Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Aug. 6

Microwave band, Elbow, Angela Perley, Richard Dawson, The New Pornographers, Elvis Depressedly

Clockwise from top left: Microwave, Elbow, Angela Perley, Richard Dawson, The New Pornographers and Elvis Depressedly.

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.


The New Pornographers, “Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile” — At the very least, you have to appreciate the weird sense of humor that led to this song title. It’s oddly reminiscent of how love can feel in its most unpredictable, chaotic form. The song itself features an addictive bass line and some crunchy chords under simple but sweet vocal harmonies. It’s very much in line with Thew Pornographer’s power pop style, but the band’s self-aware wittiness is really what sells this track.


Elvis Depressedly, “Jane, Don’t You Know Me?” — If Mathew Lee Cothran’s artist name wasn’t a big enough hint, his brand of lo-fi pop isn’t out to uplift anyone. To be sure, the song has its share of memorable parts like the melodic bass, silky synths and vocoder-laden singing. Within its limited sonics, the song has an impressively dynamic progression, carrying Cothran’s themes of cherished history and a begotten past. As wistful as it is catchy, this song captures the bittersweet remembrance of good times long gone.


Richard Dawson, “Jogging” — They say jogging can help with anxiety, but it might take a bit more than a morning pick-me-up to tackle the state of England. Luckily, Richard Dawson also has a sludgy guitar tone and some catchy melodies on his side. What results is a solid, riff-happy alt-rock tune with some impossibly relatable lyrics. He’s essentially singing a monologue about his decision to make small, personal decisions to combat the degradation of his city. Bright, yet distorted chord progressions and explosive drumming are exactly what he needs to carry his narrative as he uses dark humor to weave a tale of hope.


Microwave, “DIAWB” — The Atlanta punk band is no stranger to combining aggression and hooks, but this latest cut pushes that dichotomy to the limit. With downright gross time-lapse visual accompaniment of decomposing animals, the visceral angst of this song is palpable. Much like the most recent Frank Iero album, the genuine pain and anger Microwave expresses does not come at the expense of catchy hooks. Every instrument translates with overbearing loudness. Even though the harsh screams sit back in the mix, the singing itself feels volume-clipped. Microwave is the kind of band that could get emo revivalists singing a long and hardcore kids moshing.


Elbow, “Dexter & Sinister” — When an experienced band like Elbow pulls of a live take, the recorded chemistry is evident. The bluesy riffs and gritty vocals of “Dexter & Sinister” become the perfect foil for its syncopated groove and artful embellishments. The song goes from dismal and dark to sweeping and celestial with its change for a swaying waltz-like beat. The change is so seamless, that you might not realize what’s happening until Jesca Hoop’s illustrious voice carries you into the heavens. From a purely musical stand point, this song absolutely kills in the art-rock department. What’s even better is it’s tied together by a compelling narrative of existential reconciliation.


Angela Perley, “Let Go” — Taking cues from pretty much everything good about rock and roll, Angela Perley’s sound is too infectious to ignore. One one hand, “Let Go” feels like it could have come from a garage in Columbus, Ohio. On the other, its riffs could fill the largest stadiums. She also knows how to use psychedelia correctly, more as an aesthetic undercurrent than a crutch for disorganized arrangements. Her irreverent yet charming lyrics evoke a feeling of piece while moving on from one’s past.


Max’s Pick: This week was filled with compelling narratives and arrangements, but that switch-up toward the end of “Dexter & Sinister is simply genius. It’s even more awesome knowing that it came organically from a live recording—but then again, how else could you pull something like that off? The musicianship goes hand in hand with the lofty lyrics, providing an engrossing story of disillusionment and redemption.

Follow editor Max Heilman at Twitter.com/madmaxx1995 and Instagram.com/maxlikessound.

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