This month was super exciting, as August had some of the best music releases this year so far, and these are my favourites.
⁃Lauv and Anne-Marie – f**k i’m lonely
I’m a big fan of both Lauv and Anne-Marie, so when they released this collab, I was so excited for it. ‘f**k i’m lonely’ is a catchy, up-beat song about loneliness and trying to forget the person you miss – a feeling we can all relate to. I love the energy they both bring to the song, and their voices with the playful production work really well together.
⁃Ava Max – Freaking Me Out
Ava Max has come into the music scene with a fresh take on self-written, pop music. Her production is always unique and helps make every song a catchy hit. ‘Freaking Me Out’ is about that one person that quickly brings us out of the dark loneliness and towards love, which can be frightening, but wonderful and exciting.
⁃Ariana Grande & Social House – Boyfriend
Ariana is back with ‘Boyfriend’, a RnB collaboration with her friends Social House. The vibey and head-bopping track is catchy and feel good, but is really about something I think we can all relate to. When we’re into someone, and they’re crushing on you too, but you aren’t together, there are no labels, and you can’t see others and don’t want the other person to see others either – a complicated mess – that’s what this song is about. I really love this song, every time they work together it’s golden.
⁃Mabel – High Expectations (Album)
This is Mabel’s first album, and what a debut! ‘High Expectations’ is a sassy, soulful mix of RnB and Pop, all sung well and produced perfectly to showcase exactly who Mabel is. The album is personal and tells honest stories of things she has gone through and grown from, as well as things we all go through (like anxiety and heartbreak. Favourites on the album are ‘We Don’t Say’, ‘Don’t Call Me Up’, ‘Trouble’, I Belong To Me’, ‘Mad Love’, ‘OK (Anxiety Anthem), and Bad Behaviour’.
⁃Noah Cyrus – July
‘July’ showcases Noah’s voice impeccably with the use of just a guitar and her voice. I love this acoustic, country-influenced sound, it suits Noah’s voice so well, and really puts her story-telling talent at the forefront. The song is about being with someone knowing that they’re not good for you, and just being afraid of change and finding the courage to leave – it’s a sad and beautiful song.
⁃Inspired By True Events – Tori Kelly (Album)
Tori Kelly has one of my favourite voices and she is back with ‘Inspired By True Events’, a soulful, bluesy, pop record that is right out of her diary. Every song is personal and about a different bump in the road of life and love. A beautifully sung and written album, that tells stories we can all recognise and relate to. I can honestly say I love every single song on this album.
⁃Grace Vanderwaal – Waste My Time
A chilled and feel-good song about enjoying a person and the experiences you have with them, even though you know that they’ll be leaving you. Grace sounds beautiful on the song, the production is fresh and vibey, and the lyrics tell a story of love. Love and the risks we take for it, knowing what the future holds, but enjoying the present and embracing this amazing feeling.
⁃Alessia Cara – Rooting For You
I’m a huge fan of Alessia’s voice and her writing, and ‘Rooting For You’ is the perfect blend of that, with a cool brassy drop. The song is a sassy letter to anyone who has let her down after having her support and encouragement, and the possibilities that the relationship or friendship had.
⁃Zendaya and Labrinth – All For Us
Firstly, if you have not watched Euphoria, do yourself a favour and watch it! The storyline, cinematography, acting, topics and music in the show are all incredible. ‘All For Us’ was written and sung by Labrinth and then Zendaya recorded vocals for the song too when it was decided to use it for the show. Lyrically the song is fitting to the show and it’s content, while still being something we can all relate to. Both Labrinth and Zendaya sound brilliant on the record, and the production is pulsating and electronic, with this contrasting choir (who rap too) – it is just great!
⁃Normani – Motivation
Normani has released her debut solo single, which is an upbeat, nostalgic song. ‘Motivation’ has an early 2000’s inspired sound, and Normani sounds fantastic on it. I love the production on this song, the layered harmonies over the catchy, trumpet driven sound is fresh and a great way of introducing us to Normani’s sound and what we could possibly expect from her debut album. Also, the video is SO great, and carries on with the 2000’s vibe and inspiration.
⁃Sam Smith – How Do You Sleep? (Acoustic)
Everyone knows how much I love this song, and then Sam Smith had to go and release an acoustic version of it! ‘How Do You Sleep? (Acoustic)’ is beautifully moving and puts the sad lyrical story at the forefront, with Sam sounding fantastic over some guitar, piano and even strings. I absolutely love both versions of the song.
⁃Arin Ray and Kehlani – Change
This song is purely soul and R&B, not only with it’s sound, but even lyrically – stories of love and heartbreak are what all great R&B anthems have in common. The pain we go through, and what we learn from relationships that failed are what Arin Ray and Kehlani sing (and even rap) about. I absolutely love Kehlani’s voice and the two of them sound fantastic on this vibey song.
