Best Songs of the Month (Jul 2017)

The second half of 2017 is off to a great start. With so much good music steadily coming through, it's easy to miss some of the best. we've rounded up the best.

P&P Original


Best Songs of the Month July 2017

With so much good music steadily coming through, it's easy to miss some of the best. To help prevent this, we've rounded up the best songs from the past month. Here are the songs you can't afford to skip, in no particular order.

Aminé ft. Ty Dolla Sign - "Veggies"

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If you're somehow still under the impression that Aminé is a one-hit wonder, think again. The Portland rapper shared his debut album Good For You last night, and it proves he has staying power beyond his runaway hit "Caroline." He balances his trademark humor with introspection and profound observations about the world around him. The album's production is buoyant throughout, making it an excellent soundtrack for the remaining weeks of summer.

Good For You begins with the soaring opening strings of "Veggies," one of the album's standout tracks. After the scintillating orchestral intro, Aminé sings over an understated guitar riff and soft percussion. Halfway through, the song erupts into a funk-driven affair with punchy 808s. "Veggies" sets the tone for the rest of the album flawlessly, its lyrical content triumphant, introspective, and cheeky all at once. He weaves seamlessly between singing and rapping, showcasing his vocal versatility. Ty Dolla Sign lends his voice to the end of the song, bringing the album's stunning introduction to a strong conclusion.—Charlotte Freitag

Tyler, the Creator - "Boredom"


It would have been so easy for Tyler, the Creator to continue to rap about doing indecent things to dead bodies. This isn't a criticism by any means; there was a weird charm to it ("She" is a very romantic song, after all). But the draw behind Tyler's latest song "Boredom" lies in the fact that "Boredom" isn't that at all.

On a laid back beat and featuring Corinne Bailey Rae, Rex Orange County, and, once again, Anna of the North, Tyler laments boredom, something that he may no longer be privy to as a successful multi-hyphenate. There's something bittersweet about a person who's missing that stillness in life, and in that, Tyler, the Creator has created something pretty damn beautiful.—Joyce

When Skepta previewed his new single "Hypocrisy" during a show in New York City last month, it was instantly clear that he had another hit on his hands. Similar to many of his other songs, "Hypocrisy" has an infectious bounce that you can't help but nod your head along to. On the new single, Skepta brushes off everyone hating on him as they not-so-secretly bite his style, and showcases why he can't be duplicated.

Aside from Skepta's interlude on Drake's More Life, it's felt like too long since we heard new music from the London MC. This new self-produced track seems like the perfect preview of what's to come. Let's just hope we don't have to wait too long for more. Until then, I'll be blasting this one.—Adrienne Black

Lana Del Rey ft. ASAP Rocky & Playboi Carti - "Summer Bummer"

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It's been a while since longtime friends and collaborators Lana Del Rey and ASAP Rocky last linked up, but their chemistry hasn't faded. The pair released two new collaborations this week, both of which are set to appear on Del Rey's upcoming album Lust For Life. One of the tracks, "Summer Bummer," also features vocals from Playboi Carti, who punctuates the track's moody soundscape with his instantly recognizable ad-libs.

"Summer Bummer" finds Lana returning to the 808-heavy hip-hop production she favored earlier in her career, a stark change from the acoustic-leaning sound she's spent the past few years cultivating. She sings languidly about an all-consuming summer fling atop a murky, menacing beat. Rocky's verse fits the vibe perfectly, complementing Lana's ethereal vocals.—Charlotte Freitag

D.R.A.M. ft. Cardi B - "Cute"

D.R.A.M. Pub Photo 2 Ashani Allick

Last year D.R.A.M. dropped a fun single simply titled "Cute." Months later, the track hasn't lost its charm—it's just as endearing as D.R.A.M. himself, with the power to instantly put a smile on anyone's face.

This week, D.R.A.M. decided to revamp the single... with a twist. Inviting Bronx rapper and internet sensation Cardi B to jump on the remix was completely unexpected, but it works perfectly. Cardi B enters with force: "Oh, you think I'm cute? / Well I think you ugly / Trust me it's cool / I use you for money"—giving the once-innocent song a brash, hilarious edge.—Adrienne Black

Jachary - "Yellow Vision"


Damn, this one sounds like a hit. Jachary is a New York-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, and "Yellow Vision" is like a shot in the arm, a jolt of uplifting energy. It's funky and soulful, boasts a great chorus, and maybe most importantly, is packed with personality. Jachary also produces for rapper Deem Spencer, but after hearing this, his own There's A Virus Going On EP, out September 12, is firmly on our radar​.—Alex Gardner

Corbin - "Ice Boy"


