Charli XCX "5 in the Morning"
Charli dropped this video, plus two other tracks, this week. Who needs to drop an album when you can release singles while you're on tour with Taylor Swift? They're all good, but let's get into this video because it's particularly interesting. The song itself is lyrically a bit vapid, concerning itself with the stamina it requires to party with Charli. But the video tells another story. Charli is decked out like a party girl, pretty much dripping in jewels, but she's in an empty warehouse. It's full of everyone who can keep up with her — aka no one. But, to me, this also reads like an indictment of the party lifestyle of the idle rich, be they Gatsby characters or tsars of the Russian empire. That empty warehouse is a reminder that the working class exists, and at about 6 in the morning you can bet princess party is going to have to GTFO. I think Charli is making a pop song that will get played on the radio (though the production is weird, as her production always is), and a video that reminds us about class struggle. Sneaky. This is approved.
070 Shake "I Laugh When I'm With Friends But Sad When I'm Alone"
070 Shake is a real test for the hip-hop community. She's a protege of Kanye West who guested on a few Ye tracks, and fans know this track came out on her EP in March. The video for it is new, and the conversation around her place in music needs to be renewed in a post-XXXTentacion world. I present to you: A woman talking about depression, mental health, loneliness — you know, all the things XXX's fans claimed to connect with in his music. What it doesn't have is misogyny. There aren't violent threats to kill anyone for leaving her; no talk of hoes. If you are looking for music that connects to your feelings, for rhymes that speak with raw power about feelings...here it is.
Bayli "MYOB: Or Whatever"
After watching this video, you will want to be in Bayli's crew, at least for the summer. Or, perhaps you'll spend the summer (rightly) telling people to mind their own business. Either way, this one is going right to the top of my summer jams playlist.
Mitski is swinging for the fences with the first track from her forthcoming album. She's skewering the disconnected nature of modern life here, but also considering how it feels for women; when we show emotion, it's perceived as weakness. So, the character she plays/sings as here attempts to control. Oh god, it me. I'll take this up with my therapist. Thanks, Mitski.
Tash Sultana "Salvation"
Here's what you need to know about Tash Sultana, right off the bat: She's a one-woman operation. Every sound you hear on this track is a sound she made. The second thing you need to know is that this is a stunning piece of work. It's light and beautiful, but also confrontational and raw. I've never wanted to hang out in the studio with someone more.
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.