Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – April 7

KILLBOY, Alice Ivy, Magdalena Bay, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, ADULT., Rod Wave

Clockwise from top left: KILLBOY, Alice Ivy, Magdalena Bay, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, ADULT. and Rod Wave.

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.


ADULT., “Total Total Damage” — A sound as destructive and deviously good as ADULT.’s deserves a visual accompaniment of equal caliber. The Detroit duo makes that happen with “Total Total Damage.” The latest release is heavy with electro-punk synths and vehement vocals that question a perceived reality, while the music video quite literally breaks the fourth wall (as well as the first to the third walls). ADULT. built the space while under COVID-19 quarantine specifically to take a sledgehammer to the walls—an understandable response to the current state of the world.


Alice Ivy featuring Imbi and BOI, “Don’t Sleep” — At a time when positivity is much needed, Alice Ivy delivers with “Don’t Sleep.” The Melbourne producer teamed up with fellow Aussie artists Imbi and BOI to turn in an undeniably feel-good groove. Triumphant beats and hints of Reggaeton fuel the track, giving its empowering lyrics a boost. With verses declaring “We dream big/ But we don’t sleep until we see the sun” and “Our bodies are ours/ So keep your hands away,” the single is jam-packed with power.


KILLBOY, “High On My Own Supply” — KILLBOY is setting an example for the misfits and the misunderstood with “High On My Own Supply.” Her new single screams “sorry [not sorry]” for doing your own thing, and is all about freeing yourself from negative energies that just don’t get it. The hook might go against Biggie Smalls’ fourth of the “10 Crack Commandments,” but it goes hand-in-hand with the rapper-producer’s independent vigor. To top things off, everything from the track’s bold beats to lush vocal layers was self-produced by KILLBOY herself. 


Magdalena Bay, “Story” — “We could write a real big story/ Something worth knowing,” sings Magdalena Bay’s Mica Tenenbaum. She and bandmate Matthew Lewin make their pop star dreams known on “Story”—and they’re set on making them happen. Even though their tour was (understandably) postponed, the duo is making the most of quarantine by still creating. Its latest release, the lyric video for “Story,” was filmed under quarantine in its hometown of Miami. Its neon, VHS-flavored imagery complements the track’s thumping synths and bubblegum pop sweetness. It might not be the tour video they originally planned for, but the outcome definitely feels true to Magdalena Bay’s fun personality and creative promise. 


Rod Wave, “The Greatest” — Rod Wave’s latest single puts a relaxed beat over gospel-inspired piano riffs, but it’s his vocals that come through the strongest. Uncut and unfiltered, the St. Petersburg, Florida rapper-singer has a story to tell. Dropping verses from “Went to school all 12 years just to get a job selling doughnuts” to “I know it’s hard to find a way/ But you’re bound to see brighter days,” Rod Wave comes off sincere about struggles, success and staying humble. His clean approach to vocals is a pleasant surprise with the current dominance of mumble rap, but with tones as soulful and gritty as his, his voice is obviously meant to shine. 


Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, “Phenom” — With many turning to telecommuting due to COVID-19, the use of Zoom is at an all-time high. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, however, are putting the video conferencing tool to use better than any tech giant could ever dream. In the music video for “Phenom,” the Bay Area artist and her band (with everyone self-isolating in their own homes) assembles via video call and pulls off some incredibly synchronized choreography. Their movements and camerawork twist and turn with the song’s ripping bass line and gutty hooks, as singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen pours her heart out center-screen—the intensity living up to the song’s fierce nature. 


Chloe’s Pick: I’m loving all of the creativity that’s spawned from life in quarantine. Even if a release is not outwardly in response to the quarantine, new music has just been a source of comfort for me in general.

Of all the great picks this week, I found myself going back to “Story” by Magdalena Bay a lot. It’s fun, feel-good, and has a flow that’s easy to feel in sync with. The duo’s range of pop recalls that of Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX, and as a fan of both, I’m excited to dive into the sound further with another artist.  

Follow editor Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe.

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