2020, you have thrown some shit at us, but we are now beyond the half-way point.
Come on people, we’ve made it this far. Just five more months of this year and then we can forget it ever existed, like Katherine Heigl. So put in those air pods, turn up the volume, and listen to the nine best songs of July so far.
Call You Out – deryk
What a spectacular debut release from 24-year-old New Zealand artist, deryk. Not only has she written an absolutely stunning song, she also shot and edited the accompanying music video while locked down in the Q. According to deryk, the song’s about the regret you feel ‘when you’ve missed an opportunity to say something you felt you should have said or could have been said if you’d been quick enough… there’s a shame and frustration that comes with not standing up for yourself or somebody else when you could have but you just froze, lost for words.’ We all know the feeling, but very few of us are gifted enough to express it quite like she has here.
The Streets feat. IDLES – None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive
This is my favourite song of 2020, and unless Tool surprises us all with a back-to-back release, Mike Skinner’s mixtape of the same name is my favourite album of the year too. There are many things about 2020 that we’d like to pretend never happened, but this Street x IDLES collab is not one of them.
The Go! Team – Cookie Scene
Have any witches tried to summon the Pied Piper of Hamelin from the dead yet? I just feel like now is the perfect time to get that guy to dust off his flute and harem pants and lead this pandemic right out of town. And this new track by British five-piece The Go! Team is the perfect tune for him play, just not around children. We don’t need any more missing kids—Wayfair‘s already taken good care of that.
SOKO – Looking For Love
French born, LA-based singer songwriter Soko just dropped her third full-length album, Feel Feelings, along with this medieval-vibe music video for one of its singles. It’s the first new music we’ve heard from Soko since 2015’s incredible My Dreams Dictate My Reality, and although I’ve watched on in wonder over the last few years as she’s become a mother (thanks Instagram), I didn’t realise how much I’d missed her music until now. One of the OG’s of sad girl music doing what she does best.
JIMBLAH X BLKMPIRE – ABOUT THESE DEMONS
Hailing from the Larrakia Nation in Top End Northern Territory, Adelaide MC Jimblah dropped this powerful new single as a ‘timely reminder to continue the fight against white supremacy in this country’. ‘What more can I possibly say, I’m exhausted’, he said in a statement accompanying the track’s release. ‘Running since I was 12, since I started noticing that the world was a very different place for me compared to the other kids. Running with a target on my back. What these song lines represent is, we as First Peoples don’t want to see this happening, the difference is we aren’t able to just turn our backs on it.’ You can (and should) read his full statement here.
Dominic Fike – Politics & Violence
24-year-old Florida rapper Dominic Fike just released the second single off of his upcoming debut album, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, set to drop on July 31. The record was originally slated for earlier release, but Fike decided to delay his album plans in the wake of BLM protests in the US. Despite its name, ‘Politics & Violence’ is actually a vibey, low tempo bop about falling in love and trying to make it big.
BENEE ft. Kenny Beats, Bakar – Night Garden
20-year-old NZ artist BENEE (born Stella Bennett) keeps consistently dropping bonafide hits. Her latest single, ‘Night Garden’—featuring acclaimed producer Kenny Beats and UK artist Bakar—was recorded in LA earlier this year, back in the good old days when international travel was still a thing. Though there’s still no official word on when her debut record will drop, I have it on good authority (i.e. via the phone) that she’s in the midst of recording it. Finally, something in this godforsaken world to look forward to.
Junior Mesa – Losing My Grip
I used to be fond of using the phrase ‘catchier than the common cold’ when describing songs that get stuck in your head all day, but in light of our current situation it feels a bit insensitive. So instead I’ll just warn that if you press play on 20-year-old Junior Mesa’s new single, you will whistle nothing else for the next 24-hours straight. The accompanying video featuring the Bakersfield musician and his mates having a bit of a lockdown-induced meltdown is pretty relatable, too.
Dream Wife – After The Rain
London based three-piece Dream Wife released their incredible second album, So When You Gonna… earlier this month. The eleventh and final track on the record is ‘After the Rain’, inspired by singer Rakel Mjöll’s sister who had just discovered she was pregnant and didn’t want to go through with the pregnancy around the time of the Human Life Protection Act/Alabama Abortion Ban last May. According to Rakel, it’s a song about ‘going through these multiple waves of community shame, anger at these systems imposed by the patriarchy to own women’s bodies, lack of trust and feeling disconnected from your own body, and not being able to articulate those feelings.’ If you want to find out more about this incredible band, read our recent interview here.
Listen to our New Music playlist on Spotify here.