More than a little late, so much so that I almost considered skipping it, but there was too much new music of note in June to ignore – so here we are, the top 20 songs that you may have missed from June 2020.
20. Who Am I by NEEDTOBREATHE
The arrangement of this soul-clenching anthem from the best Christian rock band around is resonant of that Keala Settle song from The Greatest Showman, make of that what you will. What I make of it is that it is excellent.
19. Nothing but You by Conor Maynard
Once known as a pale Justin Bieber spinoff, Conor Maynard has been traipsing out a string of catchy little pop songs. Nothing But You sounds a bit like a theatre-kid’s sultry cover of the Arctic Monkey’s Do I Wanna Know, and ranks easily among Maynard’s best.
18. I’m in Love by The Cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Season 5
As an unashamed Drag Race fan, the original songs are often tepid at best, and so this tongue-in-cheek love song is a rare treat. Sure, the quality of the content varies as every ‘love note’ was written by a different queen, but that hook hits much harder than it deserves to and will help you ignore any parts that don’t quite feel cohesive.
17. Be Happy by Dixie D’Amelio
D’Amelio, come from the rapidly spreading crop of TikTok-grown pop stars [12th most followed globally], and Be Happy marks her debut single. She took a gentle swing and connected with this catchy mental-health awareness song, which, given her platform, has been a lowkey hit that only seems likely to spread.
16. Seven by Claudia Valentina
Moody piano-pop ballads are a difficult thing to get right, but Valentina absolutely nails it when she hits that high note in the chorus of this i-won’t-let-you-fuck-me-around-anymore anthem. Simple and stunning.
15. We’ll Be Alright by Yoste
The Lauv-inspired sadboi pop thing is still going strong, and with a world in lockdown forced to think about their emotions, its a tone that continues to resonate. We’ll Be Alright is a light, comforting song that is will have you in your feelings.
14. Mr Officer (feat. Queen Naija) by Tee Grizzley
The hook to this song is so simple and so heartbreaking, so timely and so timeless.
13. U Move, I Move (feat. Jhené Aiko) by John Legend
‘Sexiest Man Alive 2019’ and singer of lovely ballads released a whole album of love songs, the best of them being this Jhené Aiko duet with a slow burning hook and one of the best uses of a falsetto you’ve heard in ages.
12. don’t get caught up by Ziggy Alberts
Alberts is a bit like an Aussie Ed Sheeran, except more moustached and in thoughtful about the world with his music. don’t get caught up is a song that encourages you to ask questions and support each other and to not let fear create distance between you and others. An understated gem.
11. i want you by George Barnett
Fact of note: George Ezra’s real name is George Barnett but apparently that was too pedestrian for him so used his middle name instead. i want you works melodically like a boy version Billie Eilish’s bury a friend which is just about as big a compliment you can receive. That bit at 1.44 gets me every listen.
10. Stay Gold by BTS
Stay Gold is a rare commercially-accessible-to-western-pedestrians treat from BTS. Sure, apart from the titular hook it’s all in Japanese, but it sounds a lot like something that 5SOS or Why Don’t We would do, and is a reminder of just how good the world’s biggest boyband can be.
09. Naked by Jonas Blue + MAX
An unstoppable strut-banger that I cannot believe is not by DNCE.
08. Somebody Tell Me (Theme Song from Love, Victor) by Tyler Glenn
Neon Trees front man Tyler Glenn’s first solo single in four years, released as the credits song for the quite-good TV follow up to Love, Simon, is a breezy-but-effective pop tune and easily the best theme song you’ve heard in ages.
07. She Will Lay My Body On The Stone by Jack Garratt
Jack Garratt’s sophomore album dropped in June and is a bit of a musical triumph if his stylings are for you. Garratt is often at his best when it’s just his voice and the piano, as proven by the She Will Lay My Body On The Stone: an unbashed hymn-inspired love song that you will wish was written for you.
06. And It Breaks My Heart by LÉON
The last really good LÉON song sounded a bit like Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now, so it’s only right that her new really good one, And It Breaks My Heart sounds a bit like the one Cyrus did with Mark Ronson. A sad banger.
05. Changing Your Story by Jekalyn Carr
I first heard this song when I was out hiking and it was in full swing just as I crested the peak of the very steep hill I was going up, and it’s probably the closes thing to a spiritual experience I’ve ever had. I’m not saying you have to climb a hill to appreciate this powerfully charged gospel vocal marathon, because it’s an incredible thing to experience under any circumstances.
04. Old Enough by Jack Garratt
Garratt is the master of the slow build [see Time] and Old Enough is just one big crescendo of musical and vocal passion. Truly stunning.
03. Jackie Onassis by Sammy Rae
This song was recommended to me by a friend (usually a bad sign) but for once they were right: this vocals on Sammy Rae are incredible. Do yourself a favour and inject this safely into your ears.
02. LMSWU by LÉONxFLEIM
Two minutes and twenty seven seconds of pure escapist upbeat magic, ripe and ready to be played on repeat.
01. Pig Feet (Kamasi Washington, G Perico & Daylyt) by Terrace Martin + Denzel Curry