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.
Dream Wife "Sports!"
The first thing you need to know about Dream Wife's sophomore album is that it was entirely produced, mixed and mastered by a non-male team. Do you know how hard some people find that to do? Even artists with the best intentions have told me that assembling more women to work on their albums was nearly impossible. You have to really, really, really want it and Dream Wife do. The second thing you need to know is that this single is great. And not about sports. Serve it, smash it, win it, own it.
Alice Phoebe Lou "Witches"
While we're on the subject of empowerment, let's talk about being that witch. Lou is not kidding around about being one, you can hear it all over this track. I certainly feel magically obsessed with it. I'm making this my official theme song for spring 2020.
Stream all of 2020's New Music recommendations.
KEYAH/BLU "If You Know"
I haven't always had the best feelings about British rap but Keyah/Blu is bringing me around. This South London wonder has a flow that sounds like hypnosis feels: it's enchanting and makes you want to come back for more. She's clearly influenced by the shoegaze era of Brit pop and the kind of backing tracks we used to get from The Prodigy and other late '80s/early '90s dance music, but with a melodramatic bent.
ZOLA "Don't Eat"
This track sounds exactly like what you'd expect from a singer/songwriter who favours acoustic guitars, and buys into leaving crystals in a garden for the fairies to take. It's lush and gorgeous, but the sentiment is serious. Zola sings to an industry she's afraid will eat her up, which, sadly, isn't an out of the question scenario.
The Northern Belle "Remember It"
Norway strikes my playlist again with another delightful pop gem. The chorus packs a bite, however: "I don't want to forgive and forget / I want to hurt you and remember it." Yup, I have some exes to send this song to immediately. Sorry not sorry.