Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – May 5

Maceo Parker, Video Age, Maddie Jay, Geographer, BANNERS, Remo Drive,

Clockwise from top left: Maddie Jay, BANNERS, Remo Drive, Geographer, Video Age and Maceo Parker.

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.


Banners, “Always Yours” — There’s something truly evocative about Banners’ clear voice and simple yet solid guitar, with subdued synthesizer additions. Maybe that’s why Liverpool musician Michael Joseph Nelson made such a splash when his song “Got It In You” was featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2019. The video for his new single presents a striking compilation of stylized city streets, airplanes and birds in tandem with his spirited performance.


Maddie Jay, “Shakes” — Though she’s foremost a bassist, Maddie Jay is set to prove her worth as a singer and writer with her first album. The Canadian native moved to Los Angeles to play bass, then discovered how much she liked creating her own material. She says this first single was written after she binge-watched all 10 seasons of “Friends.” The instrumentation itself evokes that era. It’s a bit of a trip down memory lane—and a a catchy one, at that.


Video Age, “Shadow on the Wall” — For some funky pop that will make you dance, Video Age’s new single more than delivers. The group is almost a boy band, but in a category to call its own. The repetitive riffs quickly become an earworm, recalling vintage funkadelia both in aesthetic and instrumentation.


Remo Drive, “Star Worship” — If you’re two musical brothers quarantined at home, what do you do? If you’re Remo Drive, you dance your way through the creation of a new video in your parents’ garage. The brothers mixed and produced their new album themselves, and the first single features a strong vocal performance and energetic guitars. It’s a good indication for a solid upcoming album.


Geographer, “Slave to the Rhythm” — Synthesizers can be overdone, but Geographer finds that fine line and stays inside on top of it on this new single. Mike Deni’s vocal control is admirable, letting himself soar over the instrumentation. The San Francisco native formed this project in 2007. Though he now resides in Los Angeles, his local mark remains potent. He’s played at Outside Lands, along with numerous other festivals across the country.


Maceo Parker, “Cross the Track” — Now for a jazzy change of pace from an artist who has played with the likes of James Brown and Prince. Maceo Parker’s first studio album in eight years comes out in June, and the first single gives funk music the big band jazz treatment. The catchy saxophone lines and upbeat drumming are a great way to get a taste of New Orleans tradition within any four walls.


Layla’s Pick: Of this week’s songs, BANNERS has me hitting the repeat button the most. In this time of sheltering, the lyrics are strike a chord: “You just have to remember/ That the dark won’t last forever.” Honorable mention goes to Remo Drive, another relevant banger for this turbulent time.

Follow writer Layla Bohm at Twitter.com/laylabohm.

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