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Riley The Musician - "99"

Riley The Musician. Image by Jessie The Artist.
It's an exciting time to be Riley The Musician. Three years ago, they released their first EP, Teenage Heartthrob. Two years ago, they released their album Art Is Dead and first donned their now-trademark Warhol wig. Last year's EP, Ana Kennedy, brought them their most attention yet, leading to them performing their first shows at virtual music festivals (fitting, given the futuristic bend that much of their music takes on). Now, Riley is 21 years old and preparing their most ambitious release yet -- an eight-song album called Montana.

Montana was demoed over the summer here in Kansas City, but Riley and some friends set off for Billings last month to complete the project, inspired to do so mainly for the thrills of escapism and seclusion, and in part by Bruce Springsteen's classic, bare-bones foray into Americana folk, Nebraska. The first single released in the leadup to Montana, "99," is plainspoken hyperpop of the catchiest variety.


The song's dance pop rhythm is the glue that holds it together, but its indie pop synth trilling is what will lodge it in your head. Riley has spoken before about their love of Passion Pit and the influence is worn on their sleeve here (I'd also be curious to learn if they feel any way about MGMT). Already an exceptional earworm, the cherry on top is the clever use of Daft Punk-style robot vocals on the chorus of "I'm only human." Its video is a carefree, nighttime dance party in a car, illuminated only by a flashlight; a small piece of escapism Riley's fans should have no problem recreating.


Watch the video below. 


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