The Best New Songs We Heard in June (2024)

The Best New Songs We Heard in June (1)

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I know we always say “there’s so much new music out this month,” but in June, there really was. In a single weekend, new drops came from Charli XCX, Kaytranada, Tems, Raye, and Sabrina Carpenter. Then during another, collaborations arrived from Gracie Abrams and Taylor Swift, Charli and Lorde, and even Ariana Grande, Brandy, and Monica. Oh, and did we mention Normani’s debut album finally dropped? All the while, Kendrick Lamar continued to ride the high of his diss track “Not Like Us” with the near entirety of the West Coast. Below, catch our favorite songs from last month. If you thought the battle for song of the summer was over, these hot and sweaty past few weeks have proved it’s nowhere near done yet.

You can listen to all the picks on our Spotify playlist, too. (Want more music? Check out last month’s picks.)

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With reporting from Samuel Maude, Juliana Ukiomogbe, Carine Lavache, Madison Feller, Kayla Webley Adler, Claire Stern Milch, and Bri Rivera.

“Please Please Please” by Sabrina Carpenter

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“After just missing the chart-topping slot mark with her explosive single ‘Espresso,’ Sabrina Carpenter finally gets the coveted number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with this second single from her upcoming album, Short n’ Sweet. It’s a slower track than its predecessor, full of Jack Antonoff signatures (nostalgic ’80s synths, hello!) and some standout vocal moments in Carpenter’s lower register. Oh, and employing her boyfriend Barry Keoghan in the video? No popstar is doing it like her.”—Samuel Maude, associate editor

“Genesis.” by RAYE

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“RAYE’s first single of the year is a seven-minute saga. Reminiscent of her smash hit ‘Escapism’ and her previous album, My 21st Century Blues, she explores the insecurities and anxieties in the social media age and the messiness of your 20s. It’s confessional and intimate yet enormous in scope, switching from a harmony-laden ballad to a hip-hop-inspired banger, before concluding with a bluesy grand finale. Her message tying all of it together? Let there be light.”—Erica Gonzales, senior culture editor

“The girl, so confusing version with lorde” by Charli XCX and Lorde

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“The collab of the century? Charli XCX and Lorde cleared up their alleged beef with a shockingly vulnerable duet about their complex relationship. They’re peers, they admire each other, they’re competitors, they’re jealous of each other, and they’ve shied away from becoming close friends due to their own insecurities. As stunning as it is to hear these words exchanged between popstars (‘I don't know if you like me / Sometimes I think you might hate me’), it’s also deeply relatable for everyday women. In our girlhood-obsessed culture, it’s hard to admit you do sometimes feel competitive with the women you consider friends. But Charli and Lorde worked it out on the remix, and maybe the rest of us can too.”—EG

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“Burning” by Tems

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“My Nigerian sister Tems released her debut album, Born in the Wild, and I particularly really love ‘Burning,’ the third song on the 18-track project. Over a pared-back beat and melodic production, she sings about bursting onto the scene with fire in her eyes before repeating a one-line, infectious chorus: ‘Burning and burning and burning.’”—Juliana Ukiomogbe, assistant editor

“us. (feat. Taylor Swift)” by Gracie Abrams

“Apparently, Gracie Abrams and Taylor Swift stayed up all night writing this track (and then almost burned the house down, literally). But the exhaustion of their late night doesn’t show at all. In fact, it resulted in a seemingly Swiftian bridge that will go down in the history books. And a Robert Bly mention? It has a tortured poet written all over it.”—SM

“Getting No Sleep” by Tinashe

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“Tinashe’s here to take over summer 2024, and we’re all better for it. If ‘Getting No Sleep,’ a smooth follow-up to her viral hit ‘Nasty,’ is any indication of what we can expect from her upcoming album, Quantum Baby, then good earworms are in store.”—Carine Lavache, senior content strategist

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“the boy is mine (remix)” by Ariana Grande, Brandy, and Monica

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“Charli XCX and Lorde aren’t the only ones working it out on the remix. Ariana’s version of ‘the boy is mine’ was already iconic, but getting the Brandy and Monica on the track was groundbreaking. Not to mention, the harmonies are truly magical.”—Bri Rivera, assistant editor

“Take My Time” by Normani

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“Normani takes the tempo up with ‘Take My Time’ from her debut album, Dopamine. In the euphoric track, Normani highlights her pop past while also defining her current sound. It’s a ‘get out of your chair and shake ass’ banger, one that proves Normani really is back.”—SM

