Playlist: New Discoveries 6/28

New Discoveries: Madison Cunningham, Brandi Carlile, Jocelyn and Chris Arndt
Graphics by Kasvi Bhatia


The lyrics to spill tab’s latest track “Splinter” are filled with visceral imagery. “Grinding my teeth 'til there's dust in my mouth, Digging my fingers into your couch,” the lines go. They paint a relationship stretched too thin. It’s coming to a painful end, the effort having become too much to keep the love going. 

The moniker of spill tab belongs to French-Korean-American artist Claire Chicha. Raised by her father, a jazz musician and composer, and her mom, a classical pianist and harpist, Chicha had a musical upbringing. But her own music bears little semblance to the genres of her parents. Instead, it takes on a low and moody bedroom-pop sound reminiscent of Billie Eilish. Meanwhile, select tracks of hers are lighter in sound, just her airy vocals and the ukulele. “Splinter” shows a duality, the tone fluctuating between soft and heavy, a mirror to the emotional ride represented lyrically. 

“Splinter” comes as spill tab’s second single released so far this year, both follow-ups to her sophomore EP Bonnie. She is currently on tour with Wallows and recently shared “Splinter” and others live with local fans, taking the stage at Roadrunner on Wednesday, June 22nd. It seems her career is only just beginning to blossom as she grows into her sound and picks up these new, exciting opportunities. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



Have the ambulance on speed dial, because Madison Cunnigham is sending us straight to the hospital. 

Cunningham, known for her discography teeming with eloquent lyricism and rich vocals, has released the second single off of her upcoming record, Revealer, due September 9th. “Hospital” brings out a side of the musician that listeners have not previously heard. She begins the tune with a rough, distorted guitar riff, followed shortly by her piercing vocals sounding out over the waves of snappy sound. 

Cunningham teeters on the edge of losing it all throughout the track, exploring themes of self-sabotage and expressing sheer confusion at her own actions. She sings, “Fighting against my flesh and blood, There's nothing I won't try.” The track serves as a deep examination of her psyche. Cunningham explores the ins and outs of her mind through her stream-of-conscious-inspired lyrics — although, she seemingly isn’t quite sure what to do with all that she finds. 

Catch Cunningham performing all over the US this summer and fall on her headlining tour, and make sure to stream Revealer on September 9th! 

- Sophie Severs, Staff Writer



The country and Americana music star Brandi Carlile’s semi-new song “You and Me on the Rock” is part of her album In These Silent Days, released in 2021. After the sound of a cheerful guitar, Brandi Carlile comes in singing, “They build wooden houses on frozen ponds.” Carlile continues to describe what “they” do. 

In the next verse, she opens with “I build my house up on this rock, baby, every day with you. There’s nothin’ in that town I need, after everything we’ve been through.” As the song continues, it becomes more melodiously upbeat, yet soft— a feel-good sound. She eventually lets listeners know that she doesn’t care about whoever “them” refers to. 

When asked what the song is about in an interview with Stereogum, Carlile explained that after finishing her memoir she was chronologically mining her memories. She remembered Sunday school at church and learning about ‘building your house on a rock’— basically building your life on a solid foundation. When her identity changed, she reflected on the life she went on to form with her wife and two daughters and wrote “You and Me on the Rock.” The song ends with a soft bam. 

- Mina Rose Morales, Staff Writer



Sibling-duo Jocelyn and Chris Arndt are carving out their own space in the rock scene with their distinctive, captivating sound. Their latest “Run Away,” may ease in with a soft start, but it’s anything but a slow-burner. It builds up with each strum of the rhythm guitar from Chis and each biting verse Jocelyn sings. 

The chorus particularly creates drama, as Jocelyn sings, “The earth is quaking and the sun is out of line.” Each chorus culminates with an impassioned “let’s just run away,” sung with an elongated last syllable in some cases, with voice fluctuations at others, and in a near-scream at points. And then the song winds down all over again. The gentler acoustic breaks throughout and at the end give “Run Away” a contrasting, beautifully emotional tinge. 

Jocelyn and Chris are currently making a run of select U.S. tour dates. With several of their most recent singles reaching high success on AAA radio charts, it’s clear to see that many are ready to see what the duo do next. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator


Each week, our intrepid music staff picks out some new songs you can't miss. For even more new releases, listen to All New From 8-9 every evening on 88.9

Read more of our New Discoveries here

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