The Isley Brothers posed a very poignant question in 1973 when they contemplated, “Who’s that lady (who’s that lady)?” Taken literally, this question has several straightforward solutions — squinting, Facebook stalking, asking — but in a grammatical and ultimately metaphysical sense, this question upsets me deeply: why are they focused on just the one lady? Assuming that all consequent and parenthetical repetitions refer to the same woman, the song precludes the possibility that there can be more than just one lady. And as the number one proponent for the existence of women (read: any of my articles), this is something for which I cannot stand –for similar reasons I find Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)” way more unsettling than Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies”.
So as the only human being who has ever taken issue with this arcane aspect of an innocuous oldies hit, I feel a responsibility to use my music-nerd position to pay the women of contemporary music some due respect in playlist form. Below I compiled a mix of some of my favorite new tracks that I can’t stop listening to this summer. This is by no means a complete list of all the great artists out there right now (although I gave the Isley Brothers a pretty solid list to choose from), so please drop some suggestions in the comment section!
Eleanor Friedberger –- “My Mistakes”
Class Actress –- “Keep You”
Grimes –- “Vanessa”
Mr. Little Jeans — “Rescue Song” (RAC Remix)
Thao and Mirah (ft. tUnE-yArDs) –- “Eleven”
I Break Horses –- “Hearts”
Jhene Aiko –- “Stranger”
EMA –- “Marked”
tUne-yArDs –- “Bizness”
Sharon Van Etten –- “All I Can”
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