The Best Songs of the Month

© Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip
Picture of Ann Lee
Music Editor
Updated: 30 June 2017
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The sun is finally shining, which means it’s time to get some tunes out. This month brought us big hitting releases from comeback kings Arcade Fire and Queens of the Stone Age, while there are more offbeat discoveries from new bands like Yellow Days. Culture Trip’s music editors, Ann Lee and Ryan Kristobak, have rounded up the best songs for you to enjoy.

Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”

Arcade Fire have been quiet since 2013’s Reflektor but are gearing up to release their fifth album, Everything Now, later this year. In the space of a month, they’ve released three songs from the upcoming LP. It’s hard to pick a favourite but the title track, which was our first taster of things to come, comes close. It’s a joyous, Abba-esque, “Dancing Queen” anthem. Glorious. —Ann Lee

Maggie Rogers – “Alaska” (Tycho Remix)

It’s been a little over a year since we watched Pharrell cry while listening to Maggie Rogers’ nature-pop hit “Alaska”, and even less since Rogers delivered the single to the masses. While “Alaska” is far from stale at this point, Tycho’s remix is a welcome reinvention that could play directly after the original to great effect. Featuring Tycho’s signature cosmic ocean flair that has made him a cult favorite, you have to wonder why the San Francisco artist has taken this long to add vocals to his indie-electronic brand. —Ryan Kristobak

Lorde – “Sober”

New Zealand singer Lorde has finally released her second album Melodrama. The track “Sober” is the fourth single to be lifted from the LP and unlike previous offerings like “Green Light”, it’s a more stripped back affair. A moody epic about regret that’s more in keeping with her debut album Pure Heroine. —AL

Manchester Orchestra – “The Gold”

It was extremely difficult to pick between Manchester Orchestra’s two songs released this month (the other being “The Alien”). I decided on “The Gold” for a couple of reasons: 1) It was the first single, and therefore my first taste of the band’s new album; 2) It’s a catchier song, thanks to that driving guitar riff; 3) That 6/8 time signature; 4) The first time (1:00 in the video) all the instruments drop out and you hear the palatial harmony between Andy Hull and Robert McDowell; 5) The angsty teen in me will always fall for lyrics like “Couldn’t really love you any more / You’ve become my ceiling”; 6) Being from middle Pennsylvania, mining metaphors will always win me over. —RK

Grace Mitchell – “Cali God”

Portland singer Grace Mitchell is just 19-years-old, but her bold and irresistibly catchy electro-pop belies her young age. “Cali God” is the latest track to be taken from her upcoming debut album and has more of a hip-hop influence than her previous synth-heavy releases. She’s tipped to be the next Lorde and we can see why. —AL

Yellow Days – “That Easy”

If you’re looking for summertime jams that feel like an acid trip cavorting through a sun-streaked forest with a lover or your best friends, turn to Yellow Days. George van den Broek’s latest, “That Easy”, is like psych-rock Turkish delight: a smartly packaged sweet and gooey treat that will have you spinning in circles until gravity pulls you to the Earth with a dizzying grin. —RK

Grizzly Bear – “Four Cypresses”

In the run up to the release of Painted Ruins, Grizzly Bear have brought out another single called “Four Cypresses”. It starts off simply enough before it blossoms into an epic jangle of drum beats, vocals and synths. Just like we’ve come to expect from the band, it’s a gorgeously lush dreamscape. —AL

Queens of the Stone Age – “The Way You Used To Do”

Let’s be honest here: Queens of the Stone Age are the best rock band doing it right now. Picking up Mark Ronson on the boards for their new album, Villains, the rollicking-but-gritty blues of first single “The Way You Used To Do” might be evidence that this one-way-ticket-to-hell rock ‘n’ roll meets disco-pop superstar combination is the best thing that’s happened to the band yet. —RK

Marika Hackman – “Cigarette”

One of the best tracks on Marika Hackman’s sophomore album, I’m Not Your Man, is ‘Cigarette’. It’s a beautifully sparse song about a warring couple unable to talk to each other, crafted with delicate vulnerability. —AL

Radiohead – “I Promise”

Dating back to 1996, “I Promise” is one of the three previously unreleased tracks, and the best of the crop, to finally receive the studio treatment on Radiohead’s OK Computer 20th-anniversary reissue, OKNOTOK. Who else other than Thom Yorke could make lines like, “I won’t run away no more, I promise / Even when I get bored, I promise / Even when you lock me out, I promise”, sound like a war cry when paired with grueling military snare rolls? —RK

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