Maren Morris "Rich"
So look: I am using Westworld as a point of reference of this Maren Morris video to get you into it because it's the more relevant one. And because the theme reminds me of when Dolores became a kick-ass woman, but not an infallible one. However, there's a very long tradition in country to harken back to western days, and what it really reminded me of was the photos that most of the paternal side of my family have of themselves dressed up in old-timey Western clothes, standing in a saloon, as portraits. Trust me, it was a huge trend in the '80s for people in the South. The song, from her 2016 album, has always made me laugh. I'm glad to see the video is just as entertaining.
Kesha "I Need a Woman"
Another one that's not a new song but is a new video you'll want to see. Kesha has married a few fans before, and for this video she handles the nuptials of a lesbian couple, Dani and Lindsey, in Vegas. Listening to these women talk about their relationship and how they don't take the right to get married for granted, because it hasn't always been available to them, makes everyone involved in this cry, so don't think you'll be spared. Their wedding is gorgeous, their vows are touching and funny, and love is love is love.
I've been fascinated by this song since I heard it on Kesha's album because it is done in the style of those huge old '70s rock songs that a man would sing. The guitar and her cracking vocals take the whole notion of a woman's place in the world, not to mention this normalized ideal of heterosexuality, and flip them on their head. That's one way to reclaim rock history for women.
Courtney Barnett "Nameless, Faceless"
Courtney Barnett's sophomore album is coming out this summer, and you are going to want to hear it. A lot of the songs, including "Nameless, Faceless," reflect on reactions to her universally acclaimed debut. And it was not all good, as her lyrics belie. We learn in this song that lots of dudes felt free to tell her they could have made a better album, sent her threats online, and generally disrespected her talent. It leads to a chorus that explores why women are often afraid of men, with the help of a few famous quotes. If you've got male friends who are wondering what it's like to be a woman in the world, use this track to explain it to them. It's a start.
Florence + the Machine "Sky Full of Song"
Just in time for festival season, it's the return of Florence! I'm a huge stan for her so forgive me while I take a moment of silence rather than blabbering your ear off about how great this track is. Unfortunately, it seems this is a one-off for Record Store Day and not necessarily a new album. I'll be over here, obsessing over the gorgeous imagery and examining every element of the sparse arrangement. Her prose is, as always, stunning.
Rachel Cantu "You're the Most"
Rachel Cantu layers a lush, repetitive keyboard melody with her vocals, and something about the minor key chord changes make it so pleasing to the ear. The examination of love in this track, with lyrics that run through the insecurities one might feel before entering into a committed relationship, feels vulnerable and relatable. This is most definitely a spring love song.
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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