Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Dec. 10

Daniella Mason, 羊文学, Hitsujibungaku, Hailey Whitters, Grace Carter, Julia Haltigan, Jon Hopkins, Kelly Lee Owens

Clockwise from top left: Daniella Mason, 羊文学 (Hitsujibungaku), Hailey Whitters, Grace Carter, Julia Haltigan, and Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens.

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.


Grace Carter, “Amensia” — Grace Carter finds forgiveness on her latest single. Her resilience shines through the song’s upbeat hooks and stunning vocals, which float seamlessly from delicate high notes to powerful belts. Against the pop-driven melody, Carter is upfront as she sings about mending her relationship with her father. In a news release, the British singer-songwriter says, “‘Amnesia’ is me accepting the past and the fact [that] everyone makes human mistakes and we’re all growing. It’s about me choosing to move on.” Her emotional delivery makes the cut incredibly gripping. 


Daniella Mason, “Steady” — A smooth synth sequence instantly makes Daniella Mason’s “Steady” soothing to the ears. When her vocals come in, the song truly embodies the very feeling the pop songwriter is singing about. “Like the sun coming back around again,” Mason sings of finding peace in the company of another human being. “Steady” takes the buoyancy of pop music and gives it this cozy warmth, an understated flair that Mason executes naturally. 


Hailey Whitters, “Heartland” — For country singer-songwriter Hailey Whitters, her home is in the “Heartland.” She captures and shares a special kind fondness on this latest track. While warm, playful guitar melodies give the song a rustic tone, Whitters’ vocals sparkle with sweetness and sincerity. The video for “Heartland” cements that cozy feeling even more, featuring home videos surrounding the singer’s hometown. 


Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens, “Luminous Beings” — In a dimension between dream-pop and trance exists this beautiful collaboration between musicians Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens. “Luminous Beings” opens up with an atmospheric twinkle and velvety vocals from Owens. It lingers on an ethereal sound until the melody swells into a kaleidoscopic delirium. The track then pulses, stings and cascades with different synth sounds until it meets with Owens’ vocals once again. The seven-minute piece is a cosmic testament to the duo’s combined forces. 


羊文学 (Hitsujibungaku), “1999,” — Tokyo trio Hitsujibungaku gives Christmas music the shoegaze treatment on “1999.” Textures from frosty vocals to soaring and swirling guitars to ferocious drums come together whimsically. While its layered atmosphere goes perfectly with the winter months, the ethereal feel is timeless and haunting. Hitsujibungaku has managed to craft a track that not only captures that Christmas delight, but also stays true to the heart of the band’s sound. 


Julia Haltigan, “Be With You” — This newest single from singer-songwriter Julia Haltigan is soaked in ‘80s new wave aesthetics. Its synths throb and soar while its riffs recall New Order’s “Age of Consent.” These retro tones carry over into the video, too, through rich neons and muted primary colors. But what makes the track unique to Haltigan is her crooning prowess, which is satiny, spellbinding and mysterious all at once. 


Chloe’s Pick: This week had great releases; it was hard to narrow them down to just one pick.

Hitsujibungaku reminds me of Asobi Seksu’s—a sound I really miss. I also found a lot of comfort in the rest of their material and enjoyed listening closely to their instrumentation. So, those instances made the listening experience especially stand out to me.

Follow editor Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe.

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