Words: Zahra Baz
With July drawing to a close and summer now well underway, the battle for Number 1 on the charts remains as intense as ever. Here are some of the best releases we’ve heard on the airwaves this July. And, there are also some guaranteed summer anthems to add to your newly-created playlists. You can thank us later.
Bringing back the much loved Latin-Pop vibes of ‘Havana’, ‘Don’t Go Yet’ signifies the end of Cabello’s musical hiatus. As the leading track for her upcoming album ‘Familia’, the intoxicating sounds of the Flamenco guitar throughout ‘Don’t Go Yet’ is a continuation of representation of her Cuban-Mexican background.
Despite travelling abroad facing many restrictions, ‘Don’t Go Yet’ automatically transports you to the streets of warm and sunny; walking through the cobbled streets, iced-anything in hand, and the sparkling sea a mere two minute walk away. It’s safe to say that ‘Don’t Go Yet’ effortlessly meets all requirements for a well-loved summer track.
July has been a big month for these four ladies. With Anne-Marie and Little Mix dominating UK radio right now, the announcement of their collaboration was highly anticipated by fans – and girl, it did not disappoint! Sampling Lumidee’s beloved naughties record ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oh)’, the infectious melody is sure to be on repeat in your head and on your speakers. While heavily dominated by the strong, talented voices of Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, the four women’s vocals come together to be, what can only be described as utter bliss accompanied by an upbeat backing track.
‘Kiss My (Uh Oh)’ serves as a prerequisite to Anne-Marie’s latest album release ‘Therapy’, which came out earlier in July.
Once again, Lil Nas X dominates our summer playlists. This time with ‘Industry Baby’; a hip-hop track wherein the lyrics are directed at those who have doubted his success so far; pointing out that he’s only getting started in anticipation of his debut LP. Using controversy as motivation, Lil Nas X has utilised this release to actively challenge the stereotypes associated with hip-hop.
In the accompanying music video, instead of the objectification in women and hyper-masculine energy in many hip-hop music videos, Lil Nas X confronts previous narratives by showcasing Black males from a homosexual experience – in line with his own sexuality. Additionally, the video doubles as a fundraiser for The Bail Project; a non-project organisation that combats mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.
A catchy song that includes an important societal message? What’s not to love? ‘Industry Baby’ is definitely a must-have on your summer playlist.
Those summer feelings are brought to an all-time high with BTS’ ‘Permission to Dance’. Co-written by Ed Sheeran, ‘Permission to Dance’ is BTS’ second English single this year. It utilises its energetic beat and fun lyrics as a reminder to let go, remain positive, and, of course, dance. What more could you want this summer, hey?
With the overall aim of producing a summer song to strike the top of the chars, this has certainly been achieved. Its universal consumption has left it standing at Number One around the world. It’s clear that hope and positivity on a large-scale was part of the plan, as the choreography caters to inclusivity through the incorporation of international sign language.
A definite add-on to the official summer going-out playlist as ‘Permission To Dance’ is sure to bring a smile and burst of energy to all who listen to it. You can read our full review of the single, here.
The vibes do a complete 180 with ‘New Normal’ by Khalid, as he offers a dreamlike melody over a soft instrumental. An introduction to his upcoming album, ‘Everything Is Changing’, Khalid explores the emotions he, and many others, experienced over the course of the pandemic.
Despite being a reflection on digital connection and emotional disconnection, Khalid’s smooth voice and reassuring words definitely allows for an escape. Bringing images of driving home, the sun setting, warm air gently blowing in your hair, feelings of sleepiness and comfort after a happy day spent with those you care for. ‘New Normal’ brings listeners a strong sense of emotional connection.
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