Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 3

Riz La Vie, Jaga Jazzist, Marem Ladson, Daniel Avery, Alessandro Cortini, Shred Kelly, Adam Brookes, Dangermaker

Clockwise from top left: Riz La Vie, Jaga Jazzist, Marem Ladson, Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini, Shred Kelly, Adam Brookes of Dangermaker.

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.


Adam Brookes, “Piece of Mind” — With a solid balance of new wave bombast and the intimate tunefulness of bedroom pop, singer-songwriter Adam Brookes, of San Francisco dark pop band Dangermaker, exhibits both an eye for detail and memorability. The song’s aura is surprisingly deep, given synth-pop’s current trend toward minimalism. And yet, the melodies remain concise and cutting. Brookes incorporates electronics with believable musicality, rooted in solid songwriting.


Shred Kelly, “Dead Leaves” — With this buoyant alt-folk jam, Shred Kelly cleverly appraises the tornado of garbage social media has become. You pick up your phone, and when you put it down you might not even realize how much you just processed. The song’s inoffensive, jangly structure puts a more digestible spin on the memetic chaos. Within a jubilant sonic context, Shred Kelly juxtaposes the alternate reality the web provides with real life relationships and experiences.


Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini, “Enter Exit” — What happens when U.K. electronica experimenter Daniel Avery meats Nine Inch Nails’ Alessandro Cortini? Apparently a brain melting sound bath, in line with the Kevin Shields and Brian Eno collaboration. Like a drifting sonic glacier, the song develops slowly, methodically and intentionally. Post-minimalist music comes to mind in that the ideas themselves stop mattering at all. Avery and Cortini carefully layer each innocuous part, until you’re buried in impenetrable bliss.


Marem Ladson, “No Sentir Nada” — This Madrid artist provides a unique combination of contemporary R&B and the folk music of her home, brought together by a surrealist. The clave rhythm at the song’s core switches up what would have worked well as a solid vocal pop song. Ladson’s voice is a testament to the connective power of music, in that her melodies speak to transcendence and self-improvement without the need to comprehend her actual words. With a sharp beat and sincere singing, eyes should be on Madrid’s R&B scene in the coming years.


Jaga Jazzist, “Spiral Era” — If Talk Talk hooked up with David Axelrod in a room full of synths, you wouldn’t be two far off from this slow-burning trip of psychedelic spiritual jazz. Jaga Jazzist has been at at it for four decades, and the experience shows both in chemistry and relatively restraint. Call it an eight-minute vamp. Call it a long-winded crescendo. The fact is, these guys know how to milk a vibe for all of its worth, continually surprising you with what regions they can reach from the most nuanced of beginnings. One moment you’re listening to proto-post-rock, and the next you’re soaring through Pat Metheny levels of granduer.


RIZ LA VIE, “Tesla” — Over a snappy beat, ethereal production, this Lebanese-American artist effectively balances rapping with singing. It’s clear that he uses AutoTune for aesthetic instead of a crutch. His phrasing and hooks exemplify an understanding on what makes a chorus sticky and what makes a flow compelling both rhythmically and melodically. He’s not terribly unfamiliar to anyone with any kind of awareness of the “Auto-Croon” wave that’s currently crashing over hip-hop, but “Tesla” distills the ingredients much more naturally than many of the current chart-toppers and viral sensations.


Max’s Pic: Jaga Jazzist is an example of a veteran band staying on the vanguard of jazz in the strange place the style has come to in recent years. “Spiral Era” may be jazz more in spirit than overt execution, but do labels really matter when beholding such a lush tapestry of electro-acoustic improvisation? The band has earned its place in experimental music, and it’s great to see that its creative well is far from dry.

Follow editor Max Heilman at Twitter.com/madmaxx1995 and Instagram.com/maxlikessound.

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