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.
Nilüfer Yanya “H34T RISES”
Nilüfer Yanya’s reworked take on “Heat Rises” from her March debut album takes the lo-fi aspects of the OG track and puts a new shine on the bass that makes it pop a bit more, sound a bit more crips. The addition of backing vocals from her first guitar teacher, The Invisible’s Dave Okumu, adds a new dimension, especially to the end of the track. But, it mostly takes a solid album cut and turns it into a single. Yanya had one of my favorite albums so far this year — comparing these two tracks and her evolution after a year on the road is a treat.
BENEE “Find An Island”
Wow, did this BENEE track stop me in my tracks. I love the bouncy music and her girlish voice. Just listening to it makes me happy. That BENEE is only 19 shows in her music, but in a great way — it feels young and fresh. Can’t wait to see what else she’s got up her sleeve.
Chloe Lilac “Special”
Chloe was one of our artists to watch in 2019 and we’ve been watching as she dropped a pair of excellent EPs that tease a bright career head. On “Special,” she explores some very different ’90s vibes than she’s messed with before — tricks that are more Dee-lite and upbeat than the dark pop of her last EP. It’s a shot of some catchy nostalgia that my playlist badly needs right now.
Ali Barter “Big Ones”
I got incredibly strong early Weezer guitar feels from the moment I pressed play on Ali Barter’s great song — can’t you feel that “Sweater Song” mood kick in when the chorus starts? But her voice is totally Juliana Hatfield. It’s all fantastic. You’re good Ali, you’re good.
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