Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Feb. 18

Catholic Action, The Ocean Blue, Yoke Lore, Jax Anderson, Flint Eastwood, Lauren Ruth Ward, Kasador, Ruthie Collins

Clockwise from top left: Catholic Action, The Ocean Blue, Yoke Lore and Jax Anderson, Lauren Ruth Ward, Kasador and Ruthie Collins.

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.


Lauren Ruth Ward, “Water Sign” — As Lauren Ruth Ward gears up for her first nationwide headlining tour, her new single gives an indication of where she’s headed musically. Ward finds that happy medium between sweet ballads and rocking guitars, with a hint of grunge thrown in to balance it out. This might explain why she’s been described as “Janis Joplin meets Florence Welch,” but has also toured with the likes of Eddie Vedder and Liz Phair.


The Ocean Blue, “Love Doesn’t Make It Easy On Us” — How about a new ballad from a band that’s been perfecting its sound for 20 years? The Ocean Blue’s new song takes us back to the upbeat pop-rock of the early ’90s, back when the band formed as a quartet of Pennsylvania teenagers. Now they’re in a new millennium but still bringing back the danceable soulful songs.


Kasador, “Givin It Up” — This song has that “dancing in my seat” feel, with its fast, exhilarating beat. It’s part of Kasador’s debut album, “Brood & Bloom,” which the band said is about facing life’s ups and downs and coming out stronger on the other side of tough times. The song’s ’80s dance rock vibe is palpable, generating a catchy and vibrant atmosphere.


Ruthie Collins, “Cold Comfort” — Heartache and breakups are a common theme in songs, but Ruthie Collins puts her own twist on them in her new single. “I’ve been letting this love burn out slow/ Killing my time letting you go,” she sings in the new video, shot in Joshua Tree National Park. Collins combines flavors of country and soul, having previously covered songs by John Denver and Leonard Cohen. Her voice rises above the catchy guitars and drumming, and you can’t overlook the piano riff at the end of this emotive number.


Catholic Action, “Another Name For Loneliness” — If you want to dance in the seat of your day job, throw on Catholic Action’s new jam. The unstoppable rhythmic pulse and free-wheeling vocals have an addictive head-bobbing quality that invites the listener to join in the fun. Sure, the word “loneliness” is in the title, but the band evokes an optimism that suggests the loneliness won’t last forever: “For loneliness/ There’s another friend/ For loneliness/ Another end.” The band is performing at SXSW as part of a U.S. tour this year, so if you’re going you should add Catholic Action to your itinerary and prepare to dance in community.


Yoke Lore and Jax Anderson, “Sensitive Heart” — These two solo artists produce a collage of falsettos, electronic textures, peppy rhythm and a sticky chorus. This is the first collaboration between the artist formerly known as Flint Eastwood and the former Walk the Moon drummer, and but they clearly know how to bring good vibes out of each other. The two met in Detroit over a deep conversation about Zen and modern history. The resulting sonics center on “knowing that you are the architect of your own reality.”


Layla’s Pick: This week’s favorite was a tough call between Ruthie Collins and Kasador, but the latter won out in that diverse race. Kasador’s beat is so catchy that it makes me want to go for a vigorous run, whether in sunshine or while dodging rain puddles. And if the run doesn’t happen and I have to contain my energy, it’s fun to watch a music video that pokes fun at poker players.

Follow writer Layla Bohm at Twitter.com/laylabohm.

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