HAERTS "New Compassion"
The duo who stole our hearts with their 2014 debut are back to whisk us away to dreamland with their new song (and the announcement that they've got a second album coming out in October). This jingle-jangle track, with its late '60s-inspired guitar harmony covered with just a dash of the harmonies that bring Spiritualized to mind, feels like a modern take on a throwback track. They could be encouraging us to "come on people now, smile on your brother" by crooning about a new compassion to side-step fear and shadows. The hopefulness that pervades this track has got me eager to hear more.
Martina La Peligrosa "Tu Culpa"
If you were wondering about what Jennifer Lopez's lingering influence might be after watching her VMA Vanguard performance, let me point you to Colombia's Martina La Peligrosa, who debuts a very J. Lo circa "Jenny from the Block" look in her latest video but using Janet Jackson's "Pleasure Principal" set and with some guest appearances from Janet's wild early '80s blazers. La Peligrosa cut her teeth on folk music with a dance bent, but she's gone full Latinx pop star now and it's a strong, primary-colored vibe.
QUIÑ "Remind Me"
QUIÑ will shuffle you off to dreamland with her soft-focus song, full of flowered prairie dreses and blonde locs. There's a crunchy '90s feeling to the song, partly invoked by the synths mimicking chimes, and partly coming from those beats that give me serious Sneaker Pimps flashbacks. And that subtle vocal arrangement with lyrics that call back to the classic line from Patrice Rushen's disco single "Forget Me Nots"? Masterful.
Vivian Green "Vibes"
Let's get a little adult. Vivian Green has a new single out and it is going to take you into fall in style. Sexy style. This track, produced by Kwamé (Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera), is reminding me that autumn is dating season and it's time to start thinking about catching some vibes.
neek feat. Saro "something new something blue"
We all know we need to pay attention to the female producers who are out there, since there are so few of them. neek is one to watch; this L.A. based producer and electronic artist dropped a gorgeous single that features Saro and the aesthetic is very James Blake. neek taps into this idea of emotional confrontation in a vulnerable, brutally honest way. Her beats and her harmonies are captivating, underlining the sense of opening yourself up and haring the thoughts you're scared to put into words.
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.