Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – April 30

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Kim Petras, NIKI, Emotional Oranges, Winona Oak, Lily Kershaw, Ciel.

Clockwise from top left: Kim Petras, NIKI, Emotional Oranges, Winona Oak, Lily Kershaw, Ciel.

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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Kim Petras, “Broken” — A couple months ago, Kim Petras announced the end of what she named “Era 1” of her music, stirring up much anticipation for what’s next. Now, the Los Angeles pop artist returns with the first single from this new wave of material. Over a dreamy pop and R&B melody reminiscent of S Club 7, Petras uses her vocals as the song’s driving force. “Broken” comes from the vulnerable aftermath of a bad breakup, with lyrics that both sink into sadness and snap back. It calls for an ex to get a taste of his own medicine, punctually expressed by Petras’ stunning and seamless mix of sung and rapped verses.

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NIKI, “lowkey” — Buoyant beats and NIKI’s ethereal set of pipes make “lowkey” ultra-sweet to the ears. The latest single from the Jakarta-born, Los-Angeles-based singer talks about keeping hush about a relationship, allowing the soft and playful backdrop to feel just right. Though the song teases a sense of demurity, NIKI’s sound is totally bright and magnetic. Her voice floats into high notes effortlessly and her flow goes between legato and staccato just the same.

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Emotional Oranges, “Someone Else” — The newest single from Emotional Oranges features a fiery back-and-forth between the enigmatic R&B duo. Propelled by breezy drumbeats and sticky bass and guitar riffs, each member takes turns delivering smooth verses about a relationship running its course. “If you want that something else/ Go and get it, baby,” sing both parties, coming to terms with the situation at hand. Altogether, these elements make for a steamy groove that plays on the band’s mystical presence. 

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Winona Oak, “He Don’t Love Me” — After collaborating with What So Not and The Chainsmokers, rising pop artist Winona Oak has released her debut solo single. “He Don’t Love Me” conjures Lana Del Rey’s melancholic allure, but Winona Oak’s charm takes the lead above all else. After channeling her inner chanteuse in each verse, the chorus drops with atmospheric beats, creating a fluffy contrast against her rich sound. The differing textures come across heavenly, despite the topic of unrequited love at hand.

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Ciel, “Why Me?” — Toronto producer Ciel captures a whirlwind of emotions on the title track of her forthcoming EP, Why Me? Vocal samples uttering “get away” and “why me” send the song off into an eerie beginning, cuing the instrumental build-up. The drum track unravels with nervous pacing, while thick synths coat the melody with a heavy, gutting feeling. At nearly eight minutes in length, Ciel allows her ideas to unravel organically, sending listeners into a sonic hypnosis.

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Lily Kershaw, “Darker Things” — Singer-songwriter Lily Kershaw’s latest single offers a comforting message made even more soothing through her voice. Gentle and sincere, Kershaw’s vocals nestle into the soul as she sings about being there for a loved one fighting inner demons. She hits every note delicately, yet precisely. The higher notes sound especially ethereal. The song’s video is just as haunting, featuring Kershaw walking through neon-lit streets and seeing things through artificial eyes.

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Chloe’s Pick: I was immediately drawn to the bright sound of “lowkey” by NIKI, and the way her vocals switched between a bouncy and free flowing vibes so effortlessly. I also loved the contrast between NIKI’s soft sound and her straight-to-the-point lyrics. She knows and addresses exactly what she wants. It gives off an empowering energy while demonstrating that there can be strength in softness.

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

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