July was a great month for music in my opinion. Unfortunately, a lot of the songs I enjoyed this month didn’t actually come out this month (blame my newfound love for The Killers, among other things). Still, there were ten great songs that came out things month I just have to shine a light on. And, in no particular order, here they are:
- “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato- When I tell you I was shook… This song was actually a grower for me. I liked it well enough on first listen, but the more I listened to it the more I loved it. Demi’s vocals slam over the track in the most pleasing way. Backed by a choir, Demi proudly asserts that she’s not sorry she’s doing so well despite all the naysayers and people who try to put her down. It’s a song that embodies the old adage, “Success is the best revenge.” Demi is looking good, doing good, and feeling good, and that’s better than any clapback or karmic force. It’s the kind of song that’s less about caring about your haters and more about celebrating proving them wrong. While it’s not some of Demi’s best songwriting (I admit it’s filled with clichés), it’s such a fun song to sing along with. It’s empowering and makes me feel proud of Demi. I may not know her personally, but I’ve been here through the worst and it fills me with such joy to see her feel this good (the music video reflects this as well). Definitely crank this song if you need to feel like a bad bitch.
- “Woman (feat. The Dap-Kings Horns)” by Kesha- This is the second single from Kesha’s long-awaited third album (or is it fourth?- does the Cannibal EP count?) and it has a much different vibe from any other Kesha’s other music. Horns blare over this female empowerment track, as Kesha declares, “I’m a motherfucking woman!.” It’s a song about owning your shit and taking care of yourself, no man necessary. Perhaps not the newest idea in feminism, but it means a lot knowing Kesha’s background. Kesha giggles during the song, showing how happy she is now that she’s free. It’s a really fun song to belt out in the car and marks an interesting turn in Kesha’s style.
- “Run for Cover” by The Killers- Speaking of The Killers, they dropped the preorder for their latest album and released this song with it. Brandon Flowers’ voice reflects the desperation of the lyrics, as well as the more pointed aspects. The song reflects the current social and political climate we find our world in, especially in America where we’ve recently been thrown into an upheaval because, well, you know. Originally written for Day & Age (but never completed), this song finally found its place in the uncertainty of 2017. It’s a great track and I can’t wait to hear what the rest of Wonderful Wonderful has to offer.
- “Pink” by Julia Michaels- This short song is a lowkey jam, the verses murmured and the chorus whispered. You discover quickly that this song isn’t just about a relationship— it’s all about sex. Julia even points out what she’s doing, singing, “There’s no innuendo./ It’s exactly what you think./ Believe me when I tell you/ Daddy loves the color pink.” Spoiler alert: she’s talking about her vagina. Still, there’s almost a sweetness to the song, as you can tell they really do care about each other. Proof that you can sing about sex and monogamy and have it be about the same relationship.
- “Kept Me Crying” by HAIM- Just when I was wondering what happened to HAIM, they released a new single. This is not that single. This track is about an ex you’re not over, but who occasionally still calls you and you drop everything to be with them. It’s a plea for this ex to stop because it’s destroying you. The sisters groove on their guitars and croon over the track, making for a smooth listen. Definitely my favorite from their latest effort.
- “Learn to Let Go” by Kesha- The third song released from Rainbow is the poppiest to come off the album so far. It’s Kesha’s callout song to herself. Kesha reflects on her recent traumatic years and how she’s been holding resentment and anger inside over it. She believes herself to be a hypocrite because she always tells her fans their, “happy ending is up to [them].” Kesha’s voice soars over the chorus as she decides to let things go and “practice was [she] preach[es].” It’s the most fun song she’s released thus far for this era and a true testament to her growing happiness and freedom.
- “Body and Soul” by Kat Dahlia- This is a sexy, slow song about giving yourself totally to another person. Kat feels genuine love for this person and feels no qualms about expressing it. It also deals explicitly with consent. Kat sings, “Does this feel right?” and “Give me a sign./ I’m what you like.” She wants confirmation her lover wants this as much as she does, that they would be willing to give up their body and soul. With the way she croons, I’d find it hard to believe if they didn’t.
- “The Letter” by Haley Reinhart- This is the second song released from Ms. Reinhart’s third album, What’s That Sound?, and it’s one of her jazziest to date. Haley brings us back to the old days, mooning over love letters and pondering whether taking a train or a plane is faster. Haley and her boyfriend love each other so deeply, they can’t bear to be apart for long. It’s a light, joyous track, so much so that you feel happy for Haley and her man (who is totally Casey Abrams).
- “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)” by Bebe Rexha- I already talked about this song on last month’s post, but I wanted to give the (superior) solo version a shout-out.
- “Worst in Me” by Julia Michaels- Another track from Julia’s debut EP Nervous System, this one chronicles a relationship where the two are afraid to get serious. They embrace the dysfunctional because the idea of being happy and healthy is too much to handle. They self-sabotage, a problem they’re well-aware of. It’s a frustrating and complicated (yet real) notion, so it’s no wonder this almost-power ballad is Julia’s personal favorite.
What are some July releases you’ve enjoyed? Let me know in the comments!