The Best Songs of June 2023 // New Music Friday!

"vampire" // Olivia Rodrigo

"vampire" is the long-awaited first single off of Olivia Rodrigo's upcoming sophomore album, GUTSAfter the massive success she had with SOUR in 2021, she hasn't released any music at all and I really didn't know what to expect from her as an artist going forward. "vampire" starts off as a piano ballad, somewhat like "driver's license" in the structure and melody. It starts to take a turn as she builds to the chorus with "I used to think I was smart, but you made me look so naïve, the way you sold me for parts, as you sunk your teeth into me, bloodsucker, fame fucker, bleedin' me dry like a goddamn vampire". It is such a powerful song to release for her comeback and honestly even better than most of the songs off her debut album in every regard. I am definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of her album when it is released in September!

"Home To Another One" // Madison Beer

Madison Beer recently released the first single off of her upcoming sophomore album, which is a fun pop track with alternative rock influences. I've had it on repeat all month, it is so addictive to listen to and her vocals sound so beautiful. The production on the chorus is highly reminiscent of Tame Impala's "The Less I Know The Better" - Madison has always worn her influences on her sleeve (which isn't always necessarily a bad thing) but worth noting because of how apparent it is. This alternative sound is a really intriguing direction for her to be going in with her new music though. She also released an acoustic version of the song, which is so gorgeous and puts more of an emphasis on her vocals and lyricism. Her debut album, Life Support, is an album I recently got back into after re-discovering my love for it earlier this year. Madison is such a promising up-and-coming voice in pop music and I am looking forward to hearing the rest of her sophomore album this September! 

"Lilith (Diablo IV Anthem)" // Halsey featuring SUGA

Halsey and SUGA of BTS have collaborated yet again on a remix of a track off of her 2021 album, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power for the release of Diablo IV. I love how the production on this remix is so much darker and heavier than the original album version. Sometimes remixes and added collaborators to a song already released can never compare to the original, but this only enhances it. The new verses from Halsey and SUGA are also both great, especially the alternate intro. "Lilith" was one of the highlights off of her latest album, and this re-interpretation of it was so well done! 

This month I had the most incredible experience seeing Halsey live in concert, which I will be talking about in-depth in my next post! It is one of my favorite articles I have ever written and includes dozens of stunning photos that I took at the show - I'm so excited to share it soooooon

"I know I'm not Joni Michell, but I've got a dad who plays like Billy Joel", sings Lana Del Rey on her latest collaboration with her dad, Rob Grant. This month he released his debut album titled Lost At Sea, which is a beautiful collection of classical music. He collaborated with his daughter on two songs from the album, the title track and the album's closer, "Hollywood Bowl". It is such a stunning piano-driven track that feels so nostalgic and ethereal as she looks back on memories throughout her life. It reminds me of the previous collaboration on Lana's 2021 album Blue Banisters, which was another beautiful celebration of their family and their love for music. 

"You Could Start A Cult" // Niall Horan

Niall Horan released his third solo album, The Show, this month and his song "You Could Start A Cult" stood out to me right away from the ten tracks. It is a beautiful acoustic ballad where he sings, "Oh, I'll follow you till there's no tomorrow". I've said this before when I talked about his song "Heaven" back on my February favorites list, but Niall truly is at his strongest when it comes to making really sweet and simple love songs like this!

"Speed Drive" // Charli XCX

"Speed Drive" is such a high-energy summer hyperpop anthem for a car chase sequence in the upcoming Barbie movie. Charli also interpolates "Hey Mickey" by Toni Basil with the chorus, "Barbie, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, jump into the driver's seat and put it into speed drive". Even though it is a relatively short song, it is so much fun and so cleverly written. The shoutout to the iconic Devon Lee Carlson with the line "Devon Lee smile" is one of my favorite moments of the song too, it's such a cute lyric! "Speed Drive" along with Dua Lipa's "Dance The Night" are definitely my favorites from the Barbie soundtrack so far! 

"Barbie World" // Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice featuring Aqua

Another recent release from the upcoming Barbie soundtrack is "Barbie World" by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, who both make perfect additions to this album. I was especially so excited to see that Nicki, the Queen Barbie herself, is included on this soundtrack because she's perfect for it. The song, which is just over a minute long, samples Aqua's "Barbie Girl", which is so iconic and was a no-brainer to be somehow incorporated into the film and soundtrack too. If I were to compare their two recent collaborations, I still think "Princess Diana" is wayyy better as a song than "Barbie World" is, but nonetheless is a fun track for the movie. 

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in more of my recent song recommendations, check out my list of the best songs of January 2023February 2023March 2023April 2023, May 2023 and more from my New Music Friday series! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

-Melissa ♡

photo credit to all owners - header designed by Melissa Kacar

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