terms with that on “Dance In The Dark.” The new single gives a glimpse of life’s many inevitable dark times. It immerses itself in shadowy elements, from sinister synths to whispered vocals, as the singer faces inner demons by embracing them. Its upbeat pulse speaks to the message that life’s highs cannot exist without the lows, but the song manages to find the harmony in it all. 


RALPH, “Gravity” — Toronto pop artist RALPH defies more than one natural phenomenon on “Gravity,” her first single of 2019. As it flaunts an otherworldly disco beat, the music video captures the song’s iridescent energy in two-dimensional form. It pays homage to ‘90s house music and visual aesthetics alike, but RALPH’s ethereal vocals add a unique flair that perfectly pulls together her cloud nine point of view. 


Alessandro Cortini, “Amore Amaro” — It might be a coincidence that the cover art for Alessandro Cortini’s forthcoming album recalls surrealist painter René Magritte’s The Lovers, but the musician seems to take equal pleasure in bringing out the strange via his latest single. “Amore Amaro” is built on minimal sounds, but Cortini stretches them into veils of dissonance and fuzz. Calm in nature, his exploration of electronic instrumentation is soothing yet invigorating as it deviates from a typical melodic structure. 


Ash Walker featuring Laville, “Finishing Touch” — Like a kaleidoscope to color, so is London multi-instrumentalist Ash Walker to sound. Both turn their information into splendor. Put these elements together in a music video, and everything becomes a vivid multi-sensory experience. On “Finishing Touch,” Walker combines the most sublime tones of jazz and trip-hop and marries them with silky croons by Laville. Its video, emulating the look of Kodak Aerochrome film, brings his phantasmic sound to a life of rich color.  


Alexander 23, “Mars” — When a relationship wasn’t written in the stars for Alexander 23, he looks to “Mars” on his latest release. The emerging pop artist gives a lighthearted take on the weight of not feeling like enough for another person. Buoyant synths open up the track, followed by Alexander 23’s soft and sincere vocal delivery. Meanwhile, the video finds the artist living out the star-crossed romance with a cast of balloon characters. Mixing introspection and a dash of humor, “Mars” brings out a refreshing sense of comfort—the same kind you would get after opening up to a friend.


Chloe’s Pick: I appreciate when songs convey a lot without saying too much, and Alessandro Cortini’s instrumental track “Amore Amaro” achieves this. The slow sonic build-up never really comes together in a full circle, but it’s that constant push and pull of sounds that make the song so intriguing. As a listener, you come to find your own resolution in the song’s enigmatic and perplexing nature.

Follow editor Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe and Twitter.com/riannachloe.

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