“Witchy (feat. Childish Gambino)” by Kaytranada

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“Kaytranada, a.k.a. king of the summer, has blessed us with a new album full of bops just in time for block parties, beach days, and more. It was extremely hard to pick just one song to highlight, but I had to go with ‘Witchy’ featuring Childish Gambino. With lyrics like, ‘You make me feel like I’ve been floatin’ / This ain’t a spell, you got me open, girl / You’re being witchy and I love it, girl,’ it’s been on repeat since it dropped.”—JU

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“Benin Boys feat. Shallipopi” by Rema

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“With the surging popularity of Tems and Tyla, I’ve been on an Afropop kick lately. After the enormous success of his 2022 hit ‘Calm Down’ (boosted by a remix featuring Selena Gomez), Rema is back with ‘another banger’—his trademark. ‘Benin Boys’ is his tribute to his hometown, Benin, Nigeria, and the local boys like him. Fittingly, it features another Benin Boy, Shallipopi, one of many rising stars that Rema has helped pave the way for.”—Kayla Webley Adler, deputy editor

“Vintage” by Moses Sumney

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“I’m obsessed with this song and fully convinced that the majority of its streams have come from me. Moses Sumney is no stranger to singing about romantic and melancholic nostalgia, but this may be one of his best. And the video, which he directed, is just as good.”—JU

“Downhill” by Pom Pom Squad

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“‘I’m coming back from the dead,’ vocalist and guitarist Mia Berrin sings on Pom Pom Squad’s first single since 2021’s Death of a Cheerleader. The eerie, grungy track is perhaps perfect for our surreal times: ‘Looks like downhill from here / I’m still wondering how I made it through the year.’”—EG

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“Time” by Olivia Dean

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“Britsh singer-songwriter Olivia Dean has more jazzy, soulful music to share. On her latest single, she sings gorgeously about the importance of setting your boundaries and not stretching yourself too thin: ‘It’s up to me to spend my time / I gave you yours, so give me mine.’”—EG

“Already Gone” by Orion Sun

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“After a two-year hiatus, Orion Sun is officially back with a brand-new single. Heartbroken about a former love who is no longer in her life, she sings, ‘It started raining in Brooklyn / I’m writing to you while I wait for the Earth to start spinning again / Overwhelmed by your absence.’ If this is the vibe we can expect from her upcoming album, bring on all the feels.”—JU

“She’s Hot” by ScarLip

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“You do not want to fight ScarLip, especially after listening to this booming, bombastic single. But the NYC rapper isn’t just intimidating; her energy is also infectious, and her pen is red-hot.”—EG

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“Less of You” by Omar Apollo

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“Omar Apollo changes things up a little on his latest album, God Said No, especially on this single inspired by his time in London’s nightlife scene while recording the album last year. I like that he can give us an ’80s-inspired techno anthem along with his heart-wrenching breakup songs.”—EG

“Blowing Smoke” by Gracie Abrams

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“Is there a line more cutting than: ‘If she’s got a pulse, she meets your standards now’? My current favorite track on Gracie Abrams’ second album, ‘Blowing Smoke’ is a satisfying kiss-off to a guy who, simply, sucks. As Abrams sings, she’s saying ‘what they won’t,’ because she knows ‘everything they don’t.’”—Madison Feller, digital deputy editor

“Spring breakers” by Charli XCX

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“In what has been perhaps one of the most put-together and iconic album release cycles ever, Charli XCX had yet another gift for all of the Brat fans: a deluxe album called Brat and it’s the same but there’s three more songs so it’s not. The crown jewel? ‘Spring breakers,’ which feels like the older sister to the iconic ‘Vroom Vroom.’ It may be summer, but this track will put a little spring in your step.”—SM

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“Fly High” by Atarashii Gakko!

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“If you’ve encountered Atarashii Gakko! on your FYP, flapping their arms to ‘Tokyo Calling’ in their matching uniforms, there’s even more to love on their new album. ‘Fly High’ is packed with jock jam-like energy that will have you breaking a sweat.”—EG

“wanted (feat. Naomi Sharon)” by Amaarae

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“Amaarae delivers more of the magic from her stellar 2023 album, Fountain Baby, on her new EP. It’s hard to choose just one favorite, whether it’s the transcendent ‘THUG (Truly Humble Under God)’ or the 6lack remix of ‘Disguise.’ But this collab with OVO artist Naomi Sharon is a mesmerizing pick.”—EG

The Best New Songs We Heard in June (2024)
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