Snail Mail "Heat Wave"
Rock radio is heading straight into the same problem area that country radio has been living in for several years: women are making some of the most potent music in the genre and aren't being played. Case in point: Snail Mail. The latest song from her forthcoming album is an ode to summer crushes, soundtracked with longing by her masterful guitar playing. The video is a Freaks & Geeks-level smart take on the endless humiliations and intimidation that come with being a woman in the world. It's cool; you'll be able to stream it on Spotify. And it's infuriating, because this music should get more mainstream attention for being amazing.
Janelle Monáe "I Like That"
Of course you know that Janelle's latest album, Dirty Computer, is out now. It's required streaming, because this is music to change your life to. Hopefully you've caught her other game-changing videos released from it thus far, but if not let me assure you that "I Like That" is a gentle entry point that brilliantly sums up the gist of the album as a whole. It's also visually stunning.
Ravyn Lenae f/ Steve Lacy "4 Leaf Clover"
If what you know about Chicago comes from Kanye and Chance, excuse yourself from their drama for the moment and please meet Ravyn Lenae. Her single, which is lovely, has an accompanying video that is basically the Black Grease. The song is an iconic Sandra Dee/Danny Zuko-esque back-and-forth, done as that old -school talking-to-each-other-style duet that no one does anymore. The aesthetic gets an update with Instagram-worthy filters and post-Hitchcock steady shots through windows that are way too high brow for a movie musical. Her cool girl delivery belies a confidence I'd love to hear in more female artists.
Junglepussy "Trader Joe"
I think I like Junglepussy's flow better than I like any other hoe's. No, but seriously, the languid pace she raps at is like a balm to my soul. I never got why going fast was supposed to impress me; what impresses me is a quick wit. Junglepussy has that in spades, with an arrogance that is absolutely charming. The woman paints a picture with her words; she is a true storyteller, like, all day long.
SZA f/ Kendrick Lamar "Doves in the Wind"
It is straight-up shocking to me that SZA doesn't love her own album or know why people fuck with it. I saw a clip of these two doing this song at Coachella and immediately went, "Oh right, shit that's a good song." The video is maybe more of a celebration of Tarantino's take on martial arts movies than I care about, but it's badass to see SZA put herself in the role of a fighter.
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.
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