Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Dec. 4

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RY X, Tuesday Tracks

Ryan Cuming, better known as RY X.

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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Kevin Devine, “I Wrote It Down For You” – Kevin Devine thought he was meant to be a journalist, until music’s tempting call diverted his path. He began playing his angsty ballads at open mic nights and coffee shops, gaining a loyal following. “I Wrote It Down For You” is part of a two-song project on which he sings this original tune along with a John K. Samson cover. Devine bleeds from his heart over these stripped-down acoustic guitar dreamscapes. His emotional tone and beautiful vocal melodies intertwine to a heart-wrenching effect.

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Grace Weber featuring Vic Mensa, “Mercy” – Weber has performed with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and most recently on this gospel-laced soulful track, with Vic Mensa. Her childhood spent in the Central City Youth Gospel Choir of Milwaukee has evidently influenced this gentle but resonant R&B banger. Lyrically, the single is a cry out from Weber in a dire time of need, but the sonics empower her vulnerability. Vic Mensa’s harsher rap flow brings more strength to this already robust hip-hop anthem, providing a foil for Weber’s artful voice.

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RY X, “Bound” – Australian indietronica artist Ryan Cuming, who performs as RY X, has gained a considerable international following since dropping his debut EP, Berlin. He now presents a haunting three-song project with YaYaYa, which is reminiscent of Bon Iver and Angus Stone. The particular beauty here is the bodacious “Bound,” a song jam-packed with haunting piano riffs and intense synthesizer. His enveloping electronic production feels like a warm blanket on a cold rainy day.

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TEEN, “Only Water” – “Only Water” might sound a lot like the catchy melody of Lorde’s “Ribs” on first listen, but rest assured TEEN definitely has its own merit. The Liberson sisters bring the house down on this exhilarating electro-pop single. “Only Water” could sate any appetite for ‘90s nostalgia, while also showcasing futuristic samples with spaceship sound effects and nonstop club beats. The lead melody starts out tame but the song’s slow build culminates into a rapid-fire dance pop anthem.

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Tom Rosenthal, “The Only Time I’m Home” – Tom Rosenthal’s vocal chops bring warmth to frigid hearts with resonating passion and earthy rasp. The British composer and songwriter exhibits his experience with writing soundtracks for both YouTubers and filmmakers, relying on his witty and sentimental lyricism. On this single, he capitalizes on his ability evoke wintertime vibes with this charming violin-driven Christmastime gem. The latter half of the track introduces drummer boy-esque percussion to complement the narrative.

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Vic’s Pick – Of these five sentimental heartbreakers, my pick is the beautiful “Bound” by RY X. Maybe it’s my love for Bon Iver speaking from the back of my mind, but RY X gives Justin Vernon a definite run for his money with this song’s emotional build-up. Whether it be his striking vocal presentation or the goosebump-inducing alpine chill, there’s something magnetic that demands attention to RY X’s work.

Follow writer Vic Silva at twitter.com/VicSilvaaaa.

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