Every week brings a plethora of new music to our ears.
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.
Chapel, “First Love” – Carter Hardin and Kortney Grinwis bring the hype once again with this high-energy power pop song. “First Love” opens on an R&B feel with pangs of Hardin’s keys and velvety vocals as he reminisces about an old flame, comparing how he and his first love ended up in different places in life. “You have kids and I/ Go to bed by nine/ Smoke and drink some wine and think about us,” he sings. Finally the bridge and chorus chime in with Grinwis’ complementary harmonies, layers upon layers of guitar and electric pop beats (mixed and mastered by Matt Huber and Sam Moses). The Atlanta duo’s song points to how it’s best to leave the relationship in the past.
Roosevelt, “Lovers” – This song bursts with a 45-second intro built purely from sunny electronic synths and layered over low-range bass, before singer-songwriter Marius Lauber’s voltaic vocals take center stage. This extremely relatable track looks at the time that we’ve lost during the pandemic, and leaps to take chances that otherwise may have not been taken. “You know the world keeps turning around / Just take me home nowhere to be found / We’re lovers tonight,” Lauber confesses as this anthem takes on an ’80s-pop, new wave vibe.
Anchorsong, “Tunis Dream” – Producer Masaaki Yoshida returns to music with this lockdown-inspired soundscape that blends cultural influences from around the world with modern hip-hop and electronica. The cut features layers of strings (guitar and harp), percussive clashes and occasional flute solos and saxophone phrases alongside repetitive chants of “All right!” to uphold this rhythmic and ambrosial groove.
sad alex, “Dating Myself” – If you’re single, this could have been your track on Valentine’s Day. Through electronic echoes, light guitar riffs and jazzy snap-beats, sad alex’s vocals shine as she embraces the single life in a new way. Rhythmic and catchy lyrics like, “No one knows me better/ And it’s better for my health,” exemplify self-love and self-care, and assure that being single has a more positive side even if others think otherwise. “I don’t really care what they think or say,” sad alex decides.
Lucky Daye featuring Joyce Wrice, “Falling in Love” – There really isn’t a smoother couple of voices that could have been paired up on this pop-infused R&B tune. With synthetic beats by D’Mile, the chorus turns the spotlight on Joyce Wrice as she delivers some powerhouse lyrics like, “Nobody comes before you.” A sensuous dance rhythm creates that “falling in love” atmosphere. Lucky Daye then plays off of that vibe his own limes, like “Now baby, don’t go playing with my love/ And don’t make me regret falling in love.” That adds hesitant vulnerability to the song.
Youth Fountain, “Peace Offering” – This rock track is emphasized by guitar-heavy phrases topped with eccentric and fast-paced drumming. The cherry on top is the strong and passionate vocals of Tyer Zanon, whose style plays like a unique twist on Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. “Peace Offering” tackles loving oneself before being able to fully give love to someone else. Zanon turns to his internal monologue for a sense of healing and repose: “I’m still suffering/ Is this what I need?/ A new love for a false sense of peace?” “I couldn’t be enough for anyone when I hate myself,” he decides.
Anya Marina, “Shut Up” – This acoustic track, which was recorded at a live show at Rockwood Music Hall on New York City’s Lower East Side in December 2019, solely leans on light guitar strumming and Anya Marina’s sweet yet sultry vocals. “You’ve got a hundred reasons why this shouldn’t be/ But not a single one of them has a thing to do with me/ So just shut up,” Marina sings, yearning for some personal attention.
Amelia’s pick: Valentine’s Day played an obvious factor in the love-centered themes of this week’s list. While Chapel’s energy boosted my mood and “Falling In Love” kept my head bopping, I personally related to sad alex’s “Dating Myself” the most this week. Not only was it rhythmically pleasing, but I think that in today’s society, when many people are expected to find happiness in a romantic partner, this song reassures singles that finding joy in “me time” and taking care of yourself is sometimes the healthiest way to live. Relationships can many times take a toll on our emotional state, anyway.
Follow writer Amelia Parreira at Twitter.com/AmeliaParreira.