Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Nov. 6

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Jackie Venson

Jackie Venson

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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Clean Bandit featuring Marina Diamandis and Luis Fonsi, “Baby” — With reggeaton beats regularly riding Billboard charts, there’s a need for songs like this to remind everyone how Latin pop should really be done. Clean Bandit’s use of flamenco guitar and clave rhythm give “Baby” an authentic Latin feel. While certainly removed from her usual synth-pop style, Marina Diamandis’ voice playfully glides over the sensual instrumentals. She and Luis Fonsi exude compelling chemistry, cementing the song’s harmonious and flirtatious vibe. The band’s balance of contemporary production and traditional instrumentation is reflected both in Diamandis’ melodies and in the visual accompaniment. This makes for a colorful, romantic and fun listen.

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Claire George, “Orbits” — Supported by a stark half-time shuffle, Claire George’s angelic vocals hang forlornly on a tapestry of shimmering synths. “Orbits” reaches celestial heights seemingly out of nowhere, given how minimalist it sounds at the start. Her substantial background in the Bay Area pop music scene is evident in her confident and deliberate execution. The contrast between staccato rhythms and flowing modulations gives this song a unique feel, but it’s obviously a product of real songwriting chops. Her vision expands beyond the production, maintaining a connection to human emotion and memorable melody.

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AJ, The One, “Vagina Vibe” — With a tough-as-nails delivery and banging trap production, AJ, The One (AJ Moultrie)  takes ownership of her womanhood in this anti-harassment anthem. Her unrelenting wordplay cuts to the core of male entitlement and delusions of untouchability, with street-smart swagger and trap-rap flow. “Vagina Vibe” is as catchy and danceable as it is impactful, balancing a sense of humor with austere intensity. As hip-hop continues its progression away from misogynist tropes, this single establishes AJ, The One as an undaunted stronghold of empowered bars and sticky hooks.

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All Tvvins, “Infinite Swim” — Equal parts hypnotic synth-wave and booty-shaking disco funk, this Irish duo abounds with powerful vocal harmonies and immersive dynamics on “Infinite Swim.” The song feels like diving deeper into an ocean of sound. The four-on-the-floor groove guides listeners through currents of syncopated bass and colorful reefs of textured synths and jangly guitars. The chorus pops out like a breaching whale out of the depths, consistently surprising with its tasteful layering and contrasting volume. The song’s abrupt changes hit like a breaking wave, hitting hard and washing over the sonic space.

Swindle featuring Kojey Radical, “Coming Home” — Combining grimy U.K. hip-hop and blood-pumping soul, Swindle creates a triumphant jazz rap backdrop for Kojey Radical’s self-actualized storytelling. “Coming Home” feels like the conclusion to the coming of age story, with walls of brass instrumentation driving Kojey’s melodic flow into the stratosphere. The contemporary production melds into the old-world instrumentation seamlessly, propelling the track into the forefront while managing to maintain a timeless aura. The natural way these musicians and rapper play of each other makes this song both vocally and instrumentally impressive.

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Jackie Venson, “Cover My Eyes” — Though it’s based on a simple bass drum and blues guitar loop, Jackie Venson’s live performance features impressive sonic depth. Her voice is almost too on-point to be real, as her guitar follows along with her groovy melodic phrasing. Like most loop-based performances, “Cover My Eyes” relies heavily on Venson’s ability to elevate a primitive idea into a fleshed-out arrangement. Thanks to her tasteful use of electronic percussion and synth, Venson’s guitar playing finds a strong foothold to leap into emotional soloing. She knows just how much to milk a section before taking it to the next level, giving this song satisfying modulations and compositional clarity. It has the hallmark of all good one-person performances—it doesn’t need a band to sound full.

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Max’s Pick: I’m a sucker for musicians who can do a lot with a little, and that’s why Jackie Venson’s “Cover My Eyes” is such a fun listen. While her performance is minimalist enough to require relatively little from her in terms of instrument juggling, her looping creates the perfect springboard for her singing and guitar playing. Her expressive voice and soloing feel all the more intuitive as they culminate with Venson’s incremental embellishments. Most renditions like this lack what a full studio version brings to the table, but it’s hard to see how this song could get any better.

Follow editor Max Heilman at Twitter.com/madmaxx1995 and Instagram.com/maxlikessound.

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