Ella Mai feat. Nicki Minaj & Quavo "Boo'd Up (Remix)"
Discerning minds already have "Boo'd Up" on their summer of '18 jams playlist. The thoroughly charming song by British songstress Ella Mai gets a reinvention in this remix, which adds Nicki Minaj and Quavo from Migos. It's a little more trap and a little less of Mai's soulful crooning, ostensibly to make it a bit more rap radio friendly, but a little extra "Superbass" never hurt anyone. One thing that doesn't get reworked: the feeling of longing and crushing that makes the O.G. song so damn likable.
Adeline is bring just a touch of funk and a healthy dose of her French-Caribbean heritage with "Emeralds," and it's a damn joy to hear. If this is what the second coming of disco is going to be like, with some of those old-school Moog sounds and modern trap beats, then let's bring back disco. Adeline is one to catch at Afropunk this summer.
Mala Rodríguez "Gitanas"
You don't have to speak Spanish to catch some kind of feeling from this Mala Rodríguez track; the power she's putting into it is shooting off like fireworks. But, if you don't, this track is an ode to feminism, gypsies, and #MeToo. It's her ode to the power of gitanas, the marginalized class of Romani women who taught her about protecting and standing up for herself. In short, how to be a feminist. The final dance scene speaks to the power of women as a whole and gives me chills.
The Shindellas "Reconsider"
The Shindellas are bringing back that old-school girl group style (shout out to Pitchfork for their coverage of the history of girl groups, which I highly recommend you deep dive into). Forget your TLCs and Spice Girls, they're taking it back to the true classics who invented the idea. It's a real treat to listen to their harmonizing, but with updated lyrics for our modern times. As enjoyable as so many of the old girl groups were, the songs aren't exactly empowering, and they existed in a heteronormative vacuum.
Everyone knows that summer crush feeling. Sonta is really taking me back to those days of working as a hostess in the family restaurant with this track, and crushing on the boy who worked at the fireworks stand. What really gets me is the raspiness in her voice, which plays off the sticky sweetness of the song's lyrics. It makes for a beautifully conceived vocal performance.
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.