Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – May 12

Kandle, Gleemer, Donna Missal, Charlie Peacock, Josie Dunne, JR JR

Clockwise from top left: Kandle, Gleemer, Donna Missal, Charlie Peacock, Josie Dunne and JR JR.

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.


Charlie Peacock, “Whole Lot Different Whole Lot The Same” — This week’s selections are more or less linked by a common thread of seeing things in a new light. Some convey it in the lyrics, Charlie Peacock saw fit to put a new spin on his classic ’80s cult classic “Whole Lot Different Whole Lot The Same.” This version maintains a combination of soft rock and fusion jazz. It’s a serene backdrop for the song’s spiritual, self-realizing themes. Three decades and a new verse later, the tune reconciles with its past life. The Yuba City singer-songwriter-producer is joined virtually by musicians who played in his band back in the day—including bassist Eric Heilman, the father of RIFF editor Max Heilman—adding harmonies and graceful arrangements that bring a new sense of unity to the song. 


Donna Missal, “Hurt By You” — Next up in releasing new renditions is Donna Missal, who reimagines “Hurt By You,” the lead single from her sophomore album, due later this year. Originally fast-paced and propelled by fiery drum and guitar licks, this version of “Hurt By You” instead has the singer-songwriter’s emotive vocals take the lead. Over soft piano notes, Missal croons tenderly about a love turned sour. Missal’s vibrato strengthens her lingering notes, bringing out the song’s most vulnerable sentiments. While the original studio version marks a period of transformation with an invigorating zest, the stripped-down edition festers in its own feelings.  


Gleemer, “Brush Back” — Fort Collins trio Gleemer recently dropped a new full-length album, Down Through. As a whole, the release leans into dark and challenging periods. Gleemer treats such trial not only as a means of self-reflection, but also an opportunity for solidarity and silver linings. Accomplishing that straight away is opening track “Brush Back.” Over lush, swirling guitars, Gleemer brings a warm atmosphere to emotional adversity. Flashes of golden hour, silhouettes and butterflies fill the music video. Its imagery aligns with the song’s enigmatic, fragmented lyrics, as if recollecting only glimpses of a certain memory or feeling.  


Josie Dunne, “Lost” — Growing up is hard, as Josie Dunne’s “Lost” states as a matter of fact. Singing, “Feel small when I wear big clothes/ Feel old on my birthday/ Feel like if I use big words, then you won’t think I feel that way,” Dunne makes it clear that coming of age is a work in progress. At the same time, her soulful vocals and simple, sweet guitar melodies provide a gentle reminder to take changes with grace. The last line in the chorus says it all: “Loud and free at 23, but I’m la-la-la-la-lost.” 


JR JR, “Good Old Days” — Detroit duo JR JR just dropped a new EP, August and Everything Prior, and its lead single, “Good Old Days,” overflows with good energy. At first listen, the synthpop banger might sound like a cry for the past, especially with the hook, “Heard you say/ What happened to the good old days?” But in turn, the conclusion of the chorus gives a warm welcome to future generations as it looks forward to better days ahead: “They’re long gone/ We’re gonna break the mold/ Rewrite the code.” While its buoyant beats and anthemic vocals become undeniable mood boosters, the internet culture references (e.g. “I can’t even”) are a cherry on top. 


Kandle, “Little Bad Things” — They say bad things come in threes, but sometimes, they can feel like a never-ending series. That’s the situation presented in Kandle’s “Little Bad Things.” But despite small mistakes, panic attacks and painting “a picture so ugly it broke the frame,” the British Columbia singer-songwriter pushes herself to find resilience through each unfortunate occurrence. With an energy reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra, Kandle moves through the song with a featherlike, yet fierce timbre. From her vocals to the way each verse resolves with a minor note over a major one, every detail of the song reinforces Kandle as a force to be reckoned with. 


Chloe’s Pick: Gleemer’s guitar tones stuck out to me right away, but the rest of “Brush Back” built up beautifully, too. Even with minimal lyrics, the band conveys such intense feelings with just the pacing of the melody. The single makes me nostalgic for times I’m not not sure I’ve experienced—and I’m all for it.

Follow editor Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe.

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