⁃Mika – Tiny Love
I’ve said it before, but Mika’s voice is so fantastically unique, and his writing is just as great. ‘Tiny Love’ is my favourite song we’ve heard so far from his upcoming album ‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’, out October 4th. The production, vocal choices, and even the writing remind me of Queen’s music, with an Elton John-esque influence too. Lyrically, Mika is telling us about a love, that is not showey or over the top, but it is a wonderful love that is unique and just right – which I think is beautiful and exactly what we all want.
⁃Miley Cyrus – Slide Away
Not too long after ‘She Is Coming’ the EP, Miley is back with ‘Slide Away’, where she tells the story of changes in a relationship and how people grow apart while continuing to grow individually. The song is different to what we heard on the EP, the production is quite simple in the verses and the chorus is more pop influenced. I especially love the strings with Miley’s harmonised voice at the end of the song.
⁃Daya – Keeping It In The Dark
Season 3 of ’13 Reasons Why’ came out last week and Daya recorded this catchy bop for the soundtrack. ‘Keeping It In The Dark’ is about that love that no one thinks is right, except the two in-love, and what it takes for them to make their secret relationship work. Daya sounds great on the song, I love the production choices, and I think the song is an incredibly well-written pop song, that tells the hopeful story of love.
⁃Kiana Ledé – Title
‘Title’ is your next favourite pop/R&B song. Kiana Ledé sounds really great on this song, I love the way the production works with here layered harmonies. Nowadays there is a lot of pressure on two people to put a label on what they are or what they will become, where this song just encourages us to enjoy things as they come and embrace having the other person in your life right now.
⁃Easier (Remix) – 5 Seconds Of Summer and Charlie Puth
I already thought this song was such a great pop/rock song, and now including Charlie Puth just makes it even better. They all sound their best on this song, I absolutely love when they sing falsetto, and the production is so good – that continuous pulsing and vocal layering is fantastic. Lyrically, I think we can relate to the idea of this person being exactly who you want, but it just isn’t working and leaving would be so much simpler to do.
⁃Ava Max – Torn
This may be one of my favourite singles Ava Max has released so far. A powerful and catchy pop song that gives me early Gaga and Kylie Minogue vibes, which I love and it feels nostalgic in a way. ‘Torn’ is about the good and bad of relationships, and how you just can’t seem to leave the back and forth of being in love. Ava Max is a force to be reckoned with in the pop music game.
⁃Ben Platt – Rain
As soon as this started, I was into it – maybe it’s the 80’s synth, or maybe ’cause it’s just SO different to the sound I am used to hearing from Ben. There is no denying that he can sing and write incredibly well, and ‘Rain’ shows exactly that, along with this whole new dance pop sound – which I love. Lyrically, the song is a metaphor about love and how we cannot escape the fear of letting that person see our truest selves when we are falling in love, but it is all worth it – I love this song!
⁃Taylor Swift – Lover (Album)
Taylor Swift has released her 7th album, which is a complete 180 in comparison to ‘reputation’, not just lyrically, but sonically too. ‘Lover’ is about love and positivity, and showcases where Taylor is in her life right now, and it’s beautiful. The album is filled with sweet songs about life and love, and all its complexities. Some songs have a political approach too, with themes of inequality, faced by women and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as Taylors view on the world and its negativity. Favourites on the album ‘Lover’, ‘False God’, ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’, ‘The Archer’, ‘Daylight’, ‘Cruel Summer’, ‘The Man’, and ‘Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince’, ‘Afterglow’.
⁃Greyson Chance – White Roses (Acoustic)
A different and more intimate take on Greyson’s already heartbreaking song ‘White Roses’. Just his beautiful voice, simple guitar strumming and quiet violins, make the lyrics that more impactful and moving. His album ‘portraits’ is one of my favourites from this past year, and this acoustic cover is the perfect ending and closing to that album chapter- excited to see what’s next for Greyson.
⁃Lana Del Rey – Norman F*****g Rockwell
Lana Del Rey is back with her new album ‘Norman F*****g Rockwell’, and it is fantastic! I have always appreciated her dreamy sound and effortless harmonies, and this album is filled with that. While the overall sound and production is something new for Lana, this exploration of new ideas is fresh, but still very her. She is an incredible story-teller, singing stories of love, heartbreak, self-awareness and being a dreamer. Favourites on the album, ‘F**ck It I love You’, ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’, ‘Doin’ Time’, ‘Cinnamon Girl’, ‘Venice Bitch’, ‘Love Song’, ‘The greatest’, ‘Happiness is a butterfly’.
⁃John Newman and Nina Nesbitt – Without You
This song is an unapologetic look at how sometimes someone that we love can be vital to our happiness and our life. It is also about being there for the person you can’t seem to live without, and how things don’t always go smooth, but that doesn’t mean it should end. I absolutely LOVE John and Nina’s voices together, they both sound so great on this song and the production is something new for them (especially Nina), but works so well.
I’ve created a playlist and you can listen to all these songs here. Which songs released this month are your favourite? Let me know in the comments below