Julia Michaels f/ Trippie Redd "Jump"
All eyes are on Julia Michaels to see how she follows up her uber-hit "Issues." If "Jump" is any indication, she's sticking to the confessional style that made "Issues" so appealing. As a songwriter, she's great at tapping into the raw emotions so many of us have but only admit to our besties for fear of being thought of as too much. Even the imagery in her lyric video manages to feel intimate: the handwriting, the knife with lipstick writing, the tampon, the gummy bears, and the makeup all add up to detritus that jumps into and out of the lives of real women. The controlled delivery, though, keeps it from becoming an emotional overload. The secret to Michaels' intimate songwriting is actually letting us know she's in control of everything on the track. She's got issues, but she's also got layers.
Florence + the Machine "Hunger"
I'm so stoked, there is going to be a new Florence record! For those of you who didn't watch her BBC interview like an obsessed fangirl who framed her vinyl Ceremonials and hung it on the living room wall (me), she has found her joy again. And JFC the opening lines for this song, equating love and loneliness with hunger explain so much about her rough past few albums. No more disillusionment here, no more self-loathing either: Florence Welch has given up drinking and found not only a way to be more creative but the courage to get truly personal. I cannot wait to hear more.
Middle Kids "On My Knees"
If you're looking for a new album to stream this week, look no further than the debut from Middle Kids. One listen and you'll get that singer Hannah Joy writes most of her songs in the middle of the night, by herself in an empty house (sure, her bandmates, one of whom is her husband polish it up later). The way her voice works, singing low and thin over a sonic wall of guitars, is very different from most bands who push the vocals forward. To amplify her, they layer the vocals on several tracks, giving us Hannah on Hannah on Hannah with her bandmates behind her in the mix. It's a neat listen from an innovative Australian band.
In the words of Ebhoni: "You and I, let's just state facts." This video, according to the press release that accompanied it, is a gender-reversed take on 6IX9INE's "Gummo." It succeeds, in terms of the song's lyrical content and the scenarios they set up in the shots, but it also manages to be miles and miles and miles better by being listenable, elegantly shot, and infinitely more sophisticated. It also presents this dichotomy that is Ebhoni. How does she manage to sing about gunplay and still come across as someone cool who I'd want to hang with? She contains multitudes, where the man she aims to send-up is one flat note.
Jaira Burns "OKOKOK"
Today in men are trash: Jaira Burns sings an ode to her cheating, POS partner. This song sucked me in with the vocal arrangement on the chorus. I am obsessed with the way she travels up the scale only to drop back down and sing "okay okay okay" in a lower, monotone range. It undercuts the girliness out of her overall delivery. It is that jam for when you're truly over it and out.
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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