Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Oct. 15

UMI, BENEE, Kidd Kenn, Winona Oak, Sorcha Richardson, Alexander 23

Clockwise from top left: UMI, BENEE, Kidd Kenn, Winona Oak, Sorcha Richardson and Alexander 23.

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.


BENEE, “Find an Island” — “Find an Island” perfectly illustrates how petty arguments with your friends feel. BENEE puts into words that feeling of wanting to yell, but holding back to avoid saying something that could ruin the friendship. The line “find an island” emphasizes the need for both parties to find some space to be alone for a little while in order to calm down before things get out of hand. The instrumentation is tropical and reggae-esque. The music, lyrics and art elements go hand in hand to build up a feeling of peace after an emotional storm.


Kidd Kenn, “Babysitter” — Kidd Kenn has another certified bop under his belt with “Babysitter.” At just 16 the rapper has already grown accustomed to dropping songs of quality far beyond his age. The confidence he has in his writing is evident on the video, both visually and sonically. Over a piano-heavy beat reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” Kenn’s lyrics abound with clever play on words and references to cultural icons like … Miss Piggy. The ultra-catchy hook is hard to get out of your head, and the bumping beat makes it the perfect party starter.


Alexander 23, “See You Later” — Chicago native Alexander 23’s latest single, “See You Later,” comes ahead of his EP I’m Sorry I Love You. He wrote, produced and played all the instruments on the track, pouring every ounce of himself into the lo-fi indie pop arrangement and the forlorn lyrics. The song centers on a relationship that he remembers as being the right thing at the wrong time. Both he and his ex acknowledge that they will be coming back to each other, but for now, they need to take a break.

“See You Later” sums up those particularly complicated relationships in a more relatable way than what many romantic drama writers portray. Alexander 23’s sweet, melancholy lyrics illustrate that bittersweet feeling of breaking up to make time for individual growth before looking for each other later on.


UMI, “Love Affair” — UMI captures the feeling of being lost in one’s identity with glossy R&B cut “Love Affair.” She strives to balance her worries of cultural identity—whether she’s making the cut as both a Japanese and black woman. In the video, she juxtaposes herself as an animated character and as a three-dimensional one. Her human human skin is, more or less, another layer of clothing that she can take off when she comes home. The result is a really cool mix between fiction and reality, but its divergent visuals are held together by a suave beat and silky singing. UMI effortlessly generates a soothing vibe, easing listeners into her tumultuous headspace.


Sorcha Richardson, “Honey” — Bedroom pop artist Sorcha Richardson’s new single stands out from the rest of her discography. It’s stripped down to just her vocals and a piano. “Honey” is a slower ballad about a new person entering your life unexpectedly. It explores the feeling of being knocked off your feet by a new relationship and trying to orient yourself within all the new experiences. It’s a sneak peek into how she responds to the new people who come into her life.


Winona Oak, “Let Me Know” — Winona Oak finds a new love on “Let Me Know.” The dreamy yet electrifying number captures her slight hesitations, along with her excitement about what’s coming next. The music builds a feeling of anticipation during each chorus and mellows out for the verses—a sonic rollercoaster akin to the feelings expressed in the lyrics. The words and music goes hand-in-hand to create an all-encompassing love song that’ll stay in your head for days.


Aarushi’s Pick: My favorite from this week has to be “Find an Island.” I love that what BENEE sings about differentiates itself from her music. The air of disagreement gives the song a compelling narrative thrust. This gives listeners a vivid glimpse into her how she navigates these rocky seasons with her friends. Add to that a solid instrumental bed of indie pop and reggae, and “Find an Island” becomes a memorable listen.

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

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