WHAT THE TEAM LISTENED TO IN JUNE
New month, new staff playlist. Dominating this month was the return of Glastonbury, and a surprise re-entry from Kate Bush at number one thanks to Stranger Things (& TikTok). We also saw Drake and Beyoncé enact some form of house music renaissance with their (separate) surprise drops. With the sun actually making an appearance for a good percentage of this month, tunes felt all the more sweet, and Summer releases started racking up.
This month, the top spots are filled with bangers revisited – we see J Hus and Noname up there, along with some of the banging favourite tunes from reina Rosalía, Natanya Popoola and Drake. As ever, the Spotify track-list ranges far and wide – or in more literal terms, from Noname to Rosalía. Scroll to tune in.
MY 24TH BIRTHDAY – DAVE
There’s nothing like a Dave banger, and nothing like a new Dave banger, at that. The musician’s second single of this year came through and delivered, and no doubt will be on repeat for the forseeable.
SPIRIT – J HUS
I think it’s safe to say that at some point, Common Sense had a choke hold on our Spotify playlists. Just over five years later, the album still has a firm grasp on my summer bangers list and shows no signs of letting go. Although Did You See was a contender for this spot, it was eventually trumped by Spirit for its inclusive melodies, head bobbing beat and effortless lyrics. At the end of the day, summer tracks should make you invincible and Spirit certainly does that for me.
STICKY – DRAKE
Saw what you will about ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ – I agree it’s not Drake’s strongest album, but you can’t deny that there is some decent tracks on it (that aren’t as on brand for a ZARA changing rooms as others). ‘Sticky’ is probably my favourite from the unexpected album, starting out fairly ominous, the beat drops and Drake’s signature flow shines through. The rapper also pays homage to Frank Ocean’s Homer in the first line, which I thought was a nice touch.
MALAMENTE – ROSALÍA
Full disclosure, seeing Rosalía out and about in Paris was a bit of a fan girl moment for me. Revisiting her bangers, this month’s top track was a toss up between this one and Con Altura – both all-but-guaranteed to make you walk down the street with that much more vim.
RAINFOREST – NONAME
Noname is definitely making a name for herself, steadily becoming a regular in my musical rotation. She has a way of painting subtle allegories with her lyrics that makes what could be a heavy track easily re-listenable.Initially her poetic prowess draws you in but the jazzy instrumental hooks you. Smooth and consolatory, it slowly warms you and eases the burden of the lyrics. Rainforest makes me crave more Noname music – so here’s to hoping she’s working on another EP.
FOOLISH – NATANYA POPOOLA
Natanya Popoola is an undiscovered gem. Her latest track ‘Foolish’ is one of the best new RnB songs I’ve heard in a very long time. Sophisticated, ethereal and enchanting, Lauren Ralph’s brilliant production is accompanied perfectly by Natanya’s angelic voice. A hypnotic guitar loop dovetails with a deep, jazzy bassline, and is brought to life by the bouncy yet delicate drum pattern. This creates the perfect backdrop for Natanya to showcase her vivid storytelling ability in her alluringly characterful voice. You’d be foolish to not take this one in.
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See also: CULTED SOUNDS: WHAT THE TEAM LISTENED TO IN OCTOBER
See also: CULTED SOUNDS: WHAT THE TEAM LISTENED TO IN SEPTEMBER