Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Aug. 28

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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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Japanese Television, “Country Joe” – U.K. quartet Japanese Television releases a wonky surf rock track to settle listeners into a laid-back aura. Its sound calls back to the SoCal grooves of Young the Giant’s self-titled album. Recorded on an 8-track, the instrumental “Country Joe” captures the vibe of the band’s live performances. With Ian Thorn on the Japanese harp and synth, the song fuses spacey soundscapes and country twang. Void of any indulgent soloing, the band focuses on creating a full sound, more of which can be heard on its forthcoming self-titled EP.

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The Sha La Das, “Just For A Minute” – This Brooklyn family of musicians delivers a refreshing track rooted in doo-wop, blues and soul. While the smooth music creates a pleasant mood, the deep lyrics sneak up on you: “Just for a minute/ We were superstars/ No way to spin it/ We can’t change who we are.” The bandmates echo each other, singing the final lyric with conviction: “Got to know when it’s time to go!/ Got to walk away now!” Their debut album, Love in the Wind, is out Sept. 21.

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Kailee Morgue, “Siren” – Phoenix-born, Los Angeles-based “goth pop” singer-songwriter Kailee Morgue creates a second Greek mythology-inspired track, following last year’s hit “Medusa.” “Siren” refers to the fictional creatures that lured sailors to shipwreck with their enchanting music and voices. Morgue tempts her listeners to follow her on a “sinister” exploration. “There’s a bright side/ To every wrong thing/ If you’re looking at me/ Through the right eyes.” Kailee Morgue sings from the point of view of a sultry siren amid hypnotic and haunting pop. You can see her on Poppy’s Am I A Girl? tour at the Regency Ballroom on Oct. 30.

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Houses, “Fast Talk” – L.A. songwriter and producer Dexter Tortoriello releases the first single off his most personal project yet, under the nom de plume Houses. Backed by vocals from longtime member Megan Messina, “Fast Talk” is a memorial for a group of friends Tortoriello has lost either to jail or death. From grappling with loss, to the anxiety of aging into his 30s, Tortoriello sings about personal experiences to chopped-up breakbeats and hazy rhythms. The band’s four-track EP, Drugstore Heaven, is out Sept. 28.

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Alec Chambers, “Closure” – Small town Connecticut singer Alec Chambers teams up with producer IMKK for a second collaboration, following the remix of  “Torn.” The storyline in “Closure” continues the heartbreak narrative and upbeat dance vibe from the previous single. Chambers sings smoothe R&B over a blend of pop and house production. From humble beginnings sharing cover songs recorded in his bedroom, Chambers is now gearing up to share his own songwriting on his debut EP.

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Molly Burch, “To The Boys” – In this gentle track, singer Molly Burch spotlights her uniquely smoky voice. She presents her message through the juxtaposition of her comforting, yet commanding voice. “I don’t have to scream to get my point across/ I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” she sings in a deep, enchanting timbre. The song is a direct jab at the stereotypical way that leaders always derive power from having the loudest bark. Over soft guitar riffs and a simple drumbeat, Burch celebrates the qualities of soft-spoken people who express themselves confidently. Her upcoming album, First Flower, drops Oct. 5.

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Tarandeep’s Pick – I could instantly sense some nostalgic ’90s influence on “Fast Talk” by Dexter Tortoriello’s Houses. I especially enjoyed how the song’s peaceful inflections and Tortoriello’s vivid lyrical imagery work together to give the song a storytelling framework on a canvas of immersive lo-fi ambient rock. Personal and raw, but irresistibly chill, this song creates a sonic cocoon, in which he reflects on tragedy.

Follow writer Tarandeep Kaur at Twitter.com/Tarandeep8.

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