Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Oct. 29

San Cisco, Ben Watt, Morning Midnight, COMA, Brian Dunne, Cailin Russo

Clockwise from top left: San Cisco, Ben Watt, Morning Midnight, COMA, Brian Dunne and Cailin Russo.

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.


Cailin Russo, “Declaration” — This San Diego singer-songwriter wrote this song as a statement on where she has come from and where she intends to go. And if her Lollapalooza appearance this summer was any indication, Cailin Russo is determined to go places. This song plays out like a combination between Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and a bit of Lady Gaga’s provocative flair.


Brian Dunne, “Harlem River Drive” — The New York musician says this song took him 29 years to write, though he’s released two previous albums. This single will appear on Brian Dunne’s 2020 album, and will likely make his live set when he goes on tour next year. The song features solid acoustic guitar playing and Dunne’s strong vocal range as he romanticizes the road in New York. For the feline lovers, don’t miss the orange cat that steals the show in the video. Its tail even seems to twitch to the rhythm.


San Cisco, “Skin” — This Australian band has a new album in the works, slated for release next year. If this song is any indication, the album won’t leave your head easily. San Cisco never expected to tour the U.S. when the trio began performing together, but the band has since toured the world, from San Francisco to the U.K. “Skin” remains fairly mellow, using some rousing crescendos to keep its arrangement interesting. The chorus melody will likely get stuck in your head, but you won’t mind at all.


COMA, “Spiracles” — Infectious, immersive synthesizers separate this song from this week’s other entries. COMA puts an electronic spin on a combination on piano, drums and guitars, creating an upbeat pop-rock song with some tasteful crossovers into synth wave and electronic dance music. The duo put some extra emphasis on the visual accompaniment as well, the effects of which make for a video just as fun to watch as the song is to listen to. Think of computerized zombies, but without the gore.


Ben Watt, “Irene” —  After wallowing in despair over family loss and politics, Watt worked on his forthcoming album as deep therapy. This first single is a six-minute modernist ballad, with Watt singing and playing the guitar over experimental synthscapes. It feels like half its runtime, though, with his clear voice carrying the song into the stratosphere. It’s a splendid tone-setter for what is to come with the rest of the album.


Morning Midnight, “You & I” — From the soulful opening line, “Burn bridges like you do so well,” Morning Midnight ensnares the listener. This new Glasgow band holds attention by moving up an octave in the expansive chorus, setting its EP Swimming Lessons up for success. This song features a gentle piano opening, then showcases an impressive singing range, hinting at the vocal diversity at play throughout the album. The band still seems to be in an explorative stage of finding its sound, but the resulting variety within those explorations become a welcome addition.


Layla’s pick: Ben Watt’s soothing voice and intricate instrumentation wins the week. The sincerity in his voice echoes through the room, leaving me wanting nothing more than to hear the rest of the album when it’s released. At first I wasn’t sure about the rhyme of “Hey, Irene/ Where have you been,” but it grew on me after a couple listens. It was so clear that he was singing from his soul.

Follow Layla Bohm at https://twitter.com/laylabohm.

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