In anticipation of his newest EP Ana Kennedy, Kansas City native Riley the Musician has released his lead single entitled “Railroad” a twinkling and digital party of a song accompanied by an equally impressive music video and merch drop. Riley’s music has always been playful, fun and exciting and the end of that streak is nowhere in sight with this track.

This is his first solo track since his release of his Hollywoodland EP, though he has released a collaborative EP with Iker and a remix of PC Music darlings Gupi and Fraxiom’s Thos Moser since then. Continuing his streak of producing electronic and hip-hop inspired music Railroad has the signature Riley sound of what he has coined as Alternative-Internet (Alt-Int). This approach manifests in a song that sounds like if your computer’s motherboard was having a dance party. 

The production itself is rich and uplifting with a synth melody that is somehow simultaneously nostalgic and excited for the near future. 

Riley’s vocals are another contributing factor to the party-like quality of the track as the variety of effects and layers he utilizes makes it sound like a room full of digital clones of the man himself. 

If that doesn’t pull you into the track then his call and response tactics very well might, as at one point he very playfully recruits various synthesizer sounds to recite the main melody. The song itself takes you up and down, through moments of sparse instrumental to borderline claustrophobia, but it never relents in its cohesiveness and positivity.

As part of this triple release Riley has also dropped a self-made music video directed by Jessie the Artist and Joshua Barret. Continuing the digital theme, this video utilizes heavy VHS glitches and effects that only add to the nostalgia. Another interesting use of technology is found when shots of Riley are cut back and forth between an original recording and then a recording of the display screen of whatever laptop or computer was used to edit it. The shots in which you can see the actual screen recordings and cameras used to capture the footage only add to his DIY aesthetic and even cross into Kino-Eye territory, destroying the mystique of the recording process. 

His messages to those who wish to be artists themselves are both tongue-in-cheek but also uplifting in a serious sense, telling the kids at home that they could do it too.