There was an outpouring of great music released in the month of July. We have compiled a list of the top tracks for July 2021 based on our review readership.
At the top of the list, we have Jake Hoot, whose new, rowdy single “Night Left” is spreading like wildfire and whose loyal fans always bolster to No. 1. Kris Allen, Cassadee Pope, Maggie Rose, Jonny West, Dan Kiernan, Joshua Hyslop, Kat Saul and Nicky James also make the list for their new releases.
Ya know, sometimes you just gotta party. “Hell, we can sleep when we’re dead,” hollers Jake Hoot with his new song “Night Left.” The Voice champion places his bets on a weekend of fun, booze, and good times, calling the listener to follow his lead into the cornfields. “We got a whole lotta night left,” he later sings, showing off his vocal range. It’s your standard party anthem, but boy, is it a good time.
Listen to “Night Left” below.
It’s hard to find the good in all the bad sometimes. Kris Allen’s “Hallelujah! For Now” is the bright injection you just may need, a wholly addicting slice of indie pop. “Collecting pages of evidence in every corner of your mind,” he observes, before turning to ask the tough questions: “What am I supposed to do while I’m waiting for the nothingness to be proof?” Well, for now, he emits a simple “hallelujah” to celebrate the beauty that is, indeed, around him in this moment.
Listen to “Hallelujah! For Now” below.
Cassadee Pope is thriving these days. That’s probably why she’s titled her new record, you guessed it, Thrive. Her second release, “Say It First,” continues the genre-brewing she’s been doing lately, returning to her pop-punk roots with a pinch of country. “I’ll take the words right out of your mouth. It won’t even hurt,” she sings, puckering the edges of her mouth. “Yeah, I’ll be gone so fast before you even turn around.”
Listen to “Say It First” below.
Maggie Rose turns the musical lights down low to a crackling sizzle. “Are We There Yet” is silky to the touch, the enrapturing sensation you’d find buried in a romance novel. Rose, always a masterclass vocalist, teases the listener with the melody. “Lover, we’re never satisfied, too busy rushing time,” she sings, lamenting the ephemeral nature of love itself.
Listen to “Are We There Yet” below.
Fresh off his Top 5 finish on American Idol last year, singer-songwriter Jonny West forges ahead with his new EP. Quite a genre-bender, essential cut “damaged” is a prime showcase for West’s vocal acrobatics, as he pours out his soul in a way few reality show contestants ever accomplish. “How can I see anything more than what’s before me?” he asks himself. “Broken or not, I’m hopelessly lost.”
Listen to “damaged” below.
Dan Kiernan has one of the most infectious voices we’ve heard in a long time. On “Cutting Ties,” Kiernan’s silky tone rolls over every phrase of the driving pop track. Kiernan’s impressive chops are front and center on the choruses while he slyly declares, “I’m getting good at cutting ties.” This one will definitely be on repeat.
Listen to “Cutting Ties” below.
There are songs that just… transcend. Joshua Hyslop’s “The Veil” plays like a hymn, with a hushed vocal performance that seems to slip from his very soul. “In that evening light by the riverside, as the water rises up its song,” he sings, barely a quiver. “Well, no sparrows fly when the lilies cry, soon the stones shall join along.” As delicate as it is, there’s something alarmingly pounding about the thematic material, turning his gaze to the afterlife to deliver a knockout punch.
Listen to “The Veil” below.
Lined with lyrical acid, Kat Saul’s “Luna” deceives the senses with its chewy outer coating, but once you take that first chomp, you begin to reveal the deeper, darker, and more pained layers. “You’re only calling ’cause she left you on read,” she brays into symphonic bursts. “And your bed’s getting cold and it’s getting to your head.” A world-ending anthem, if we’ve ever heard one.
Listen to “Luna” below.
Rising Country music artist Nicky James has released a feel-good anthem with new single, “Common Ground.” The track is infused with screaming electric guitars, a touch of steel and features James’ clear and solid vocals. A sentiment we need right about now, “Common Ground” urges listeners to put aside their differences and appreciate the time they have together. James’ vocals soar in the chorus as he effortlessly delivers the standout song.
Listen to “Common Ground” below.