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:
TRACE,“Side Eye” – TRACE is the latest artist to synthesize hip-hop production and melodic electronica, producing bouncy and rhythmic R&B perfect for the modern age. On “Side Eye,” TRACE explores the softer side of trap hip-hop, as she pairs a gentle acoustic guitar riff with 808s snares to create a flowing and shifting atmosphere. Reminiscent of Lykke Li’s latest LP, So Sad So Sexy, or much of up-and-comer Sasha Sloan’s catalog, the track uses dense production as a backdrop for personal reflections about relationships.
Reminiscing on her strained relationship with her father, TRACE sings with a certain melancholy as she notices a pattern of men in her life letting her down. Rather than admit defeat, “Side Eye” exudes a palpable confidence in her certain swagger. TRACE refuses to let her wellbeing be determined by the desires and opinions of men. After all, as she emphatically croons in the chorus, she is “not here to make you feel good.”
Phony Ppl,“Something About Your Love” – Juxtaposing the painful feeling of heartbreak with groovy funk sensibilities, Phony Ppl capture the ups and downs of toxic relationships on this latest single off of their forthcoming album, Mō’zā-ik. Influenced by the likes of the Roots and Erykah Badu, the Brooklyn quintet is a master of complex jazz and funk arrangements.
Made in the vein of Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!, Phony Ppl put a contemporary twist on soul music with the “Something About Your Love.” They use swelling instrumentation, along with silky vocals, for a funk jam sure to get bodies moving. Vocalist Elbee Thrie gives a stellar performance, singing about a harmful, deceitful relationship. Even so, infectious drums and guitar lines bring a very special “something about her love.”
BRONCHO,“Keep It In Line” — The latest from the Oklahoma indie rockers offers a dreamy punk sound in keeping with the rest of BRONCHO’s discography. While the production here is cleaner than past tracks, a lo-fi charm still oozes from its jangly guitars and muted vocals. This ensures that the band still falls into a garage rock template. A simple drumbeat propels the track forward, but frontman Ryan Lindsey’s vocals steal the show. Lindsey’s delivery is both gritty and melodic, creating a sound reminiscent of bands like The Drums or Alvvays. Still, Lindsay has a certain charisma all his own. Bad Behavior, the bands fourth full-length record, drops Friday.
Emily King, “Remind Me” – Joyful and heartfelt, the latest single by Emily King is a celebration of newness and rebirth. “Remind Me” is an ode to small moments of bliss; those times where an otherwise difficult or strained existence becomes something unexpectedly beautiful. Emily King presents this beautifully with her powerful voice. She captures the feeling of beginning to fall for a new lover, just when it seemed like it could never happen again. King’s patented blend of R&B and pop is on full display, as her soulful vocals blend with a funky bass line and bright synths.
Graham Van Pelt, “Mountainside” – Ditching previous monikers like Miracle Fortress and Inside Touch, Graham Van Pelt is simply making music as himself now. A shift in sound has followed this change in identity. Van Pelt’s upcoming album, Time Travel, is unapologetically a dance record. “Mountainside” demonstrates the beauty of simplicity. Centered around a minimalist electronic arrangement of tranquil synth loops, it represents his potential in the world of ambient electronica. While clearly inspired by house music, this track also recalls nostalgic indie pop artists like Francis and the Lights, providing the perfect space to reflect, reminisce and relax.
Matthew’s Pick: Emily King has a genuine energy that cannot be ignored. It flows out of her spirit and manifests itself in her music, this time with anthemic R&B track “Remind Me.” King wields serious vocal chops and genuine star power. She has a knack for stirring up emotional responses with her passionate and earnest delivery. “Remind Me” brings hope and inspires, making it a great song to combat the gloom that fall and winter may bring.
Follow writer Matthew Eaton at Twitter.com/MattnSoCal.