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© Amanda Suarez
© Amanda Suarez
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The Best Songs of the Month

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 31 May 2017
As summer—and festival season—2017 takes its first steps, everyone is on the hunt for the song that will be the soundtrack to their season. While a concept like “song of the summer” may be a bit antiquated for today’s streaming era, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a song out there that will win your heart. Check out top songs from the month of May by Culture Trip’s music editors, Ann Lee and Ryan Kristobak, and maybe you will find the record you’ve been searching for.

Now, Now — “SGL”

Now, Now has been off the map for some time, and in their absence they’ve shed the angsty grit of previous album Threads. “SGL” is nothing short of a perfect pop record: it’s the song you turn to when you are in a good mood, it’s the song you turn to when you are feeling down, and once you hear it, you won’t be able to take it off repeat. —Ryan Kristobak (RK)

Grizzly Bear — “Mourning Sound”

Indie band Grizzly Bear have been AWOL for the past five years since 2012’s Shields. They’re gearing up to release Painted Ruins later this year and “Mourning Sound”, an upbeat and breezy pop song, is one of their most accessible offerings yet. —Ann Lee (AL)

Everything Is Recorded — “Close But Not quite” ft. Sampha

Who knew Sampha and Curtis Mayfield’s vocals would work like twins—so much that you barely notice when one takes over for the other? Apparently XL Recordings’ founder and producer Richard Russell, and we’re all better off for it. Full record, please? —RK

Kyla La Grange — “Violet Blue”

Kyla La Grange delivers up another slice of electro pop goodness on her new track “Violet Blue”. Her strong, confident vocals soar on this sprawling synth-driven melody that is bold and fearless in its emotional intent. —AL

Floating Points — “Kelso Dunes”

First, Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, mastered electronic music. Then he recorded a near-jazz album with a full orchestra. Now, it appears Shepherd is determined to win over experimental rock enthusiasts, and when the two songs you release are constantly compared to Pink Floyd, you’re probably doing it right. —RK

Alt-J — “Adeline”

Former Mercury Prize winners Alt-J are returning with their third album, Relaxer, and this is the third track they’ve shared with fans ahead of its release. It’s glorious, shimmering and multi-layered, with the band’s signature offbeat charm. —AL

Logic — “Take it Back”

If Logic’s Everybody is the anthem for the world’s biracial population, “Take It Back” is its centerpiece. Logic has often used his own story to talk on topics of race, but here he holds nothing back, breaking down the harrowing racism he endured as a child—even from his own mother—and laying out his message of equality for all people regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation. —RK

Mogwai — “Coolverine”

Scottish post-rock legends Mogwai surely win for best song title for this month. “Coolverine” is as assured and nuanced as anything they’ve done before. A slow-burning delight that smoulders with steely determination. —AL

Nilüfer Yanya — “Golden Cage”

Emerging London act Nilüfer Yanya is, for a lack of better words, freakin’ cool. Her lethargic cadence and jazz-tinted tones will give listeners shades of Amy Winehouse, but in an effort to avoid depending on such comparisons, suffice it to say that Yanya is a singular talent whose songwriting could very well define a slice of 21st-century music. —RK

Turtle — “Blood Type”

Producer Turtle has roped in singer Eliza Shaddad to provide the vocals on this beautifully hazy track. Her hushed tones perfectly complement the brooding electro/hip hop beats. —AL