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.
John Legend & Esperanza Spalding, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
We're on our holiday music game this week, with the new tracks you need to add to your yearly playlist. We'll kick it off with John Legend, because his holiday album became an instant classic from the moment it dropped in late October. This track, with Obama's favourite Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, is a perfect take on a Christmas classic, with less sadness than the Judy Garland original.
Tyler, The Creator feat. Ryan Beatty & Santigold, "Lights On"
Now, how about a new classic to add to the playlist? Grandma may not like this one, but oh well. Tyler, The Creator continues his on again/off again relationship with Christmas by dropping an EP of songs inspired by The Grinch. This bizarre but delightful track is my pick from the six-song offering, but spin 'em all and see which one suits you!
The Minus 5 feat. Ben Gibbard, "Christmas in Antartica"
If Death Cab for Cutie aren't dropping a Christmas single this year, I'll take the Minus 5 with DCFC lead singer Ben Gibbard instead to soundtrack my emo Xmas. Except hold the emo and add a lot of power pop guitar chords instead. Issa bop.
Phoebe Bridgers feat. Jackson Browne, "Christmas Song"
For your cooler-than-cool yuletide fetes, toss on this single from indie folk darling Phoebe Bridgers with singer/songwriter legend Jackson Browne. It's a cover from one of Omaha, NE's finest (and lesser known) bands, McCarthy Trenching. The song came together after Bridgers saw them play it at a show in L.A., discovered it didn't make her want to quit music, and randomly folk-rock legend Jackson Browne was also in attendance, and loved it. Deep cuts, people. Deep cuts.
Bubble & Squeak "The Christmas Stick"
If you didn't think my selections could get more indie or obscure, hold my beer. This last one is a new holiday original from Girl Ray's Poppy Hankin and Jof Owens of The Boy Least Likely To. This sweet ditty tells the story of a boy and girl who fall in love and simply just write...a Christmas song. I nominate it for best use of sleigh bells this season.