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.
This is the last New Music to Know for 2019, we'll be back in 2020. If you'd like to revisit the year in music we loved, check out the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page. Play it on shuffle, play it in order — whatever you do, just support women in music.
Kesha feat. Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson & Wrabel "Resentment"
I have been curious about where Kesha would go after her last album. She made us all feel some kind of way with "Praying" and scream about being a "mother fucking woman," but the path she's carving on her next is something else, something wildly different. With "Resentment" she not only dips back into the intensely personal but points her ship towards an alt-country strain of music that is decidedly too country for folk pop and not quite upbeat enough to be Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia line in heavy rotation. The take on not being treated like shit in a relationship thought? Priceless.
Okay Kaya "Asexual Wellbeing"
Norwegians do it better, or maybe just weirder. Her bio describes her as "Sade for nihilists," which is hard to wrap your head around until you hear her. The dissonate voice paired with her Mad Libs-esque lyrics lend a strangeness to how one perceives her and a distance to what she's saying. It's oddly comforting. If the lyric, "loving your loved ones like it’s never going to end don’t let the hand deject you / except the shadow it gives," speaks to your idea of asexuality or wellbeing, this may be the singer you've been searching for.
broox "She's Been Listening"
Looking for a track that celebrates the weirdness and getting over those feelings of insecurity from your younger days? broox wrote it and packaged it as a solid bop. She makes it catchy while she deals with the mental health issues and baggage that comes from being an underdog in the world.
King Princess "Homegirl"
This song absolutely breaks me and I'm so glad there's a live video for it. The music haunts me, it's like something David Lynch would ask a muse to sing. The lyrics, which are loaded with longing, will bring absolutely anyone to their knees. Hope you were looking to be destroyed one last time by a song in 2019 because it's happening.
Listen to all the songs we loved in 2019 below.