Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery

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Julien Baker, Noise Pop

Photo: Alessio Neri

Every week, there’s a plethora of new music at our fingertips.

Artists on platforms such as 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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Kevin Devine, “No One Says You Have To” — Kevin Devine is quite a household name in the indie and emo communities. Whether playing in a bare, acoustic style a la Elliott Smith or with a heartier rock sound, Devine can turn even the most troubling feelings into something comforting. His second version of “No One Says You Have To” does just that. Featuring The Mynabirds, the originally folksy melody is reintroduced as a hushed ballad that gives the ode to letting go a soft, nostalgic glow. The song is off upcoming release We Are Who We’ve Always Been, which is essentially Devine’s 2016 album, Instigator, reimagined.

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Thundercat, “Show You the Way” — Thundercat has released a new music video for “Show You the Way,” the lead single off his 2017 album Drunk. The clip provides an optimistic follow-up to the injured samurai that starred in the Los Angeles bassist-producer’s “Them Changes” video from 2015. With musical features from Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, the track itself oozes a rich blend of beautifully layered vocals, melodious basslines and soulful touches of piano. Thundercat has equated the song’s meaning to “falling down the rabbit hole.” And while dark at times, Thundercat’s sound sure makes Wonderland seem as groovy as Alice imagined.

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Teen Daze, “Kilika” — Jamison Isaak, the creative force behind Teen Daze, takes delicate, serene, and sometimes daunting glimpses of nature and transposes them into sound. His latest single, “Kilika,” features glimmering, blue-sky synths that walk you through an ethereal soundscape. It goes perfectly with the fact that the song shares a name with a seaside location in Final Fantasy. “Kilika” is off Teen Daze’s Themes for a New Earth, which offers an optimistic follow-up to previous release Themes for Dying Earth. Due Nov. 10, the new album will be put out via Isaak’s own label, FLORA.

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Tanis, “Okay” — “Okay” reminisces melodic structures of ‘90s to early 2000s pop, but its sentiments march to a heartfelt beat of their own. Showing that there’s strength in softness, Tanis sings a gentle reminder that, despite obstacles and naysayers, you can still make things work. “You might think I’m falling, but I’m right in sync/ This may not be the fastest train, but I’ll be okay,” sings Tanis with pure composure. The track’s music video features the New York singer-songwriter’s reality, full of constantly trying something new and persevering always. Tanis has a series of singles lined up, which she hopes will eventually lead to a full-length release.

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Julien Baker, “Turn Out the Lights” — With hypnotizing guitar lines and a voice that can start vulnerable and finish mighty, Julien Baker brings out the poetry in fine, everyday details of life. The metaphors she pens, from appointments to sprained ankles, are always poignant and spellbinding. And without fail, the Memphis musician’s latest single “Turn Out the Lights” stings like a wound that won’t heal. The opening lines, “There’s a hole in the dry wall, still not fixed/ I just haven’t gotten around to it/ Besides, I’m starting to get used to the gaps,” already say so much about listlessness. “Turn Out the Lights” is the title track of Baker’s sophomore album, out Oct. 27.

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Chloe’s Pick — I really enjoyed “Turn Out the Lights” by Julien Baker. The metaphors in her lyrics are always so thoughtful and stunning, and I love how the sound of her solitary guitar gives off both melancholy and ambient moods. Definitely give the single a listen; it’s sure to make you feel something.

Follow Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe and Twitter.com/riannachloe.

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