Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Feb. 26

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Bülow, Bulow

Bülow

 

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

Artists on platforms like 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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Beshken, “Cursed” — When chasing your dreams, it’s possible to lose sight of doing what you truly love. The results—getting too far into your head, burning out or a mix of both—are what Beshken elaborates on in this song. On “Cursed,” the New York producer takes on some symptoms of millennial burnout over slow-churned beats. “Flirting with death/ Obsessed with success/ At the wheel I sleep,” he sings in a haunting falsetto. With its relaxed pace and hypnotizing synths, the single reflects just how easy it is to fall into complacency while reaching for the stars.

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Radical Face, “Hard of Hearing” — “I know I’m not well, but I’m all right,” sings Ben Cooper of Radical Face in his recent single. “Hard of Hearing” centers on feeling stuck when all you want to do is move forward. It puts the saying, “easier said than done,” into a soft and sweet melody that mixes folk and indie electronic. While tender in tone, it remains utterly self-aware of how long the road to personal growth can become—even when it seems like you have all the steps figured out. Cooper combines this agony with a touch of self-deprecating humor for the music video, channeling a Wes Anderson aesthetic to add a hint of pleasure to a painfully personal experience.

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The Ninth Wave, “Half Pure” — Post-punk and new wave are the foundation of The Ninth Wave’s latest single. Cosmic singing recalls the likes of The Cure’s Robert Smith, while the song’s arrangements stay true to the genre’s heavy distortions and entrancing synthscapes. At the same time, the Glasgow trio keeps fans on their toes with its message. “Half Pure” calls out modern society’s superficial tendencies. The lyrics push past pretty faces and dig for substance. The music video makes it even more striking, depicting a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show going from vogue to rogue.

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Bülow, “Sweet Little Lies” — Bülow is a singer who can both charm with a soft pop sound and stun with a badass rap flow. She combines both elements seamlessly in “Sweet Little Lies,” a cut about refusing to accept the truth. With that said, the lyrics seek an escape from reality and cling onto falsehood: “I love the picture in my head/ But I know that it’s not real/ I live a picture in my head/ ‘Cause I like how it makes me feel.” While she relishes the sweet gratification of it all, Bülow’s verses fall on minor notes that hint the dangerous game she’s playing.

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Nilüfer Yanya, “Tears” — This new track from London’s Nilüfer Yanya is a smooth blend of soul, ’80s dance-pop and a touch of rock. Yanya’s warm vocals captivate from the get-go, as the beat builds into a full-blown, feel-good bop. Embedded throughout are crunchy guitar riffs that give the song an increasingly immersive groove. Basking in a retro vibe, the single’s lyric video rewinds to the early stages of what would become the digital age. Everything is written in a bitmap font, while a hotline number teases the act of crying as a national health crisis. It’s a creative play on the song’s theme of resisting vulnerability.

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Chloe’s Pick: As someone guilty of escapism, Bülow’s thought-provoking lyrics on “Sweet Little Lies” really stuck with me this week. It also happens to scratch my itch for songs that mix pop and rap. Bülow’s track hits that sweet spot while executing it in a softer fashion than most artists in that style. It may sound soft, but its themes and clean flow keep it striking and memorable.

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

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