Close out the last weekend of summer with the best tracks of the month.
“Provider” by Frank Ocean
Over a year after releasing his celebrated sophomore album, Ocean continues to release standalone singles reminiscent of the record, proving the Blonde era isn’t over yet. “Provider” boasts a smooth R&B chorus with spatial beats and vocal licks, which Frank has made his signature.
“Best Part” by Daniel Caesar feat. H.E.R.
Caesar’s debut album Freudian is loaded with romantic, piano-laden gems, but this one is a standout. Right at it’s acoustic, finger-snapping intro, H.E.R.’s warm vocals reel you in and harmonize with his so well.
“People Say” by Wu-Tang Clan feat. Redman
The hip-hop group released a surprise track from their newly-announced upcoming album, Wu Tang: The Saga Continues (out Oct. 13), their first record since 2014. In addition to being a chill bop , the song also counts as a mini-reunion with the crew’s longtime collaborator, Redman.
“On My Mind” by Jorja Smith and Preditah
Smith continues to get attention after appearing on hits by Drake and Kali Uchis. On her own new single, she teams up with grime producer Preditah on an upbeat, danceable track featuring her smooth vocals.
“What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5 feat. SZA
Two months after releasing her tour de force debut album, Ctrl, SZA brings her magic to mainstream pop. Her silky vocals pair nicely with Maroon 5’s bouncy, Top 40-friendly song.
“Over Everything” by Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
These indie rockers give us another taste of other upcoming collaborative EP Lotta Sea Lice (out Oct. 13) with a languid track of guitar-backed nonchalant vocals. This song is actually what spurred hitter joint project, Rolling Stone reports. Vile penned the song for Barnett, which led to the artists exchanging material.
More great songs from August:
“Friends” by Justin Bieber and BloodPop
The pop star reunites with his “Sorry” producer to create another infectious, danceable hit. There’s no music video to this track yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it also came with a brightly-costumed choreographed number.
“Gimme a Call” by Taylor Bennett feat. Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment link up with the artist’s younger brother on an uplifting track that builds from a minimalist, a cappella intro. As the younger Bennett takes on the verses, he proves he’s also a star in his own right. This song, and his accompanying mixtape of unmixed Throw-Aways, will only be available for a week, so listen to it while you can.
“Tonite” by LCD Soundsystem
Eighties funk is alive and well in this rock staple’s latest release. The song is the third single off the group’s upcoming album, American Dream, due in September.
“Heatwave” by Amber Mark
Summer isn’t over yet with this rising star’s latest drop. “‘Heatwave’ just fits the feel of summer for me,” Mark said in a statement about the song. “It was getting hot in NYC and I was finally enjoying a break from the long winter.”
“2nd Fiddle” by Leikeli47
The Brooklyn rapper lets out some powerful verses from behind her signature mask. On “2nd Fiddle,” she proves she’s not anybody’s fool with a beat that grabs you at first listen.
“Wasted Acres” by Grizzly Bear
The indie-alternative start off their newly-released album, Painted Ruins, with this haunting, relaxed opening track.
“Junky” by Brockhampton
This Texas-native hip-hop collective reels you in with an eerie track, and hops from one impressive flow to the next. The opening verse offers a necessary voice from an openly-gay rapper in the genre’s straight-male-dominated landscape.
“Appointments” by Julien Baker
This marks the first single off Baker’s sophomore album, Turn off the Lights, a long-awaited follow-up to her haunting debut, Sprained Ankle, which reeled listeners in with haunting vocals, raw guitar melodies, and brutally honest lyrics.
“Feels Like Heaven” by Ariel Pink
From the artist’s upcoming album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson comes this breezy, atmospheric rock track, which sums up the euphoria of falling in love.
“Boys” by Charli XCX
Pop princess Charli XCX sums up how we feel about our crushes with a subtly infectious, bright anthem. But the best part of the song is its heartthrob-filled music video.
“Spice Girl” by Amine
With his debut album Good For You, the breakout hip-hop star gives us a solid follow-up to his upbeat viral hit “Caroline.” This fun tribute to Spice Girls is definitely a highlight. See if you can catch all the references to the girl group in the lyrics.
“Midnight” by Jessie Ware
The singer-songwriter returns with her first single for her next album, coming later this year (her first since 2015). “‘Midnight’ is the song I’ve always wanted to be able to sing but perhaps didn’t have the confidence until now,” Ware said in a statement. The reflective track opens with an atmospheric verse, but a catchy groove drops in at the chorus.
“Belong to You” by Sabrina Claudio
Months after dropping her Confidently Lost EP in March, this electro-R&B songstress delivers another sultry track. Though the lyrics seem like she’s serenading a significant other, the Miami native explains she’s actually talking to herself. (Hence, the mirrors in the music video.)
“my boy” by Billie Eilish
The 15-year-old rising stars’s debut EP, dont smile at me, opens with this song—complete with a minimal yet funky track and light, vocals. Highly recommended for fans of Marian Hill.
“LMK” by Kelela
It’s been years since Kelela’s breakthrough 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me (and since her 2015 EP Hallucinogen), but her debut album Take Me Apart is finally arriving on October 6. Her steamy new single “LMK” is our first taste of that project.
Listen to them all in our Best of August 2017 playlist: