Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Jan. 12

Divide and Dissolve, KILLBOY, JC Stewart, shotty, SORAIA, Bailey Bryan

Clockwise from top left: Divide and Dissolve, KILLBOY, JC Stewart, shotty, SORAIA and Bailey Bryan.

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.


Soraia, “Tight-Lipped” — Philadelphia rockers Soraia released this single along with a cover of Aerosmith’s “Angel” (with Jessie Wagner). The frontwoman of the quartet, ZouZou Mansour, says the track is about a woman’s “triumphant declaration of who she is now.” “Tight-Lipped” brings the concert to you with the infectious beat, danceability and relatable lyrics. It’s perfect for a 3 am solo dance party. Mansour’s voice reminds me a little bit of Joan Jett with that raspiness.


JC Stewart, “Break My Heart” — JC Stewart could be the next Shawn Mendes. This song is about someone who can completely ruin your life, but they’re so addicting that you might let them do it, anyway. It’s a great high-energy pop song with a relatable storyline. Dating is filled with toxic people, but sometimes you just want a little drama in your life so you let them in.


KILLBOY, “U + ME” — Angeleno KILLBOY (making her second appearance in Tuesday Tracks) is setting up a tremendous year for herself. This song is about a girl she can’t get out of her head, even though the two are—you guessed it—a little toxic together. Their friends hate that they’re together, but they’re trying to make it work. “U + ME” is really good at articulating queer relationships. The mid-tempo song is a blend of clean guitar melody and a hip-hop rhythm section with both melodic singing and some spoken delivery to set voices at odds. For KILLBOY, this is a relationship that probably won’t work out.


Divide and Dissolve, “Prove It” — Divide and Dissolve released this instrumental song back in 2019, but the video is new. The layering of instruments in the arrangement conveys the feeling of being gaslit. Takiaya Reed, who’s Black and Cherokee, and Sylvie Nehill, who’s Māori, are known for creating walls of sound that are able to effectively communicate their feelings without using their words. The duo makes music to destroy the white supremacist colonial framework that’s so ingrained in society today. “Prove It” reassurances Black, Indigenous and People of Color that their struggles are very real that cannot and should not be invalidated by white people. This sludgy composition oozes with foreboding feedback and menace.


shotty, “I Wanna Get to Know You” — Duo shotty wants to talk about how hard it is to make new friends. It’s for extroverts stuck inside of the body of an anxious outcast. Even for people who might not be able to relate to the message, it’s a great song for listening to while driving around with the windows down. It’s heavy on the dance-pop energy while sticking true to shotty’s hard rock sound that the duo describes as a cross between Queen and Queens of the Stone Age.


Bailey Bryan, “Sober” — Bailey Bryan articulates the sadness that comes with being hungover and relating it to being in love with the wrong person on “Sober.” As an electric guitar plays a simple chord progression and soft cymbal strikes underpin a beat, Bryan sings about the feelings that come right before breaking up with someone because they—yup—aren’t good for you. “Sober” is for anyone about to end a relationship or just wanting to get drunk alone.


Aarushi’s Pick: My favorite track from this week is “U + ME” by KILLBOY. It’s a song that my friends and I would have playing when we’re just hanging out because it has such a calm vibe, even if it’s a little more serious in a lyrical sense. She has so much potential and she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves. “U + ME” is such a relatable song for queer women because we’ve all had at least one “situationship” where you’re so into each other but it probably won’t work out for that reason.

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

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