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:
Nightly, “Phantom” — These cousins from Philly grew up playing together in several projects, with nothing panning out. Thus stemmed the need for their joint passion project, Nightly. Their sound rings in the clamor of alternative pop while reminiscing on the vibe of artists like Birthday and Parade of Lights. With their new single, “Phantom,” they embrace the opening electronic sonics that worked so well for The Temper Trap on “Sweet Disposition,” weaving a youthful summer fling lyricism. The melody sounds much like a young Jared Leto, while chipper percussion gives it a memorable impact.
Tempesst, “A Little Bit Of Trouble” — Tempesst breathes spookiness into slow and sensual psychedelic rock. On “A Little Bit Of Trouble,” the band pairs sexy synths with a funky Western dynamic to produce an ominous sense of mystery. The video follows the peculiar narrative of a narcissistic cowboy writhing before the peeled eyes of a captivated audience. The video artfully represents the band’s gorgeous knack for storytelling, giving the track a definite motion picture feeling.
Oswald Brothers Band, “Sweater” — The members of OBB are soulful Southern boys at heart, hailing from Atlanta. They got their start in 2008 and have been consistently adding to their musical portfolio, releasing their first studio album, Bright Side, in 2014. “Sweater” infectiously strikes with perpetual groove and fun clap-alongs that flow fluidly. This song borrows the harmonizing style of artists like Andy Grammar and AJR, ensuring that OBB will be a sure necessity for those who enjoy a summer listen—even if it is about wearing sweaters.
Devon Gilfillian, “Troublemaker” — Getting himself noticed with his array of covers, Gilfillian set his sights on writing music to call his own. He made his way to Nashville, a place that should welcome his blues-infused rock sound with open arms. On “Troublemaker,” Gilfillian has the jazzy vocalization of Bill Withers, but with the added contrast of gritty rock. This tune’s title invokes the mischievous motives in the lyrics, even allowing for some country crossover that feels oddly fitting. Gilfillian’s knack for musicality may come from his talented family, but with his exquisite taste for intertwining enticing blues with the nostalgic rock he has paved the way for his success all on his own.
Caleon Fox, “Bubbly” — Calling rose-colored infatuation to mind, Caleon Fox drops the contagious ditty, appropriately named “Bubbly.” Fox’s amusing rap personality shines through with the overexposed light of the video, coloring the storyline of a boy who wants to be more than friends in shades of pastel. His comical expressions go hand in hand with the goofy narrative: “Shorty is fine/ I got some feelings for you/ You’re looking really cute now/ Even my mother approves.” Cloud rap has worked extremely well for similar rappers like Amine and Lil’ Yachty, with its diverse production and accessible melodies. Caleon Fox has justified his place in this genre, bringing his own innovation current hip-hop trends.
Vic’s Pick: This week’s music was eclectic, ranging from soft pop to rugged classic rock, but the clear knockout of the five is Caleon Fox’s “Bubbly.” His unique persona overflows into his rapping flow, differentiating his voice from the rapidly growing amount of players in cloud rap and trap. “Bubbly” smells like wit and teen spirit.
Follow writer Vic Silva at twitter.com/VicSilvaaaa.