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Top 10 Songs of the Month: St. Vincent, Kamasi Washington, and Kanye West

on July 03, 2018, 12:00pm
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The first official month of summer has come with new music releases that are as fresh, fun, and long-awaited as the season itself. Highly anticipated albums made their debuts, singles that give us a taste of albums coming later in the summer were dropped, and a certain someone by the name of Paul McCartney shared new work as well. With living legends, chart-toppers, and new favorites all releasing what can only be described as standout tracks, June gave us a hell of a lot to listen to.

Here’s what we had on repeat this month.

–Lindsay Teske
Contributing Writer

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10. Teyana Taylor – “Gonna Love Me”

Release: From K.T.S.E., available via G.O.O.D. Music

There hasn’t been a lot of pure R&B on the radio for a while. Artists like SZA are changing things for the better, but Teyana Taylor has taken this renewal of soul to new heights with her Kanye West-produced sophomore album, K.T.S.E., on which the song “Gonna Love Me” is a clear standout. Taylor’s soulful voice evokes emotion in a way that makes her music reminiscent of greats like Jasmine Sullivan and Lauryn Hill, carrying her words straight to a listener’s heart from the moment they hear them. The singer is definitely one to watch and listen for, bringing back the old-school groove in a day where we need it most. –Clara Scott

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09. Gold Key – “Mechanical World”

Release: From Hello Phantom, out now

After its BBC Radio 1 premiere, it was undeniable that Gold Key’s “Mechanical World” is nothing short of its own giant. In what is the band’s second single to follow up the release of their 2017 LP, Hello Phantom, Gold Key excels in creating a gritty and Goliathan soundscape that is simultaneously peppered with strategic moments of subtlety. The tonal contrast between the two pairs well with the track’s overarching theme of societal critique, creating a wholly sophisticated rock song that will hit listeners in the epicenter of their core. “Mechanical World” makes it strikingly apparent that Gold Key is, with certainty, an artist to watch. –Lindsay Teske

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08. Kids See Ghosts – “Reborn”

Release: From Kids See Ghosts, out via G.O.O.D. Music

This collaborative track from Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s joint album, Kids See Ghosts, is as light and easy as its title. Containing a central theme of transcending troubles and starting afresh, the track acts as an auditory oasis in what is otherwise a more lyrically loaded album. Above all else, “Reborn” embodies a mutual strength between West and Cudi and the ability to produce a track with an addictive beat that simultaneously catalyzes thought. –Lindsay Teske

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07. Mitski – “Nobody”

Release: From Be the Cowboy, out August 17th via Dead Oceans

“Nobody” makes it easy to understand why Iggy Pop recently dubbed Mitski “the most advanced American songwriter” that he knows. The track, which is from her forthcoming album, Be the Cowboy, exudes sheer vibrancy and funk – a sound that Mitski craftily juxtaposes with somber, poignant lyrics. “Nobody” tactfully adds layers in sonic and lyrical depth as it progresses, thus resulting in a final product that serves as a nuanced and innovative union of fun and introspection. –Lindsay Teske

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06. Paul McCartney – “I Don’t Know”

Release: From Egypt Station, out September 7th via UMG

At a fresh 76, Sir Paul McCartney has earned the right to take victory laps: playing his hits to throngs this summer, singing Beatles karaoke with James Corden, and doing whatever it is Sirs generally do. But Macca just won’t stop, and his two June singles, “Come on to Me” and “I Don’t Know”, remind us that a) there’s no rule that says you have to slow down and b) the man can still write a killer tune. Just try listening to “I Don’t Know” without tapping along to that piano melody or feeling a bit teary when McCartney promises, “It’s alright, sleep tight/ I will take the strain/ You’re fine, love of mine/ You will feel no pain.” At an age when most musicians are content to take stock in what they’ve done, McCartney instead continues to do what he’s always done: find a way to give us a nudge or a shoulder. –Matt Melis 

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