After a lengthy absence, Corbin has finally returned with "Ice Boy." Removed from his earlier material in a few distinct ways, most notably in how much clearer things sound, "Ice Boy" pushes Corbin's vocals up front. It's a nice change considering his voice, now sounding more confident than ever, is undoubtedly the most captivating part of his music. As great as his older material is, his songwriting really benefits from him not hiding under layers of reverb. His long-awaited full-length debut can't arrive any quicker.—Joe Price

Little Simz ft. Bibi Bourelly - "Customz"

Little Simz Press Photo

Having the privilege to travel often is a blessing, there's no denying that. However, before getting to these various destinations, the reality of traveling often comes with hours of delays, so-called "random" searches through customs, and plenty of time to just sit and think. It feels appropriate that this raw, unmastered track that Little Simz felt like dropping with Bibi Bourelly would flow into this theme.

For their new collaboration "Customz," Simz and Bourelly skim through these pros and cons of jet setting across the globe. Seeing new places allows you the chance to experience different cultures and see new sights, while simultaneously witnessing the passive aggressions of others who may not feel you "belong" in that first class seat. Though, "Customz" is packaged as a raw freebie, that doesn't mean that there isn't still some depth to it. Everything Little Simz does is well thought out, and this is just another piece to that growing puzzle.—Adrienne Black

Rhye - "Please"


It's been four years since Rhye stepped softly into our lives with their debut album Woman. It was a hushed, delicate, gorgeous, wholly romantic album, and this week Rhye returned with new music. They released two new songs, "Please" and "Summer Days," and it sounds as if they've picked up right where they left off with more beautiful mood music.

"Because we play live so much, we've built this show that's somewhat different from Woman," Rhye's Milosh explains. "It's a little more psychedelic. I wanted to bring that to the second record. I really wanted to incorporate much more soulful and earthy colors. It had to be all live percussion and piano. The human intimacy had to come through the actual instrumentation on this record.  'Please' is the stepping stone to where we're headed."—Alex Gardner

NoMBe - "Bad Girls"


Every month in 2017, NoMbe has shared a new song from his debut album. And somehow, he’s been able to reveal new sounds and capabilities with each new track. The latest installment, “Bad Girls,” finds the multidimensional Los Angeles artist laying raw vocals over jangly acoustic guitars and thick basslines for a bright summer-ready cut with a nice gritty edge. Perfect for the July edition of his meandering sonic calendar, which he says will continue until he “runs out of love songs.” Let’s hope that day never comes.—Eric Skelton

21 Savage - "Famous"

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I haven't got a chance to listen through 21 Savage's new album ISSA enough to even really pick favorites, but what I have heard sounds excellent. Opening track "Famous" makes a statement over Metro Boomin and Zaytoven's production, "7 Min Freestyle" is wild, "FaceTime" is a lurching love song, and "Bank Account" sees 21 flexing his production skills.

With a host of other heavy hitting producers alongside Metro Boomin, 21 Savage has switched things up a little from Savage Mode, but the beats still bang hard and the bars are still savage. Now, time to put this album on repeat.—Alex Gardner

Nina Tech ft. KodiLam - "Look At Me"

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Nina Tech is a Chicago native balancing her rap career with a biomedical engineering degree. KodiLam is part of Chicago creative collective ColdWind that is putting out some really intriguing music. Together, the two link up for the addictive "Look At Me." The Noelz Vedere beat creeps and crawls as Nina and Kodi swap bars in style. I'm really looking forward to seeing who is next to blow out of the Windy City, and wouldn't be surprised if this crew is part of it.—John Walaszek

Knox Fortune - "Lil Thing"

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It's been nothing short of electrifying to watch Knox Fortune unfurl his solo career. The Chicago singer/producer proved his worth long ago by working with Chance the Rapper, but this essential part of the SAVEMONEY crew has held off on a solo album until this year.

He's still bringing the squad along for the ride—"Lil Thing" was cowritten by Joey Purp, with Nico Segal and Carter Lang providing co-production. The hook alone would be enough to get Knox on this week's list, but he's displaying a mastery of heartfelt, restrained lyrics that manages to sound nothing like what the rest of Chicago is doing right now. "Lil Thing" is part of his upcoming solo LP, and follows on the heels of the equally excellent, blissed-out "Torture."—Graham Corrigan

Deem Spencer - "eve's titties"

Deem Spencer

Queens rapper Deem Spencer is one of my favorite artists making music right now. It's a crazy time in hip-hop and music in general, when branding and charisma sometimes outshine the art. Deem doesn't seem concerned with all that. His music feels brutally honest, and while his charisma is offbeat and understated, the impact lies in how real it all feels. The flashy smash hits come and go, but songs like "soap" have been in rotation all year, and "eve's titties" is sure to be another one that stands up as more than a passing moment.—Jacob Moore

Mount Kimbie ft. King Krule - "Blue Train Lines"

Mount Kimbie

The boys are back. Mount Kimbie and King Krule have a storied history of collaboration, most notably 2013's immortal "You Took Your Time." But they've outdone themselves with this one—"Blue Train Lines" skews more experimental and punky than their previous work, with seedy organs and persistent hi-hats accompanying an especially raw, yelping verse from Krule. It builds and builds, then the whole thing opens like a raincloud—Krule starts screaming, the drums unravel , and the bass kicks like lightning. Mount Kimbie's next album, Love What Survives, is out in September.—Graham Corrigan

Just Mills - "Dark Man"

Just Mills

Just Mills blew me away with his debut project Dark Sober Mind. Listening through the project I can feel both vulnerability and honesty over very impressive beat selection. It was tough to pick a favorite, but I think "Dark Man" may be the standout record. The energy on this is unmatched, Mills coming in so aggressive that you're kind of unsure where he's headed. Once the beat drops the intensity blends with the production and draws you in completely.—Eric Isom

Dizzee Rascal - "Wot U Gonna Do?"

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What do you do when you helped launch a genre into the mainstream, then when you try and experiment with different sounds fans call you a sellout, and over ten years later still want you to make the same type of music you made age 19? That's what grime OG Dizzee Rascal has faced for years, and he addresses some of those ideas and a lot more on "Wot U Gonna Do?"

“The funny thing about that song is people are always asking me who it’s about, when it’s obvious it’s about me,” Dizzee says of this track. He is working with producers like Valentino Khan and Salva (on previous single "Space") who he hasn't collaborated with before, and new album Raskit is shaping up to be special.—Alex Gardner

For a song called “Kept Me Crying,” this makes me feel really fuckin’ happy. An early favorite from HAIM’s sophomore LP, Something to Tell You, the mid-album gem shows off everything the sister trio does so well—marrying a timeless pop rock sound with honest songwriting, danceable percussion, and catchy melodies. If you're the kind of person who prefers your summer anthems with electric guitar riffs and emotionally relatable lyrics—not steel drums and synthesizers—this one’s for you.—Eric Skelton

Ryuichi Sakamoto - "Andata (Oneohtrix Point Never Rework)"

Oneohtrix Point Never press photo

It must be incredibly intimidating to be faced with the task of remixing the work of legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, but Oneohtrix Point Never only seems to be interested in challenging himself. His rework of Sakamoto's "Andata" is a gorgeous remix that cherishes the original composition, letting its melodies linger despite brand new flourishes of sound. The way OPN brings his vibrant elements to the track further highlights what's so good about Sakamoto as a musician, as well as showing that no task is too tall for OPN's talents.—Joe Price

Cousin Stizz - "Lambo"

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Boston's finest Cousin Stizz has been building momentum with consistent drops, including the impeccable "Headlock" with Offset, one of the best songs of the year so far. With his mixtape One Night Only out now, Stizz delivers another big track with frequent collaborator Tee-WaTT. This is vintage Stizz—a laid-back delivery, a mesmerizing beat, and another memorable hook from one of the most consistent rising artists over the past couple of years.—Alex Gardner

Toro y Moi - "Labyrinth"

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Finding comfort in empty space can be a difficult thing to do, but Toro Y Moi excels in exploring these gaps on his latest album, Boo Boo. It's not been out for long, but it already feels safe to say this might be his best album yet. It's ambitious, gorgeous, and a distillation of everything we've come to expect from him and more. Making use of only a few elements on tracks like the stunning "Labyrinth," Toro Y Moi is reminding us how he's such a fantastic songwriter by stripping it all back, and he sounds better than ever for it.—Joe Price

Obongjayar - "Endless"

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Obongjayar is one of the most exciting new artists out. The London-based singer/rapper/all-round creative debuted last year with the multi-faceted Home EP and since then he's been working with XL Recordings' Richard Russell, appearing on his Close But Not Quite EP earlier this year.

This week Obongjayar returned with a Moses Boyd-produced song that he says "explores the celebration of life in death. How we never really die but live through our work and our effects on the people around us and our environment.” It's a raw, rolling track accompanied by a beautiful video, cementing Obongjayar's status as a must-watch artist.—Alex Gardner

Read our interview with Obongjayar here.

Aminé ft. Nelly - "Yellow"

Amine on Instagram

Aminé has already mastered the art of simplicity. Throughout his entire Good For You album, he keeps only what's necessary. Each song has a few key elements, and instead of piling on filler and fluff, he keeps it uncluttered and to the point. This is what makes songs like "Yellow" so good. The beat is anchored by a weird synth riff that's as addictive as any hook on the album, the chorus is fit for a radio pop song, and the empty space in the track is as crucial as the beat itself. Plus, he's got Nelly.—Jacob Moore