Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Dec. 17

Yumi Zouma, Eyelids, Whyte Horses, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Thor Harris, Xiu Xiu, HEALTH, Swamp Dogg.

Clockwise from top left: Yumi Zouma, Eyelids, Whyte Horses, Wrekmeister Harmonies featuring Thor Harris and Xiu Xiu, HEALTH and Swamp Dogg.

Every week, there’s more new music waiting to be discovered.

No one really has enough time to watch that indie channel on TV that just happens to be playing a lot of great new artists. Aside from all the cool playlists on Spotify, and scouring KEXP or Sub Pop’s single of the day, it’s often all too consuming to figure out what artists to check out. Seriously, who really has the time to sort through all that? RIFF does!

We’re happy to bring you the latest, greatest new songs in this weekly segment. Enjoy this week’s hidden gems.


HEALTH and Xiu Xiu, “Delicious Ape” — HEALTH dials its noisy, ambient rock to 11. Lush vocals hover over shimmering guitars and harsh noise fires on all cylinders before coming to a peaceful stillness. “Delicious Ape” has a beautiful ebb and flow of experimental ambience. The electronic explorations by Xiu Xiu match perfectly with HEALTH’s droning, scratchy and loud guitars, allowing room for the song to open up and breathe. While brash and in your face, the collaboration still captivates all of your senses at once. As abrasive and droning as the song as is, it’s eerily addicting.


Whyte Horses featuring La Roux, “Mister Natural” — As Whyte Horses give disco the psych-pop treatment, La Roux completes jangly pop song “Mister Natural” with stirring vocals. Her singing has a beautiful blend of hooks and melancholy. Wistful and yearning, the song transports you to a time left behind. The Bee Gees originally released this track in ’74 but this rendition succeeds as more than a simple cover. It’s a part of Manchester band Whyte Horses’ latest collaborative album, Hard Times—which features covers of many obscure songs from the ’70s psych-rock lexicon. If “Mister Natural” is a representative taste of album, the rest of the treasure trove is sure to be a worthwhile listen.


Eyelids, “Found at The Scene of a Rendezvous That Failed” — Portland’s Eyelids are comprised of indie stalwarts who once played with the likes of The Decemberists, Guided By Voices, Stephen Malkmus and even Elliott Smith. This track was written by Larry Beckett and Tim Buckley in the ’60s, but was never released. From the opening notes it emotes like a vibrant symphony. The song’s hints of R.E.M. shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering the input of that band’s bassist, Peter Buck. The electric guitars heighten the wall of the dreamy rock song. Eyelids’ new album, Accidental Falls, comes out next Valentine’s Day and is sure to bring beautiful new music into your home.


Wrekmeister Harmonies, “Coyotes of Central Park” — “Coyotes of Central Park” is brooding, anxious, atmospheric and droning darkness from one of avant-metal’s true legends. Gloomy, gravely vocals by J.R. Robinson guide the song along its moody, dark guitars and eerie ambiance. From shimmering percussion by former Swans drummer Thor Harris, a lightness slowly emerges from the immersive, gradually building electronics by Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart (making a double appearance in one week). The song is texturally deep, with a heaviness that stays with you far after the song runs its forlorn course.


Yumi Zouma, “Right Track / Wrong Man” — Originally formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma succeeds in assuaging synth-pop deliciousness. This three-minute banger’s bright, romantic disco backdrop moves at a steady, unwavering pace. The vocals by Josh Burgess and Christy Simpson beautifully converge in a sweet chorus. “Right Track / Wrong Man” might be on the short side, but it’s still easy to lose yourself in the melody.


Swamp Dogg, “Sleeping Without You Is A Dragg” — After 2018’s Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune, this album hints at a more familiar Swamp Dogg. The time-tested legend of soul music has his signature sound in tow, but this time with a more noticeable country twang. It’s a style he never had the opportunity to delve into professionally during his early career, partly due to the scene’s racial prejudices when he was coming up during the ’70s. His voice carries the weight of a storied past, while his music has the perfect balance of old-world charm and contemporary production—curtesy of Poliça’s Ryan Olson.


Rachel’s Pick: Eyelids is a band I feel like I should have known about before now. From the opening guitar tones of “Found at The Scene of a Rendezvous That Failed,” I was immediately drawn in. The artwork of the video is an additional benefit, as it evokes the song’s lyrics. This song is nothing short of poetry in motion, and I delve deeper into it on each listen. Long after the song has finished, the vibe “Found at The Scene…” creates still lingers in my head.

Follow writer Rachel Goodman at Twitter.com/xneverwherex and Instagram.com/xneverwherex.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *