There’s no better way to say it: July straight-up delivered. This past month, lovers of rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, and all that blurs between were left with their musical palettes satisfied. July saw the release of new songs from celebrated pop and rap fixtures, emerging rock artists, promising new singer-songwriters, beloved bands who took their latest work in an exciting new direction, and more — all of which you’ll find here.
While July certainly served up an enviable bounty of new music to explore, here are the tracks we haven’t been able to get out of our heads.
10. Gloo – “Holiday”
The monotony of the daily grind can certainly be aggravating (or even maddening) at times, and UK rockers Gloo harnessed this sensation and wrapped it into a delectable sonic package. “Holiday,” the opening track from their latest album, A Pathetic Youth, details an almost carnal desire for escapism that’s soaked in percussion and riddled with sharp guitar riffs. The track maintains strength and swagger throughout, causing it to take up permanent mental real estate as a result — and deservedly so. The next time you feel your sanity being sacrificed to the rat race, take solace in the fact that Gloo created the ultimate musical catharsis as a remedy. You may not be able to take a real “holiday,” but listening to it does the trick nearly as well. –Lindsay Teske
09. Raffaella – “Bruce Willis”
One may not think that a song named after an action film staple would be filled with such a poignant, artful examination of upper class elitism, but Raffaella has bought such a feat to life with the release of her second single, “Bruce Willis”. Embedded among a hypnotic guitar riff and Raffaella’s smooth vocal stylings lays a beautifully haunting wake-up call about the toxic trappings of extravagant living — both in a material and psychological sense. With its strong lyricism and ethereal melody, “Bruce Willis” is pure proof that Raffaella is well on her way. –Lindsay Teske
08. Dirty Projectors – “I Found It in U”
Dirty Projectors delivered a joyous explosion of rhythm with “I Found It In U”, a track from their eighth album, Lamp Lit Prose. “I Found It In U” bursts to life with texture, complete with smooth guitar chords woven throughout that create an added layer of nuance and melodic interplay. The track quietly bubbles over with its own sense of lightness, like two giddy friends anxious to swap secrets. Exploratory with just the right amount of zaniness, “I Found It In U” victoriously cements its place as one of David Longstreth’s standout tracks. –Lindsay Teske
07. MØ and Diplo – “Sun in Our Eyes”
MØ and Diplo’s “Sun in Our Eyes” is a tropical paradise, blending classic dance beats with profound lyrics, calling back to summers past. The singer’s ethereal voice gives the track an alien feeling, but stays danceable combined with Diplo’s warm production and a hefty dose of base. The song is the first single in advance of MØ’s sophomore LP out in October, which is sure to be full of jams like this one. “Sun in Our Eyes” is an ode to the summer, of days full of sweat and fun that turn melancholy in hindsight. –Clara Scott
06. Big Red Machine – “Gratitude”
Off the heels of both Bon Iver and The National’s success, Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner have banded together to create an album as Big Red Machine. The group’s single, “Gratitude”, is a frenzy of Auto-Tune and electronic euphoria, a unique mix of both Vernon and Dessner’s specific styles. The album is set to be an experiment in what both artists’ fan bases will accept and certainly embrace. –Clara Scott