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

Eivør, The Band CAMINO, l'imperatrice, DEVORA, Mark Erelli, Fleece

Clockwise from top left: Eivør, The Band CAMINO, l’imperatrice, DEVORA, Mark Erelli and Fleece.

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

We are now into winter and darkness is upon us way too early. Mid-afternoon feels like late evening, yet it’s warm and no one knows what season we’re actually in. Welcome to the new new. We’re still stuck at home. Cities are back to lockdown, again, and COVID is here to stay, until that vaccine arrives. Saturday feels like Tuesday and Netflix’s well of passive entertainment seems all but dry. We’re all over “social distancing,” so it’s time for new music to ease the nerves.

Somehow, it feels like there’s less time in the day. Who really has the time to figure out which new tracks are worth a listen? RIFF still does! We’re happy to bring you the latest, greatest new songs in this weekly segment.


Devora, “Not Dead Yet” — Devora’s “Not Dead Yet” opens with shredding leads and a sick riff. Her sultry vocals draw you in, but those driving guitars really make the song. The chorus is fast and nonstop, made to really stick with you. The song packs a punch as Devora sings, “I’m living in a ghost town/ And I’m doing things my way.” Raised in Arizona, Devora coined the term “outlaw pop” for her music, a perfect description of this song’s pure, rockin’ energy.


Fleece, “Upside Down” — This tune invokes pure happiness. Montreal quartet Fleece, fronted by Matt Rogers, comes through with a groovy song that embraces what love is all about. The song has a lounge-y, casual sound with Motown vibes and psychedelic sheen. The animated video captures the band’s likeness in a cute, whimsical vibe. It starts with a mushroom forming a heart. The lyrics capture the sentiment of love deeply, and could be the perfect psych-pop anthem for the LGBTQIA+ community as Rogers sings, “And I’m sorry if you feel weird now/ While you’re looking into my smile/ If two men just ain’t right/ Then I’m living in a world that’s upside down.” Fleece nailed it.


Eivør featuring Ásgeir, “Only Love” — “Only Love” is a hauntingly beautiful song, evoking sadness and longing amid the electronic production. Eivør is an electronic artist from the Faroe Islands—east of Norway, northwest of Great Britain and south of Iceland in the Norwegian sea. The land technically belongs to Denmark. It’s easy to feel the isolation, beauty and sparseness of the artist’s home in this song. Her harmonies with Ásgeir remain captivating. Eivør achieves a similar vocal effect to Kate Bush, and her vocals will stay with you long after “Only Love” ends.


Mark Erelli, “Not Quite Christmas” — I immediately thought I was in the midst of a combination of a Pixar film and A Charlie Brown Christmas while watching this video. Singer-songwriter Mark Erelli’s singing is reminiscent of Randy Newman, adding powerful melancholy and sadness to this song. As I light the menorah alone this Hanukkah, “Not Quite Christmas” feels even more touching as Erelli sings, “It’s not quite Christmas/ Without you here.” It feels like the snow should be falling on the West Coast, as the bells join in with the piano, evoking memories of many a white Christmas. It’s the most perfectly written song for this unorthodox holiday season.


The Band CAMINO, “Roses” — This infectious pop-punk jam by Tennessee trio The Band Camino is simply impossible to hate. “Roses” is a bubblegum pop gem that bounds with fun, bringing lightness to a world that presently needs it so much. The sweet harmonies on the verses turn into a soaring chorus: “It’s too bad/ When did it get cool to be so sad?/ We’re spinnin’ backwards/ Did we all go mad?/ Yeah, we’re only human but we’ve got hands and hearts and noses.” The drumming punches through the driving keys, kicking the vibe into high gear. Seriously, that hook will have you bouncing around and singing along in no time.


L’Impératrice, “Anomalie Bleue” — Welcome to this week’s dose of new wave electro-pop disco awesomeness. Shimmering keyboards fill the air as excitement and intensity build in a creeping crescendo, leading to a smooth jazz beat that’s perfect for Flore Benguigui’s sexy, sensual vocals. It’s so ridiculously cool and Parisian. As the band snaps in unison at the 3:20-mark, the song takes on a darker undertone. At nearly five minutes long, it provides an escape into a new, yet retro reality.


Rachel’s Pick: From the opening jazzy voicings to that feeling of old-school Motown, Fleece had me on-board. From Matt Rogers’ melodic vocalizations to the first line, “Sexy man on a sidewalk,” his voice is simply enthralling. “Upside Down” is a song I can’t get out of my head. Rogers’ higher register is as impressive as his harmonizing with the rest of the band. Add in some stirring trumpets, and the song becomes a great breath of fresh air. It’s the perfect feel-good jam to combat troubling times, complete with visuals that could not be more fitting for the audio.

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

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