Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – July 14

Joy Denalane, Ghost of Paul Revere, Abir, Angimile, Alex The Astronaut, Imogen Clark

Clockwise from top left: Joy Denalane, Ghost of Paul Revere, Abir, Angimile, Alex The Astronaut and Imogen Clark.

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.

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ABIR, “Inferno” — Two years after she started making waves with her Moroccan-inspired pop, ABIR has taken things to another level with this music video, shot on location in Marrakesh. Her flowing pale pink outfit meshes well with the stark Moroccan desert, as her voice soars above the landscape. There’s a hint of Jennifer Lopez in her sound, perhaps as a nod to Abir’s debut performance in a fourth grade talent show—when she sang Lopez’s “All I Have” and was immediately hooked on performing. After graduating from college, Abir moved to New York to pursue music full-time. She has since made an impression on dance music charts. With her new album, Heat, she brings more Morocco culture to American pop, solidifying her unique and catchy sound.



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The Ghost of Paul Revere, “Love At Your Convenience” — Guitar, bass and banjo tumble with drums and a solid vocal performance in this stirring song about love and loss. New England’s The Ghost of Paul Revere has performed with the likes of The Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell, and the band’s alt-country credibility is on display here. “Love At Your Convenience” is a catchy song with hints of blues and Americana, made to experience live or in an accelerating car with the windows down.

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Joy Denalane featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, “I Believe” — Some singers belt out the notes, while others slip quietly into the mix. Joy Denalane, however, combines the two approaches into an R&B/Motown extravaganza. Her diverse style drives home memorable lines like, “I’d take a leap of faith ’cause I believe.” The South African and German singer more than holds her own, but the addition of Stevie Wonder collaborator BJ the Chicago Kid rounds off this classy banger.



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Alex the Astronaut, “Christmas in July” — As far as music videos go, Alex the Astronaut wins in the “cute and creative” category. The singer’s new single features her walking down a street while wearing a Christmas present costume, knocking on a door, then ducking down into the box in order to be the gift. Along the way, the Australian singer’s voice carries cheerful melodies like a brisk walk through the neighborhood. Her previous songs have been featured in Pride events around the world. “Not Worth Hiding” became a sort of anthem for Australia’s marriage equality activism in 2017. Her new album continues these themes of equality and finding happiness.

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Anjimile, “Maker” — This song centers on identity, loss and growth, extending much farther than the guitar, synth and vocals that make up its arrangement. Anjimile’s debut album will drop in September, and this first single highlights the control the trans artist has over his emotive voice. His vocal range is unignorable, but he also sticks out for his hard-hitting lyrics, as he croons, “I’m not just a boy, I’m a man.”



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Imogen Clark, “The Making of Me” — After performing at a bar in Sydney in March, Imogen Clark shot the video for her new solo in the empty bar. From behind the piano, she pours her heart into the words of a song about love about healing from heartbreak. Clark didn’t know she would soon be releasing the video to a world locked down due to the COVID pandemic. “This year will be the making of me,” she sings at the end. If the album preview is any indication, Clark has created anthems to hold on to, during times of uncertainty and tragedy.

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Fast Times, “Tuesday Night” — The San Francisco trio of Andrew St. James, Duncan Nielson and Cody Rhodes are finally releasing a song, and it’s a good. “Tuesday Night” is a retro-feeling jangly guitar jam a-la The Strokes’ “Last Nite.” Fast Times, which contains some of San Francisco’s favorite local musician, had gone more than a year without releasing any of the songs they’ve been playing at live shows when live shows were a thing. The song, which the band played live during a livestream, was part of a benefit for Oakland art nonprofit Hip Hop For Change, as well as the Rickshaw Stop.

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Layla’s Pick: There’s something so catchy about The Ghost of Paul Revere, especially the line in the chorus: “My love ain’t here for your convenience.” It makes me want to turn up the volume and sing along as I start a spontaneous road trip. The band has hints of Sister Hazel, whose hits feature regularly in my bizarre playlist, so perhaps that became a factor. I also want to shout-out Imogen Clark as well, as her entire new album could ultimately become a mainstay on my list. Her voice is strong and could provide the power anthems we need these days.

Follow writer Layla Bohm at Twitter.com/laylabohm.

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