Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Nov. 12

Matt Sharp and the Rentals, French 79, Spinning Coin, Tennis band, Jehnny Beth, Beach Slang.

Clockwise from top left: Matt Sharp and the Rentals, French 79, Spinning Coin, Tennis, Jehnny Beth and Beach Slang.

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 the KEXP or Subpop’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.


Jehnny Beth, “I’m The Man” — From the opening notes of Jehnny Beth’s “I’m The Man, ” the song grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go. The hard-hitting guitars have a raw industrial flavor, firing on all cylinders as Jehnny Beth snarls “I’m the man/ The clever man/ Oh I’m a man/ I’m on TV.” The song shows a front of anger, evil and frustration, but takes a much-needed breather during a softer midsection. Still, it goes right back for the jugular at the end. The frontwoman Savages (who are currently on hiatus), is clearly at her best showing the destructiveness of humankind. As Beth has said of the song: “Its aim is to make you feel, not think.”


Beach Slang, “Tommy in the 80s” — If you think you’re hearing the Replacements, you’re not too far off. The crunchy bass riff of this fist-pumping jam comes from the Replacements’ bassist Tommy Stinson. Frontman James Alex powers through the song as he sings, “Saturday night/ Tommy’s on the radio coming to life.” The power-chord jam adds some churning, heavy, loud and dirty guitars against blasting horns. The song is brash, catchy, in-your-face and begs for repetition. This is one hell of a tribute to Tommy Keene, a power-pop guitar hero from Washington, D.C.

“I took the ‘Saturday night’ bit from ‘Nothing Can Change You,'” Alex said of the song. “I took the title from ‘Warren In The ’60s.’ I took the horn part from ‘Deep Six Saturday‘ and the thump from ‘Turning On Blue.'”


Matt Sharp and The Rentals, “Spaceship” — From the pulsating guitars and thumping drums at its beginning, this track’s feeling of crazy disconnectedness takes center stage. And yet, the song somehow works. It revels in a stream-of-conscious feel. The keys are spacey yet driving, with a contagious chorus as Sharp sings, “Spaceships gonna take away our heartache/ Spaceships gonna take away our pain.” Sharp worked with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRECord community to put the song together.


Spinning Coin, “Feel You More Than The World Right Now” — This song is sunny and warm goodness. Warbling vocals crackle over jangly indie pop guitars and a very catchy chorus. The vocals come together on a sugary-sweet harmony. It’s bouncy, fun, breezy and light fun. At two-and-a-half minutes, the song seemingly ends before it really begins. If you’re a fan of indie pop from Glasgow, be sure to check this group out. Somewhere between the jangle pop of Belle & Sebastian and the vocals of Kevin Barnes (of Montreal) or Zach Condon (Beirut), you have Spinning Coin.


Tennis, “Runner” — Nearly three years after its last release, Denver’s indie pop duo Tennis is back. The husband and wife team of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have announced that their fifth studio album, SWIMMER, will drop on Valentine’s Day. Striking a balance between ’70s yacht rock and sultry dream-pop, Moore’s vocals have never sounded better on “Runner.” Groovy synths, an understated guitar riff and Moore’s beautiful high-pitched vocals give “Runner” a Kate Bush feel.

“Every little bead of sweat/ Feel it running down my neck/ When you look at me like that/ Feeling like we can’t go back,” Moore sings. And you get lost in the song. It feels as though you’re there with her. Valentine’s Day can’t come soon enough.


French 79, “Code Zero” — This song is an aural odyssey. It builds from quiet keyboard patches, as the masterful video shows the making of this intimate, intricate electronic wonder. Simon Henner, who goes by French 79, continues to add more layers as he goes along. And soon you’re feeling the tune’s explosion inside of yourself before it plays out on your headphones. Nine seconds later, the payoff comes through a solid beat drop and synths coming in hard. Henner’s music has been featured on a lot of TV shows and movies, and it’s truly made for the films of sci-fi exploration. “Code Zero” seems to fit right into a world such as “Blade Runner” through its moody atmospherics.


Rachel’s Pick: French 79’s “Code Zero” is a beautiful song that drew me in during the very first listen. It immediately sweeps you into a cinematic experience. It’s otherworldly and spacious, and takes you out of your element. There is something to be said about the power of music that can effect listeners in that way. That massive beat drop feels like a weight has been lifted. It’s simply gorgeous!

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

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