July was, as you will see from this month’s roundup below, a strange and surreal month for new music. I should note the glaring absence of songs by Billie Eilish, whose new record I simply haven’t listened to yet.
Ok, you’re not here to listen to me ramble on are you? You just want to see what some came where in this month’s top 20, right? Right. Onwarards:
Bonus Track: Like A Virgin by YungBlud
Much because last month I just had to mention the Years & Years cover of Edge of Glory, this month I have to flag up Yungblud’s cover of Madonna’s Like A Virgin. It’s fiery, pop punk, and just a really fun take on one of Madge’s biggest hits that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel whilst it’s at it, and does so whilst riffing near Winehouse + Ronson’s Valerie cover.
20. dial tone by 44phantom
44phantom, AKA Brayton Matthews, sent an 8 song EP die sometime, it’s good for u out into the world, which as a taster of his work is really quite good – this angsty one about, well, getting the dial tone, is the best of the bunch.
19. Hood Of My Car by Anderson East
It’s one thing to combine epic country balladry with glittering 80s balladry, but it’s quite another to do it on a song about dogging: “Out here in the dark/I wanna take you right here, on the hood of my car/On the hood of my car”. Incredible stuff.
18. Don’t Go Yet by Camila Cabello
That guitar riff that this new one from Cabello straddles features so much that it goes from great to bad and back to great again. Once again she’s going for the if-it-ain’t-broke move of kicking off a new album cycle with a fun, light, latin pop bit of magic, and I for one am excited for what else might be coming along the way.
17. Give Me A Chance by NEEDTOBREATHE
Most bands get to that point where they have enough hits that they can just chuck out an album every few years and ring out all their old tunes on tour, which, if you will forgive me, I thought was the stage of life Needtobreathe were in. Well, I was wrong. Give Me A Chance is a fast, fun rock-country at its very best. Bear Rinehart’s vocal continues to astound and delight.
16. Take It Home by Mabel
That hook is really quite hooky isn’t it? Another win for Mabel in my book. P.s. not entirely sure what this has to do with Pokémon, but there’s Jigglypuff charging around in the video for some reason.
15. Pink Ferarri by Zach Hood
This isn’t the first song you’ll hear about teens dreaming of fame and fortune in the fast lane, nor will it be the last, but it might be among the best. Light-pop-punk music certainly is back and Zach Hood is swinging the punches on its behalf.
14. Hotel by Claire Rosinkranz
Another teen tale as old as time about sneaking out to party with your friends. Short, fun, and that little post-chorus vocal riff is endlessly charming.
13. Priorities by L Devine
Irrespective of whether the song sounds good or not (it does) Devine captures a very particular point of relationship breakdown many of us will be familiar with: “We go somewhere just long enough/For my heart to forget/That first, you put/Chasing your hopes and your dreams/Then the approval of your family/You put a drink with your friends twice a week/Before you put me/You put working late nights just to get ahead/Then you got therapy to fix your head/Put all of your talеnts you want to perfect/Beforе you put me.” Ouch.
12. People Watching by Conan Gray
A big angsty pop ballad with a ton of vocal layering. Takes a few plays, but that chorus will really grow on you. More good work from Dan Nigro.
11. Stoned at the Nail Salon by Lorde
I guess if artists continue to work with Jack Antonoff long enough at some point he’s going to do the same song twice. This is, quite literally, Lana Del Rey’ hope is a dangerous thing with a new name and set lyrics, and here I am, a fool, putting it at number 11 this month, because, well, I can.
10. PMA (feat Pale Waves) by All Time Low
Great to have ‘rock’ music back after all these years, isn’t it? All Time Low and Pale Wave teams up and it’s really quite good and will kick you hard right in that late 90s early 00s blink-182/greenday nostalgia spot.
09. Never Love You Again (with Little Big Town & Bryn Christopher) by Cheat Codes
Big dumb clubby dance banging song that is now a firm fixture on the running playlist.
08. happy to be sad by Ben Platt
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben Platt really is incomparable. A gorgeous, only slightly indulgent, display from a gorgeous vocal.
07. Fall Apart by Tones and I
The whole Tones and I album was, in my opinion, really fucking good. Toni is a fantastic vocalist and she shows off her versatile, signature sounding pipes on this rare moment of vulnerability.
06. These Are Your Rights by Adam Lambert
Can’t claim to have seen whatever Netflix nonsense this historically educational song was made for, but they really gave it the full treatment and made a genuinely quite good musical-pop banger, on which Lambert sounds fantastic.
05. Good Luck by Oli Fox
Upbeat, fun, buoyant, charming, refine, lovely vocal pop music. A fine, fine song, easily one of the best this month, and one which will take a long time before it gets the skip button treatment. Thanks Oli Fox!
04. Westside Lobby by Tones and I
Props to Tones and I for penning this fuck-you-for-misjudging-me killshot that she more deserved to write: “And I’m so over people saying I don’t look right/There’s no place for you in music’s all I hear/But my song went number one in over 30 fucking countries/And I’m sorry if that offends you, my dear”. It’s a hard thing to have a global one-hit-wonder style song when you’re style doesn’t really lend itself to the commercial pop market. She’s so much more than Dance Monkey and if you’re skeptical check out her new album Madhouse.
03. Wrecked by Imagine Dragons
I’m an unapologetic Imagine Dragons fan and this is them doing what they do best: huge angsty alt-rock ballads. Had this one in my head for weeks and now you will to.
02. Permisson To Dance by BTS
If someone can figure out how to extract the final chorus of this song and inject it directly into my veins, I’m sure that would kill me, but at least I’d die in a state of euphoria.
01. edamame (feat. Rich Brian) by bbno$
This song is ridiculous, stupid, idiotic, and rests on the lyric ‘I’ma pop you like a pea, yeah, edamame’ – in other words: it’s a fucking masterpiece.