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.
K.Flay "Bad Vibes"
You know the kind of person K.Flay is singing about here, because there are probably some in your life: the bummers, the negative nellies, and the people who only see the dark cloud despite the silver lining. She performs an exorcism on their bad energy with her muddy guitar and lyrics — too bad that doesn't work for most of us in real life.
Kero Kero Bonito "Swimming"
Sarah Bonito was inspired to write by her unsettling dreams and it shows in "Swimming." Don't let the buoyant melodies in this song fool you, those lyrics paint an unsettling picture of being in an unknown place and going adrift on unknown waters. It's a little terrifying, despite its K Records-inspired sound.
Hannah Cohen "Wasting My Time"
If you're looking for an exquisite new voice, look no further than Hannah Cohen. The tone she strikes while singing about a useless ex is full of weariness and the soul of Emmylou Harris. Though the song isn't that fast, her delivery is and she crams as many words in as she can. When you've got a this much to say, no sense wasting time.
Jasmine Thompson "more"
"It's quiet now, slow it down," Thompson sings in the first verse of this song and she could be describing her own work. The menagerie of sounds on the track is fascinating, as is the abrupt climb up the scale the melody makes when she hits the chorus and her Fiona Apple-esque voice. It's almost a reimagining of what a pop song can sound like, and most definitely a bold experiment.
iNCH "Sun & Moon"
NBD, but iNCH is kind of taking on a big topic with this song and video: climate change. She explores her sense of hopelessness in the face of such a giant issue, both metaphorically by immersing herself in water, and literally with her words. Some of the best calls to social action in songs have benefitted from a catchy composition — iNCH knows that and crafts a strong earworm of a package for her message.