After my first job MTV working as a music programmer, I can't stop trying to matchmake 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. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or leave me a comment below and tell me what you're listening to this week.
Alice Glass "Without Love"
In case it wasn't obvious, Alice Glass does not intend to surrender the sounds of her former band after leaving. Well, at least not the elements she liked. Nor should she, and it brings a sense of familiarity to this single from her 2017 self-titled EP. The song, written and recorded long before she shared accusations of abuse at the hands of her former bandmate, plays as a commentary on their relationship. He watches her "from the underground;" it is "without love." While it's probably healthy for her to have this detached view of it now, considering she left the band in 2014, it is a bit unsettling as we watch their legal battles play out in real time. That said, I'm on board with fighting in whatever manner gives Glass her agency back. The stunning visuals from director Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, The Handmaid's Tale) give a claustrophobic aesthetic to the video, which heightens the viewer's sense of being involved in this story and enhances the idea that Glass is fighting her way out of a tangled, thorny mess.
blackbear feat. FRND "anxiety"
I don't usually go for emo rap, least of all by a dude with face tats from Florida, but this track is easy to relate to. In fairness to the English language, the feeling he's talking about is more ennui than anxiety, but the beat and off-kilter music do a fine job of creating that sense of anxiety where the lyrics don't quite close the deal. It's smartly put together and taps into a feeling that is distressingly easy to relate to. Rather than making me anxious by proxy; however, listening to this feels like a release for my anxieties and a place to funnel them. It's nice to find a home for those feelings, because I'm tired of carrying so much anxiety around.
Jack White "Connected By Love"
There are going to be more and more songs like this one as the Trump presidency rolls on, focusing on what unites us over what divides us. I'm not sure that any will top White on sincerity, though. It gets a spot on my playlist because I sincerely hope people have good intentions. I want to see the best in them and have the hopeful outlook that White does. I want to fuse us all together with a guitar solo. The alternative is simply too bleak.
Matt and Kim "Forever"
Speaking of relentless optimism: ladies and gentlemen, Matt and Kim! Even this Brooklyn duo whose happiness seems to know no end have let the darkness of our times seep into their music just a touch. Don't get me wrong, the song will still make your head bop to Kim's always infectious beats, but the sentiment that there is a world of shit to climb out of is a new one for Matt and Kim. However, they promise to run through the streets in protest and continue to not give a shit what anyone thinks of them, so there is hope.
Holly Miranda ft. Kyp Malone "Exquisite"
Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio does double duty as guest vocalist and director of the video for Hilly Miranda's latest, an old demo from an equally old partnership that often brings trippy musical vibes. There's a theme of taking responsibility for one's actions but through the film of music that makes you feel as though you're barely holding on to your good judgment. The dueling ideas somehow dovetail into a good song, despite the odds against it.
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