Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Jan. 15

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Homeshake

Homeshake

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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Homeshake, “Just Like My” — Homeshake is the solo project of Montreal singer-songwriter Peter Sagar. Propelled by his role as touring guitarist with Mac Demarco, Sagar explores an entirely different sound as Homeshake. “Just Like My” is the third single leading up to Homeshake’s new album, Helium, out Feb. 15. The track perfectly encapsulates Homeshake’s sound. A rhythmic drum groove and jazzy keyboard frame Sagar’s distant vocals. It’s this gauzy atmosphere that gives “Just Like My” its enchanting dream-like quality—an effect only strengthened by abstract, mind-bending visuals that are both beautiful and foreboding. They create a feeling somewhere between bliss and unease. The down-tempo R&B production soundly complements Sagar’s cryptic lyrics as he reveals his desire to remain in the haze of the dream he has crafted.

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Luke Sital-Singh, “Los Angeles” — In a time of political turmoil and strained national identity, Luke Sital-Singh’s latest album, A Golden State, is a poignant reminder of the power of place and the American dream. It’s also a wonderful ode to the magic of California, as latest single “Los Angeles” expresses. The song is personal for Sital-Singh because its release coincides with his own move to California with his wife. Sital-Singh allows his voice to shine through sparse, peaceful instrumentation, giving the song a feeling of quiet reflection. Triumphant and hopeful, the track’s highlight is its buoyant chorus, as he sings, “Maybe in the sands of Los Angeles/ We’ll find a new lease of life.” A Golden State drops April 5 on Raygun Records.

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Ten Fé, “Coasting” — Heartfelt and optimistic, Ten Fé’s “Coasting” provides an unabashed look at new love. The track is the latest in a line of throwback road-trip anthems from the London outfit. Recalling the authenticity of Bruce Springsteen and the spacious sound of contemporaries like The War on Drugs, “Coasting” is a carefree piece of modern rock and roll meant to be enjoyed with the windows down and the stereo cranked. The arrangement is rootsy, as Ten Fé keep things basic with simple percussion supporting grounded and organic guitars. The band mixes in bright keys to further the song’s hopeful vibe. While “Coasting” is not overly innovative, it beautifully communicates the simple pleasure of being swept off of your feet and carried by a genuine feeling.

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Welshly Arms, “Learn to Let Go” — Welshly Arms broke out in 2018, embarking on their first North American tour and opening for bands like Thirty Seconds to Mars and Walk the Moon. “Learn to Let Go” is a welcome addition to the rock group’s catalog and a fitting way to kick off 2019. An addicting guitar riff accompanies Sam Getz’ robust singing. Eventually, the drums pick up and pave the way for an epic chorus, propelled by Getz’ assertive and soulful vocal delivery. Lyrically, the track emphatically expresses a desire to move on to better things and detach from unhealthy relationships and situations. “Never Let Me Go” is a punchy rock ballad featuring one of the catchiest choruses the band has written. 

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Mozes and the Firstborn, “Blow Up” — On “Blow Up,” Mozes and the Firstborn create an addicting concoction of grunge and power pop. Punchy guitars and raw percussion give the track a distinct garage rock edge and angst. However, when the chorus comes, the track’s melodicism shines through. Slick production and crystal clear vocals come to the forefront, allowing frontman Melle Dielesen to steal the show. Some hazy vocal distortion features a cool reverb effect, adding grit and atmosphere to the track. Fans of the Dutch quartet have a lot to look forward to in 2019, as the band is set to release its third album, Dadcore, on Jan. 25.

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Jerry Williams, “David at the Bar” — Fresh from touring with Vancouver indie group Calpurnia, 23-year old British songwriter Jerry Williams is poised to make a name for herself. “David at the Bar,” Williams’ latest single, was apparently inspired by a conversation she had with a stranger at a bar. Williams turns the seemingly mundane into something profound on this quirky ballad. Her unique voice communicates a contagious youthfulness, yet maintains surprisingly mature songwriting. There is an ethereal quality to William’s performance, in part due to some clever vocal layering. Eventually the guitar and drums pick up, bringing the track to an exciting and climatic conclusion.

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Matthew’s Pick: The highlight of the week is Homeshake’s “Just Like My,” a memorably groovy cut off of his forthcoming album. Once again, Homeshake delivers lo-fi R&B saturated with a foggy aesthetic that never fails to intrigue. Whether it be Sagar’s hypnotic melodies or the subtly haunting arrangement, this is a track that I can’t stop thinking about. Combine impressive songwriting and stellar production with one of the more interesting videos in recent memory, and you have a recipe for a great bedroom pop jam.

Follow writer Matthew Eaton at Twitter.com/MattnSoCal.

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