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.
Wafia "Pick Me"
Making art out of a bad breakup? It's only the foundation upon which art is built. Wafia turns in a sparkling, happy take that sounds like the way you feel when your ex doesn't have any power over you anymore. Relationships are great, but have you ever felt true self-love? If not, put this song on repeat until you get there!
Lianne La Havis "Paper Thin"
Now slow down and find a groove with one of the UK's best soulful voices. La Havis tackles the same topic from a different angle, capturing a song she calls "a distant melody in my head as I was falling asleep." It's soothing and assured, working as a mantra and a calming set of instructions for that closed off person who won't let you in.
Get all our recommendations. Listen to the full New Music To Know in 2020 playlist on Spotify:
Marlana "Midnight Special"
And now, for a '70s disco/soul/funk/R&B inspired track: when was the last time you explored an NSA hookup? Could you keep it mutual? Was one night enough? Marlana explores these questions in a dreamworld where sensuality is the dance and you're already on the floor.
Elheist "Done Talking"
Feeling underappreciated? East London rapper Elheist knows that feeling and she's here to buck you up. If a work life of Zoom calls is leaving you feeling disconnected and unseen, this should be your pump up jam.
Mamalarky "How to Say"
Finish out the new tracks on your playlist with some good old fashioned indie rock. The guitars are inspired by the bright tones of shoegaze but the overall aesthetic owes a debt to late '80s art rock. As songs about falling in love go, this one won't exactly get the message across but it does offer something different between the lines.