After my first job 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.
Pink "Beautiful Trauma"
Let's pause and talk about Pink's latest video. Look, I wasn't a huge fan of this album on first listen because, although the music is solid the topics she addresses felt very specific to her life. That was something I was more into when she was talking about being an outsider and telling stories of how she wasn't going to be a pop tart styled by the industry. Now that it's about married life, honestly I'm a little bored — and that has more than a little to do with my disinterest in marriage in general. But she has found a way to do a distinctly Pink thing and push our boundaries as a society (and cause some conversation) with her gorgeous "Beautiful Trauma" video. It's stylized like the 1950s, Technicolor included, and affords us a look into the inner life of a couple who are not the nuclear family ideal. The subtext is one we all desperately need right now: accept the people you love for who they are. Whether they enjoy cross-dressing, S&M, or cocktails. It's exactly what everyone keeps talking about when they talk about unity and hearing each other in these divisive times. Pink just said it with more visual panache than literally anyone else could dream up.
Icona Pop "Don't Slam The Door"
The girls are back with a fun one that's a cover of a song made famous (in Sweden) by Kikki Danielsson. This is from Kikki's Nashville period when she dabbled in country music and Googling all of this has been the highlight of my week — definitely watch the live video of this 1984 single. It's like Solid Gold meets the Grand Ole Opry. Icona Pop offer a nice update to the track, sonically, and it offers us, the listeners, a good chance to think about how country music allows women to be so much sassier than pop music does...and has been for several decades now. Follow it up with a chaser of '80s Wynonna Judd and then burn the jukebox down.
Diplo feat. MØ "Get It Right"
I genuinely enjoy all of Diplo and MØ's collaborations, and this one continues the winning streak. Her voice compliments his distinctive style, and they seem to work well together, bringing out the most likable aspects of each other's talents. This track is from the soundtrack of the Give Me Future doc, which follows Major Lazer as they put on the first major concert in Cuba following the lifting of travel restrictions under Obama — and discover that youth culture is alive and well.
Carlie Hanson "Only One"
This song caught my ear when I was going through Spotify's new releases. I've been thinking lately about how few hip hop tracks I recommend, in part because the genre is dominated by young men right now and I'm trying to amplify female voice in this column. But the tropical vibe of SoundCloud hip hop is something I've been dissecting with friends and this track has that vibe to it, like the hook and track of a song that could be a huge SoundCloud hit, minus the rapped verses. I also find her clipped, sped up delivery interesting. That the lyrics are set to the beat of the music rather than to usual predictive speech patterns makes it feel artificial, and that makes the singer work twice as hard to put emotion into the song. Hanson does that with breaks in her voice — it's a style popularized by Julia Michaels, whose influence can be felt all over this delightful pop nugget.
Sevdaliza "Hear My Pain Heal"
And now for something completely different: if David Lynch preferred brunettes, I promise he would be using Sevdaliza as his muse. But, as it is, she seems to be using him as her muse instead — at least, as far as visuals are concerned. Her music is more FKA Twigs meets James Blake meets PJ Harvey. I want to hear so much more of this.
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