New Music This Week: Lera Lynn Is Old School, Sophia Black Is Not, & More

Lera Lynn & Nicole Atkins "In Another Life"
Lera Lynn dropped a duets album that is worth obsessing over. If you clicked play and thought her lilting alto sounds familiar, you may have heard (or seen) her on season 2 of True Detective. Or, it might just be that her particular brand of roots music feels so damn familiar. To me, this track just screams Roy Orbison: classic with his syncopation of delivery and that lifting vocal he was famous for.
Sophia Black "fire"
Self-confidence in a relationship is a rarity, or maybe that's a statement that's way too revealing of my personal life. Either way, this Sophia Black track makes me want to try harder to be the fire. Also, I'm obsessed with the switch beats on the chorus. There are so many different kinds of digital drumbeats in this song that I practically need an index to keep them straight. And it works, shockingly well. Let the bass bottom you out while Black's lyrics raise you up.
Major '90s R&B vibes on this track, like if TLC ever got really mad and lit a dude up. I enjoy how Ayanis can make saying "the fuck is you thinkin'?" feel like an intimate whisper while she's backed up by some absolutely brutal synths that bring the edge in. It reminds me of Janet Jackson's sweet and vicious mix on tracks like "Black Cat." There's also an element of the post-Lemonade landscape here (er, not just because she's wearing a yellow jumpsuit); Bey made it okay to let your anger out again for WOC working in rhythmic and pop. This track is what she hath wrought.
Rose Villain "Funeral Party"
Just gonna dedicate this to all my haters and everyone who leaves a comment on my articles that starts with "Actually..." Peace, see you at your funeral party. Wait, before I go a note: This is the best chorus clearly not written by an English speaking native (probably a Swede, let's not kid around) since DNCE's "Cake By the Ocean."
Lala Lala "Destroyer"
Lala Lala is a project of Lillie West and this song, with its mumbled lyrics and barely moving guitar chord progressions, is a gorgeous throwback to the lo-fi indie rock of the '90s and '00s. As a fan of the aesthetic, I am glad to hear it coming back and doubly so to see it coming from so many female acts. You know, since they were pretty well boxed out the first time around. This song is infused with something that makes me feel vaguely paranoid and anxious, which is exactly what the high pitched tone of the repeating "yoooooou" in the chorus is designed to do. It's going to be very interesting to see where Lala Lala takes the vibe that is building with this track.
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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