Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – April 14, 2020

Alfie Templeman, Jonah Yano, The Soft Pink Truth, Christian Lalama, Trace Mountains, Dune Rats

Clockwise from top left: Alfie Templeman, Jonah Yano, The Soft Pink Truth, Christian Lalama, Trace Mountains and Dune Rats.

Every week, there’s more new music waiting to be discovered.

You’re no doubt stuck at home for what seems like the 200th day. Saturday feels like Tuesday, and maybe you’ve done the impossible and dried Netflix’s well of passive entertainment. You’re over “social distancing,” so it’s time for new music to ease your nerves.

Even with all the extra time, finding the next best track isn’t any less daunting. Seriously, who really has the time to sort through all that? RIFF does! We’re happy to bring you the latest, greatest new songs in this weekly segment.

Enjoy this week’s hidden gems.


Jonah Yano featuring his father, Tatsuya Muraoka, “shoes” — Perhaps the longer we go without human touch and a human connection, the more we crave it. This song fades in with a simple light guitar as we learn in the video that Jonah Yano has not seen his father in 15 years. Filmed in Nagato during the fall of 2019, it features Muraoka’s lyrics in Japanese. Soothing, melodic and charming, the warm vocals fit into the song’s landscape. Its guitar playing and keys beautifully ebb and flow, set against sunsets, beautiful beaches and even quaint moments at home. It’s impossible to avoid falling in love with this track. Its beauty and sadness fits right into this moment in time in which we currently find ourselves.


Christian Lalama, “Knocked Me Off My Feet” — Ontario, Canada 16-year old Christian Lalama is already making a name for himself with comparisons to a young Justin Bieber. “Knocked Me Off My Feet” is the perfect R&B-meets-chillwave song. Its catchy melody, downbeat sound and lyrics get stuck in your head. It sounds so recognizable, like a song you have definitely heard many times before, yet is still so refreshing. And long after it’s over, you’ll find yourself still singing along: “Baby, tell me how you knocked me off my feet/ Every time you come around me, I get weak/ So sweet but you’re psycho, don’t know why I like you/ You leave when you want to, somehow I still want you.”  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Christian Lalama opening for Post Malone one day.


Trace Mountains, “Lost In The Country” — For fans of Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs, Trace Mountains doesn’t disappoint. Dave Benton is the man behind Trace Mountains. After his indie rock band LVL UP dissolved, he found himself in New York’s Hudson Valley. This airy pastoral rock song floats into empty space. It maintains a fresh feel and a driving hook, and its expansive atmosphere makes you wish you were driving down an empty road or exploring nature—something that’s actually possible right in the Bay Area right now!

“Been thinking about the old days more and more/ The pettiness of my life and the way it was/ If I to speak to you through a dream/ Would you hear me,” Benton sings. It sounds like he wrote this song for separated and quarantined loved ones.


The Soft Pink Truth, “On” — An opening of crashing waves against an experimental soundscape is the perfect beginning for this IDM meditation. The Soft Pink Truth is San Francisco native Drew Daniel of experimental electronic band Matmos. He calls Baltimore home now. “On” is a hypnotic symphony of layered voices, with pulsing beats driving Daniel’s meditations, reflections and pure emotions. The sounds transport you to another time and place. It’s easy to get lost in it—meaning it could not have dropped at a better time. Daniel will release his eclectic album, Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? in May.


Alfie Templeman, “Happiness in Liquid Form” — Bedfordshire, U.K. 17-year-old Alfie Templeman will soon make a big name for himself. Beyond getting featured on a billboard in Times Square and in an Apple campaign, his new song “Happiness in Liquid Form” is an upbeat bedroom pop banger. An infectious chorus set against electronic disco beats, it will surely have you head-bopping along. This song is undeniably catchy, bursting with exuberant joy. With lyrics on the video, you have everything you need to create your own dance party of one. If the song has a familiar vibe, that might be due to its being cowritten by Justin Young of The Vaccines.


Dune Rats, “Bad Habits” — Brisbane, Australia trio Dune Rats looks like it just came back from surfing. Dune Rats’ music fits just right into that scene. The band’s brand of pop-punk sounds like Blink-182 come back to life. Catchy anthemic rock with an inescapable bass line, this song will have you pogoing like its Warped Tour in the late-’90s. And, there’s a massive singalong chorus that is infectious to the Nth degree. The band’s video was filmed on its tour a few weeks before everyone started sheltering in place. So, if you want to pretend you’re in a mosh pit with these guys, here is your chance!


Rachel’s Pick: I have found it harder and harder to find songs (old and new) that really work for this season of life. My mood changes at the drop of a hat, and there is nothing like a feeling of being trapped inside. The moment I read about Trace Mountains and saw the comparison to Kurt Vile, I had to hear more. He didn’t disappoint. The song made me feel like I was free. It took me out of where I’m stuck and spirited me far away with crunchy riffs and an earthy percussive foundation. I can’t wait to hear this entire album.

Follow writer Rachel Goodman at Twitter.com/xneverwherex and Instagram.com/xneverwherex.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *