Ever since my first job at MTV working as a music programmer, I can’t stop trying to match people with music they might like. So, I wrote a book called Record Collecting for Girls and started interviewing musicians. The Music Concierge is a column where I share music I’m listening to that you might enjoy, with a little context. Get everything I’ve recommended this year on Spotify, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment below telling me what you’re listening to this week.
Au/Ra “Stay Happy”
Au/Ra just wants her glow back, she says about writing this song that feels very Euphoria inspired. But, more than that, she wanted to talk about feeling sad and seeking how happiness. While she was somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, this song came together. It’s got an Imogen Heap-esque vibe, loaded with angst and gorgeous electronic samples that make it moody.
Aunty Social “Traveling Circus”
Another moody little gem, this one from bedroom pop musician Aunty Social. She touches on feelings of insecurity and the disconnection we all feel in modern life. Musically, it’s so unique and diverse (do I hear guitars with effects pedals on top of a purely synthetic beat?) that it defies genres — and it’s just catchy.
KEYAH/BLU “til bliss”
I’m not typically a fan of British hip hop, but what KEYAH/BLU is doing is worth listening to. Not only is her flow completely unique, and just as influenced by James Blake as it is by J. Cole, her backing track is like an 8-track sound from the late ’70s mixed with something chopped and screwed mixed with Caribbean and island influences. All of that combines to make something totally cool, totally new, and totally playlist worthy.
Ariel View “Until My Lungs Are Cleared”
If Ariel View are what’s happening in California indie rock right now, I’d like to buy some stocks, please. This lullaby of a song makes me want to swan around my bedroom and croon along. There’s a hint of the Velvet Underground mixed with the big fuzzy guitar sound beloved by the ’90s and then there are the chimes, ringing out to make this track unforgettable. The dual harmonizing of sisters Harmonie and Heaven Martinez do a lot to make this song like nothing else out there right now.
Avonlea “Big Kid”
We’re all faking it when it comes to adulthood, right? Some of us more convincingly than others, sure. Avonlea’s song from Netflix’s Tall Girl soundtrack nails the feeling: that sense that when you grow up you have this idea that you know who you will be and what you want. Spoiler alert: you don’t.
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