Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Sept. 4

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Quinn XCII

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:


Bob Moses, “Enough to Believe” — Combining ambient beats with a sultry swagger, duo Bob Moses specializes in moody electronica. Consisting of Canadians Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, Bob Moses uses R&B elements to create a sound reminiscent of Chet Faker, only brighter and bigger. New single “Enough to Believe” sees the duo at its most melancholic. A dark and sinister beat serves as a backdrop for Howie’s despondency. Howie is searching for answers, unable to move into a place of hope and purpose. He uncovers more questions than answers as he sings, “Trying to find a good place to begin, but will I ever know, ever know?” The duo’s honest uncertainty reverberates with quiet power.


Jaira Burns, “Low Key in Love” — Jaira Burns is a name to remember in pop. The singer-songwriter has built a solid catalog of confident dance-pop in the vein of Halsey or Bea Miller. Her latest single, “Low Key in Love,” is irresistibly sexy, featuring a spacey synth groove sure to get listeners moving. Burns captures the intoxicating feeling of young love, singing about a passionate romance that she cannot deny. The accompanying video features Jaira Burns, with blue hair, strutting through lush backdrops. Hazy filters give the video a effortlessly cool vintage sensibility.


Quinn XCII, “Panama” — Quinn XCII has carved out a lane for himself by seamlessly blending hip-hop, soul and electronica in unique and creative ways. “Panama” is a bit of a diversion from Quinn’s carefree sun-soaked anthems, as he strips things down to pay homage to his three grandparents who died in the past year. Quinn XCII honors them as he croons, “You’re away from me tonight/ ‘Til that moment arrives/ I’ll stay writing words in memory of you.” Despite the nostalgic sadness of his reminiscing, the track maintains uplifting buoyancy. “Panama” is a celebration of life that shows Quinn XCII at his most personal and introspective.


Royal Canoe, “RAYZ” — Royal Canoe creates a raw and organic indie-pop sound by using an assortment of instruments and refusing to conform to pop music standards. Kaleidoscopic and psychedelic, “RAYZ” is both a reflection of ’70s psych rock and disco, as well as a forward-thinking electronic ballad. The chorus recalls Glass Animals, as syrupy vocals drift over a bluesy and immersive soundscape. The video for the song is strange at first, but is both moving and funny by the end, demonstrating Royal Canoe’s eclectic flair.


Wish You Were Here, “No Say” — Wish You Were Here is the moniker of L.A. musician Jesse Barnett, and his new song “No Say” is a great introduction to his understated sound. Barnett’s gentle delivery and acoustic arrangement is surprising, given his background as lead singer for hardcore group Stick to Your Guns. Nonetheless, Barnett’s vocals cater beautifully to a stripped-down environment, simultaneously communicating a palpable pain and a vulnerability. Subtly layered instrumentation blends in with Barnett’s voice, enveloping listeners and bringing Ben Howard’s best work to mind. Wish You Were Here marks an exciting new direction for Jesse Barnett.


Clean Spill, “Rolling” — Indie outfit Clean Spill lives and breaths surf rock. The Santa Barbara quartet crafts lo-fi jams made for beach bums. “Rolling” is its latest single, a jangly rocker propelled by a bouncy bass line and aggressive beat. Lead singer Pat Curren, son of surfing legend Tom Curren, tries to find solace as he laments over a broken relationship. Curren’s monotone delivery naturally fits in the instrumentals, especially when his vocals are given room to breathe. Influences from bands like the Strokes and the Growlers abound, but Clean Spill avoids falling under their shadow through clean instrumentation and sharp songwriting.


Matthew’s Pick: Personal and heartfelt tracks always have a way of affecting us the most. Quinn XCII’s “Panama” gives listeners an intimate look into the songwriter’s perspective, opting for a different, more mature musical style in the process. Quinn beautifully captures the feeling of losing a loved one and allowing them to live on through you—luckily avoiding sappy clichés.

Follow writer Matthew Eaton at Twitter.com/MattnSoCal.

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