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.
Lindi Ortega "The Comeback Kid"
I love a revenge story tracked by steel guitar. In her new single, Ortega uses a story song, something the country genre is known for back to its roots in Irish folk music, to tell the story of a gunslinger getting payback on someone who "took her life and wrecked it." It would be easy to read this as a jilted love story, but knowing Ortega's M.O., there's no way: this is a kiss-off the the country establish(men)t who tried to wreck her career. The bridge at the end, "comin' back baby, keep comin'" is nothing less than a battle cry.
Tinashe feat. Offset "No Drama"
It is difficult to set aside the irony of releasing a song called "No Drama" with Offset on it this week, but I'll do my best. Let's focus on the Mary J. Blige funneled through the aughts-ness of it all. You cannot, in a post "No More Drama" world, release a song to the same effect without bringing up comparisons, but Tinashe actually does a good job of moving far enough away from the original lyrically here and pairs it with a catchy enough track to have precious little overlap (other than the obvious nod to her use of The Young & the Restless theme that's woven through with the sparse piano track in Tinashe's song). The real overlap is in the outfits, which are straight aughties MJB and her disciples. In fact, this video is the most aughties styled thing I've seen since Britney Spears dropped "Toxic." Oh la la, indeed.
Soccer Mommy "Your Dog"
Soccer Mommy is a reclaiming my time/rehabilitating the brand name that Sophie Allison uses for her musical project. And this song is a damn punch in the guts. It's a rebuke of the old Iggy Pop and the Stooges hit "I Wanna Be Your Dog," from the female point of view. I can't get enough of this song because it is exactly where I am with relationships. I don't want to be someone's little girl, the prop they use to make themselves feel better, the person who sublimates all their needs in favor of their partner, the one who has to do all the cooking and the cleaning, the lesser simply because I'm female. And the lead guitar is pitch perfect, too.
Gwenno "Tir Ha Mor"
Have you ever heard Cornish spoken? Hit play, because you're about to. This lush, gorgeous track is Gwenno's attempt to revitalize and expand the artistic output in a lesser-known British tongue that is 15 centuries old. Tir ha mor translates roughly to mean "land and sea," giving you a sense of the mood you'll hear in this song. The sing-song style of her vocal cadence, along with her alto pitch, puts one in the mind of a mythical siren, while the chimes whose scales that run up and down it sound like the result of a sea breeze. It's got a very '90s era 4AD vibe that makes me think of seminal Brit act Saint Etienne and Scotland's Cocteau Twins.
Wild Child "Sinking Ship / Back & Forth"
Why have only one A-side when you can have a double A-side? Or so goes the logic of Austin group Wild Child on their latest single. Both are worth a listen (not saying that just because they're fellow Texans), but couldn't be more different. "Sinking Ship" is a must listen if you liked Gary Jules' cover of "Mad World" in Donnie Darko and need a little more of that in your life. "Back & Forth" is a more rollicking, but still delicate, piece of work. There's something for everyone here.
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