After my first job 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.
Selena Gomez & Marshemello "Wolves"
There's something about this song that feels so familiar to me in the chord progression of the bridge — it sounds a bit like The Police's "Every Breath You Take," which is apt lyrically. One stalker song is referencing another. Gomez, with her words, hits that same tone of distant admiration from one whose fire for another burns too bright to be healthy. Except I don't think it's a person she's chasing, it's the high she felt from being in love, in a moment, with a person. If spring is when love blooms, fall is when it withers on the vine, and so we all get a bit morose about our summer loves that are fading away. This track certainly captures the feeling of being on "the darkest side of the moon" without love.
Hamilton Leithauser f/ Angel Olsen "Heartstruck (Wild Hunger)"
This song is a classic doo-wop style duet with two of the finest oddball voices out there. Leithauser has long been known for his expressive, cracking voice that lives in a higher register than the average indie rocker and Olsen is the epitome of the thin, reedy, girly sound that can launch a movement. Her delivery here is very Leslie Gore-esque. This song is rife with regrets about a relationship gone bad, because my idea of romance is apparently quite dark. Bring on the longing, it tastes like pumpkin spice. I love the moment, about three quarters of the way through the song when you think there's a climax or a drop coming, but instead everything goes silent and the music simply holds — no crescendo, no pulling back, just steady. Moments like that, the ones we don't predict in music, are what makes it so damn appealing.
Lo Moon "Thorns"
One part The xx, one part that song from the school dance scene in 13 Reasons Why: this slow burn of a slow dance will make your heart beat a little bit faster as soon as it gets to the chorus. The track is about a love that survives adversity but, frankly, it could be about nearly anything and make my heart feel like it's breaking. I love the back and forth interplay of the drums and bass, where the rhythm section feels like two valves of a heart beating to make the whole work, and I adore the lift in the vocals when the chorus hits. This is one of those songs you'll find yourself playing on repeat an infinite number of times, because it just gets to you.
Harry Hudson "Cry for Love"
Hudson is a little guy with a very big voice, and he likes his lyrics twisty and quick. This jam falls into a category one of my buddies created some time back: music for crying on the dance floor. I want to dance around my kitchen listening to this one, but when I take a minute to really hear the lyrics I feel so sad for the couple in the song. Don't cry too hard for Hudson, though — he's one of Kylie Jenner's besties, and if he can just get her to bump his track on her Snapchat, he'll be set.
First Aid Kit "It's a Shame"
It didn't work out, and that's always a shame. First Aid Kit, a Swedish duo with a penchant for folk rock, dip their toes into the country-tinged waters for their new album — note that steel guitar on the chorus and the near-yodel the ladies reach at certain points. This is one of my favorite sorts of breakup songs, where the narrator is trying to find her own identity after a relationship. She's well past pining over a guy who didn't pass muster and onto finding herself. Give me that and a cup of hot chocolate, because we are all going to be alright.
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