Ever since my first job at MTV working as a music programmer, I can't stop trying to match 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. Get everything I've recommended this year on Spotify, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment below telling me what you're listening to this week.
Lily & Madeleine "Analog Love"
There's a thing called blood harmony that some siblings have and this song by the Jurkiewicz sisters taps into it: their harmonies are of an otherworldly sort that can only come when people have a connection that goes far beyond one the develops from standing in proximity to each other in the studio. They captured the sentiment of an old-fashioned love by playing with old-fashioned recording techniques that make this track feel especially warm, like it's coming right off a turntable — even if you are streaming it.
Canadian-Ghanaian singer and artist AKUA created a studio marvel on this track by layering 50 vocal tracks, all recorded in a self-constructed vocal booth in the basement of her childhood home. The end result is nothing short of mesmerizing. "Offering" is a song AKUA wrote after her father passed away and some of the lyrics come from a lullaby he used to sing to her. Such thoughtful songwriting and intense production is truly the work of a mind operating on another level, musically.
Flikka "Someone to Lose"
This is the debut track from a new Swedish indie rock talent you will want to know in 2019. This wintertime rhumination on whether or not love is a losing game is set to languid, almost samba-esque beats and her enchating voice is a delight.
Shook Twins "Figure It Out"
Identical twins Katelyn and Laurie Shook take a page from the great American folk history for this song, which is full of harmonies, vibratto, and twangy guitars that are clearly not a thing we should leave in the past. There's a nostalgia here, but also some witchy magic that feels like a musical spell. I'm ready to fall under.
Celeste "Father's Son"
Brits are great at neo-soul (just ask any Adele or Amy Winehouse fans), and Celeste might just be the next breakout star of the genre. Her gorgeous, raspy voice lingers and drags on all the right moments in this song lamenting a missing father figure. It's a complicated relationship and Celeste's voice has enough detail to make it worth exploring.