Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – July 21

Devon Gilfillian, Pink Sweat$, Nubya Garcia, Crown Lands, Kara Marni, Gracie Abrams

Clockwise from top left: Devon Gilfillian, Pink Sweat$, Nubya Garcia, Crown Lands, Kara Marni and Gracie Abrams.

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.


Crown Lands, “End Of The Road” — Crown Lands have a sound to be reckoned with. Fierce guitar playing, exhilarating vocals and sharp, supersonic drumming are the signature fortes that make “End Of The Road” so compelling. But here, these two Canadian rockers use their dynamic nature to amplify other voices. “End Of The Road” calls attention to the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Indigenous womxn, girls and two-spirits in Canada. The song’s intense riffs spotlight an ongoing national crisis that needs more awareness. The music video opens with Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq contextualizing the issue at hand, and features poignant choreography by Mi’kmaq artist Teineisha Richards.


Devon Gilfillian, “The Good Life” — Devon Gilfillian’s message is simple: “All the colors show us what it really means to be beautiful.” “The Good Life” celebrates the beauty of different cultures and beliefs coexisting together. He calls for others to catch on and embrace diversity. The lyric video reiterates this theme, which remains more relevant now than ever. Collage art accompanies the singer-songwriter’s sweet vocals and breezy melodies, made from images Gilfillian took at recent Black Lives Matter protests in Nashville. By combining different mediums, Gilfillian creates a powerful piece of protest art—its message loud and clear.


Gracie Abrams, “Friend” — Minor details aren’t typically the most telling, but for Gracie Abrams, every obscure moment and subtle inflection carries weight. These subtle cues set the poignant mood in the singer-songwriter’s debut project, minor. The seven-song EP finds Abrams lingering on old connections. Her vocals swell with heartache and nostalgia, as soft synth-pop melodies cushion the impact. Abrams carries out this tender tone naturally and emotively. With the release of minor, Abrams dropped a DIY video for “Friend,” in which she goes on a cathartic drive through Los Angeles. 


Kara Marni featuring Russ, “Young Heart” — Kara Marni’s “Young Heart” finds the British R&B artist caught between her head and heart. The lyrics follow a tumultuous love that leaves her questioning and blaming herself for her heartache. Despite emotions running high, Marni finds a silver lining: “You gotta trip up ‘cause you’ll never learn/ Just try to step it back when it all gets too much.” Russ joins in, transforming the song into a conversation between two lovers trying to work things out. Though the love they sing about isn’t easy, the collaboration between Marni and Russ came together effortlessly, combining their own styles of R&B and rap for a clear-cut banger.


Nubya Garcia, “Source” — A feeling of bliss is personified in “Source,” the title track to Nubya Garcia’s upcoming debut LP. Garcia’s saxophone solos just glow with a warm, soulful tone that’s easy to soak in. Enveloped by vibrant contributions from trumpeter Ms MAURICE, saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi and trombonist Richie Seivwright, the song finds a sweet spot between undeniable energy and soothing grooves. Along with its stunning title track, the album SOURCE juggles genres ranging from jazz to dubstep. Garcia’s unique compositional approach and technical chops shine through in this unique sonic environment.


Pink Sweat$, “Icy” — Feel-good vibes abound in Pink Sweat$’s “Icy.” The bass is thick and punchy, the hook is irresistible and Pink Sweat$ speaks for himself: “I’m just too cold, icy from my head to toe.” A single this fun deserves a video of equal energy. Look no further than the thumbnail to know the Philadelphia R&B artist came through on the visuals. Pink Sweat$ released “Icy” with THE PRELUDE, an EP to precede his debut full-length album, PINK PLANET. The six-song EP already shows Pink Sweat$’s creative range, from the lighthearted tones of this single to the more austere “Not Alright,” which discusses the artist’s experience as a Black person in America.


Chloe’s Pick: Two of this week’s songs particularly moved me. Both Crown Lands and Devon Gilfillian stunned with their use of visuals to elevate their songwriting and their music’s meaning. It’s great that Crown Lands brings attention to the ongoing injustices within Canadian Indigenous communities through not only their voices, but the full artistic spectrum provided by Tagaq and Richards. I also loved how Gilfillian took his own images from Black Lives Matter protests and turned them into collage art to use as the backdrop of his anthem. 

Follow editor Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe.

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