It feels strange drawing attention to anything other than the Black Lives Matter movement and the drastic need for change in the US, Australia, and beyond.
But music has the power to inspire, educate, devastate, and heal, so I’m putting these new tracks out into the atmosphere in case they might be of some use to you. Featuring Preservation & Mach-Hommy, Leon Bridges, Shamir and TORRES, here’s the best new music of June.
Preservation – I-78 (feat. Mach-Hommy)
Inspired by his three-year stint in Hong Kong, New York producer Preservation recently dropped his new record, Eastern Medicine, Western Illness, featuring a host of incredible collaborations. The true stand out, though, is this track with Newark rapper Mach-Hommy, whose lyricism and flow remains unparalleled. A homage to the Interstate-78, the freeway that connects Mach-Hommy’s native New Jersey to Eastern Pennsylvania, the song begins with a captivating acapella verse before Preservation’s Guzheng-heavy beat drops. The accompanying video was shot in NY’s Chinatown pre-COVID-19, back before social distancing was a thing.
Black Grapefruit – Waist
In a strange twist of fate, genre-blending singer-producer duo Randa Smith and Brian Dekker began compiling home video footage from fans, friends, and family for this music video way before the Coronavirus hit. They decided to release the video today, explaining that “current events have reminded us how precious life is, and how fortunate we are to still have it. Regardless of how dark things get, our human and planetary existence is a miracle, which is why we must continue to fight for a world where it’s recognized as such. This video means more than we could have ever anticipated when we started gathering the footage.” They also released a remix of the track, which you can listen to here.
Lionel Boy – Lost
Hawaii born, Long Beach-based songwriter Lionel Boy is a new signee to LA’s Innovative Leisure label. His new single, ‘Lost’, is a lo-fi love song dedication to his partner of ten years, with the accompanying video featuring Dylan Rieder’s sister, Makenna, and a host of other friends from the LB skate community. His debut EP, Who Is Dovey? drops June 26.
Leon Bridges – Sweeter
Man, this song is heartbreaking. It’s so heavy to even think about the mindset Leon Bridges had to be in to write it, and even heavier to realise that it probably wasn’t that hard of a perspective for him to write from. Featuring Terrace Martin, the song is sung from the perspective of a black man taking his last breath and feeling his spirit leave his body. It was originally written and recorded for a future album, but Leon and Terrace decided to release it now, for obvious reasons.
Delicate Steve – Some Hope
American multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion—who releases and performs music as Delicate Steve—knows what we’re all in need of right now, and he’s given us one big fat dose of it here. “My new song is an ode to melody, saxophones, King Curtis and Sam Cooke, unqualified joy, positivity, singing a simple song and being a fool”, he says of ‘Some Hope’. It’s the first of three new singles he’ll be releasing in the coming weeks, so keep an ear to the ground for more of his good vibrations.
Shamir – On My Own
To celebrate the beginning of Pride Month, 25-year-old Philly-based singer-songwriter Shamir just dropped his new single, ‘On My Own’, and it’s a fuzzy wall of indie pop that gets stuck in your head for days. To accompany the relevantly-titled track, Shamir filmed the video inside his house during lockdown, styling himself in some incredible second-hand looks. Though no date has been set yet, he says his new and ‘most commercial-sounding’ album since 2015’s Ratchet is on its way.
TORRES – Too Big for the Glory Hole
Yeah okay wow, there’s really no way to escape this song title, is there? Quite a lot to take in. ‘Too Big for the Glory Hole’ is the newest single from Florida singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott, who makes music under the moniker TORRES, and was born with the voice of a certified angel. She wrote the song while living alone in East Village last year, right before moving in with her girlfriend, who filmed and edited the accompanying isolation-inspired visuals.
Fontaines D.C. – I Don’t Belong
Dublin based post-punk five-piece Fontaines D.C have just graced us with the opening track to their upcoming new album, A Hero’s Death, out July 31. It’s a bit of a somber number that slowly grows, much like the feeling of not belonging to anyone. The accompanying visuals were shot on the east coast of Ireland and directed remotely by the band’s bassist, Connor Deegan III.