Tuesday Tracks on a Monday: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – June 1

DUCKWRTH, Jawny, Jackie Hayes, VALE, Fantastic Negrito, Jucee Froot, Sea Girls

Clockwise from top left: DUCKWRTH, Jawny, Jackie Hayes, VALE, Fantastic Negrito, Jucee Froot and Sea Girls.

We’re running this column a day early. It’s not called Monday Tracks. Tomorrow, much of the music industry will take the day off to protest the unlawful murder of George Floyd with “Blackout Tuesday.”

Before we get to the new music, the editors of RIFF Magazine would like to take this opportunity to recognize the unquestionable, unparalleled importance of Black Americans to American music.

Black musicians not just pioneered but invented just about every genre you listen to today. Without Big Mama Thornton there would be no The 1975; without Aretha there would be no Billie Eilish; without Little Richard you probably wouldn’t want to go to concerts at all. The influence isn’t limited to the distant past. Without New Edition setting the mold for the modern boy band in the 1980s we wouldn’t have BTS now.

Without Black artists the world would not have music as we know it, so without Black artists RIFF would not exist. This is the point of “Blackout Tuesday” nationwide: To make people understand that the music industry is based off the work of Black Americans, while Black Americans themselves are still fighting for acceptance.

We stand with our friends and neighbors protesting for not just their right to live without fear but their right to live at all. Thank you for fighting for a better world.

– Daniel J. Willis and Roman Gokhman, managing editor and editor in chief


VALE, “be somebody” — VALE’s debut single stands as a wake-up call for people who feel lost in their own minds. She wants people to remain more true to who they are instead of just going with what society tells them to be. Through her R&B-tinged vocal inflections, she manages to find self-confidence and perseverance in the midst of present difficulties. Powerfully melodic, VALE’s captivating singing is especially impressive for her age—she’s 17. It seems she has nowhere to go but up.


Duckwrth with Alex Mali and Radio Ahlee, “Find A Way” — Duckwrth’s latest song takes a huge step away from his usual hard-hitting soul flavors. He, along with vocal contributions from Alex Mali and Radio Ahlee, released this feel-good pop anthem to reassure people to remain on his path during life’s ups and downs. The song combines warlike percussion, a catchy chorus and pulsing synths for a plethora of sounds that won’t leave your head once they enter.


Jucee Froot, “Eat Itself” — Jucee Froot released a music video for “Eat Itself,” originally a part of the soundtrack for the fourth season of the HBO series “Insecure.” The visuals evoke an 8-bit video game on acid, complete with unique level designs, along with trippy “Pac-Man” simulations and player information screens. The heavy focus on fruit goes with the more innocent meaning of “eat itself,” while maintaining sexual theme of the song. It’s everything  you’d want from an uninhibited pop-trap banger.


Jackie Hayes, “headache” — With this lead single of her upcoming EP, take it, leave it, Jackie Hayes speaks out about the imposed work ethic that leaves people burned out. The refrain “my life’s so repetitive” becomes a critique of nine-to-five careers, when it seems like there’s no end to the monotony. Hayes livens things up with a diverse array of guitar leads and bass lines, in contrast with the somber lyrical themes. This adds to the song’s infectious vibe, making it easy to play for hours on end during a graveyard shift.


JAWNY, “Anything You Want” — Bay Area native JAWNY reveals a new facet of bedroom pop with this single. He stays true to the genre’s essentials with chaotic homemade feel of the video, but also adds a surf-pop aesthetic and a thumping bass line. “Anything You Want” is a new-age love song that explores all the stupid things people do when they’re in love. It’s fresh and upbeat, complete with a high danceability factor that leaves you wanting more.


Sea Girls, “Do You Really Wanna Know?” — The U.K.’s Sea Girls take the audience for a ride with the trippy video for “Do You Really Wanna Know?” It’s the latest single from their upcoming album, Open Up Your Head. The visuals progress from floating heads and mushrooms to flying through outer space, processing insecurities and how people can either hide them or embrace them. The song’s high-intensity indie rock sound comes with a driving four-on-the-floor beat and fiery chord progressions as it addresses deep issues of self-perception.


Fantastic Negrito, “How Long? — Fantastic Negrito challenges those responsible for police brutality with “How Long?” He confronts the aggressors, wanting to know what lead them to commit such senseless violence. Through his passionate voice, unflinching lyrics and explosive blues and soul arrangement, Negrito calls out performative “wokeness.” He proclaims that hashtags won’t fix the problem at its root. “How Long?” is the latest installment of Fantastic Negrito’s examination of the racial and political breakdown America is experiencing. It’s a very important song within the current political climate of protest.


Aarushi’s Pick: My favorite song this week is “Anything You Want.” Its depiction of how a crush can result in a loss of control over one’s impulsions is relatable to a lot of hopeless romantics, including myself. JAWNY was already one of my favorite artists, and this newest song is great for the start of summer. It’s the perfect addition to a “coming of age” playlist with its funky groove and endearingly cliched take on love. JAWNY is part of the new wave of bedroom pop that expands the style past its lo-fi boundaries with snappy melodies that will surely trigger a solo dance party at two in the morning.

Follow reporter Aarushi Nanda at Instagram.com/aarushi_nanda and at Twitter.com/aarushi_nanda.

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