CHVRCHES "Get Out"
When you listen to the new CHVRCHES single, can you hear the pop undertones riding their synths? They brought in producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Kelly Clarkson) in to give them...apparently a very radio friendly single. It is remarkable, in their oeuvre, because it's their most accessible song to date (and possibly their brightest). It also lays down a gauntlet. Now, they have to walk the line between having a signature sound and being something digestible to the mass market. It makes me want to hear more, so I can get a sense of where the line between commerce and authenticity ends for this trio.
Middle Kids "Mistake"
Middle Kids are another trio worth knowing, if you missed their debut EP last year. Their singer, Hannah Joy, is my #WCW. They're from Sydney, Australia, and they like the distortion effect pedal on their guitar parts, but like seriously. This song comes at you like a missile; it's good old-fashioned (very pre-Nirvana '90s inspired) rock. It doesn't go anywhere, and it probably doesn't mean anything, it's just good.
Let's Eat Grandma "Hot Pink"
Pro-tip: any teenage girls who sing "kill me now" and "I'm such a drama queen" are fucking with you. This British duo might be the most meta songwriters I've come across in a minute. If you think pink is just for girls or that men singing songs about girls who are "only 17 (and you know what I mean)" is fine, they wrote this one for you. Disgust with the status quo never felt so right for the dance floor.
Anna von Hausswolff "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra"
We've all been hearing the term "witch hunt" get thrown around by morons lately. I rather suspect the men saying it don't have a proper appreciation for witches. This track, from Anna von Hausswolff's forthcoming album Dead Magic, has vocals so powerful, soaring, and raw that they'll make you think twice about the strength a woman has. Y'all aren't ready to hear from a woman scorned. The tribal drums that push the song forward are the secret sauce here. Some people might get fooled and think it's the psychedelic guitars, but no: the drums and the extensive use of toms are what propel the otherworldly chanting here forward. This has now become the official soundtrack of my witch hunt, so don't look behind you if you hear this song blaring.
Lord Huron "Ancient Names (Part I)”
Yes, you do know this band from 13 Reasons Why; their gorgeous track "The Night We Met" soundtracked the school dance scene, prompting Hannah and Clay to concur that Tony has the best taste in music. Yes, I did listen to it for exactly that reason, and I'm happy to report: their songs are still haunting, gorgeous, and ethereal. No, this will not hurry along season 2 of 13 Reasons, but it might tide you over.
After my first job at 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.
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