Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – June 7

Beth Orton

Beth Orton, courtesy.

This week we traipse between a variety of genres that define the current states of pop. The bright power-pop of Jukebox the Ghost (featuring Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness) and a bluegrass-inspired ditty from Young Guv contrast with a gritty techno-pop dance track by VTSS, a ’60s-inspired soul offering from The Womack Sisters (who come from a very significant pedigree), a power ballad about moving on after a breakup by Niko Rubio and a dreamlike lullaby in homage of Earth by Beth Orton.

Jukebox The Ghost, “Wasted”Think of this as a life anthem. Jukebox the Ghost‘s most recent single, off new album Cheers, features vocals by Andrew McMahon, who perfectly blends in with that of Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel. “Wasted” will leave you reminiscing on the reckless times of youth. The theme seems a fitting description of a youth’s evolution into adulthood. With mentions of the “broke and brave” who’re “up all night and drink all day,” it’s an homage to the process of personal growth amid struggle and balance. It’s about both enjoying the freedoms of adulthood while managing the harsh responsibilities of adulting. Jukebox The Ghost plays August Hall on Oct. 15.


VTSS, “Make You Scream” — VTSS is a producer from Warsaw, Poland. The artist, who’s name is Martyna Maja, wrote a song that fits in at dance clubs around with globe. This high-energy techno-industrial cut has a steady, danceable beat and sound reminiscent of Depeche Mode or Kraftwerk, and an overall vibe that calls to mind the razor-sharp music of Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.

Young Guv, “Cry 2 Sleep” — Bright energy and strings, Air-Supply-like vocals and twangy fretwork bring a tropical vibe to this seemingly joyful track. However, the lyrical themes are in stark contrast to the melody. Young Guv, in his second Tuesday Tracks appearance, sings of how the stress and strain of the world can leave one in a lethargic depressive state. The juxtaposition levels up the song’s potential to convey feelings and brings listeners closer to understanding this period of isolation and desolation peppered by moments of sunny bright happiness.


The Womack Sisters, “Lost for Words” — Strong and soulful voices narrate the passionate pain of managing a relationship with a philanderer. The Womack Sisters bring forth their own style of soul, with a throwback style mirrored in both how they present themselves and how they sound. “Lost for Words” adds a futuristic flair to the familiar ’60s soul sound.

Solid singing from real-life sisters BG, Zeimani and Kucha Womack showcase talent that’s organic and reflective of their legacy—as it happens, they’re the granddaughters of Sam Cooke, daughters of Cecil and Linda Womack (Womack & Womack) and nieces of R&B icon Bobby Womack. The genetic predisposition is displayed in this song; the second single from a debut EP coming on June 17.

Beth Orton, “Weather Alive” — Wandering through the wilderness, drifting in the desert, floating on sound waves—that’s what this song by Beth Orton sounds like. You’ll wash up on the shore of effervescence. Pleasantly downtempo, the melody proceeds on like a march of the sublime. “Almost makes me wanna cry, the world is so beautiful outside” Orton sings, evoking the beauty of nature and our experience of it within our whirling emotions. Light percussion keeps you grounded until the ethereal finale wraps you up in a passionate euphoria of unencumbered sounds.


Niko Rubio, “Over For Real” — Recovering from the pain of heartbreak is the theme of this Niko Rubio breakup song. The emo subject matter could fit  in among the soundtracks to “Dawson’s Creek” or “Beverly Hills 90210.” Niko’s lyrics illustrate her experience of the stages of grief that come with ending a relationship, along with the understanding that once you’ve gotten past the pain of loss, peace, serenity and transformational healing await on the other side. Rubio just played at BottleRock Napa.

Mel’s pick: I enjoyed the industrial techno-pop of VTSS’ track, but the ethereal sounds drew me to Beth Orton’s musical masterpiece. With madness and chaos around us, and inundated with bad news at every turn, we need restorative music like this. It balances the soul. Summer is upon us and Beth Orton reminds us all to get outside and enjoy the wonder and beauty of the world, as well as appreciate our place in it.

Follow Mel Bowman at Twitter.com/melmichel.

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