By Courtney E. Smith for Refinery 29
After my first job at 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.
Cher Lloyd “None of My Business”
Damn, Cher Lloyd has grown up. With her new single, the UK singer takes some giant running steps away from her persona as the brattiest chick in the game and turns in an excellent song about being petty on Instagram. The change may be down to working with Hitimpulse, a German production team who are bringing some of that Soundcloud pop vibe to Lloyd’s style. Or it might just be that Lloyd is a lot more grown up than she was following her X Factor days. Either way, it’s nice that she kept a little side eye on the track.
Madame Gandhi “Bad Habits”
I have got to check my horoscope and see what planet is passing through a house that is making this song about an emotional purge so appealing to me. Everything Madame Gandhi is singing about here, about giving yourself an emotional makeover and letting go of self-destructive behaviours, is seriously helping to set my intentions for next week. Adding this one to the get motivated playlist for my next attempt at a world takeover.
Jane Ellen Bryant “Too Smooth”
There’s something about mixing country music with modern guitars and distortion that I cannot resist. Jane Ellen Bryant’s track is equal parts ’70s rock and countrypolitan, but somehow she adds just enough disco to keep it from going to a predictable place that too much of today’s country lives in. Now that’s a cool girl vibe.
Empress Of “I Don’t Even Smoke Weed”
Add Empress Of’s newest album to your weekend playlist if you love this track as much as I do. Those high pitched synths lend the track an island feel, but the off-kilter production makes sure that island is less tropical and more Manhattan. This is a study in doing a lot with a little, musically.
Summer Walker “Girls Need Love”
Slip into the gorgeous haze of longing that Summer Walker creates with this slow jam. It’s not romantic as much as it is lethargic, the feel of someone who is just being honest and not chasing that feeling. Rather, she’s just putting it out there into the universe, plainly, to see what comes back. It creates an air of confidence that’s missing in so much new R&B from women, and I am going to keep it on repeat to remind myself that you can want love, be lonely, and still be cool.