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Release Roundup: June 2022

Written by on July 13, 2022

Pictured above: NNAMDÏ’s album cover for upcoming release ‘Please Have A Seat,’ the first single of which is called “I Don’t Wanna Be Famous.”

Team Vocalo shares some of our favorite releases from last month…

June releases kept our playlists happy, packed with new singles from major players like Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper and FKA Twigs. Also making waves were new albums from artists like 070 Shake, Drake and Giveon, which are already looking likely to top 2022’s end-of-year lists. It’s hard to keep track of everything released in a whole month, but the Vocalo team shares a few of our favorites for you to enjoy…

Chance the Rapper, “The Highs & The Lows”

Chance the Rapper’s newest single “The Highs & The Lows” was one of my favorite tracks released in July. The song has peaceful and easygoing instrumentation, with bright piano chords ringing out as Chance raps about dealing with the rollercoaster of daily life. The real gold here is in the lyrics, which cover the inevitable trials and tribulations we all face. Joey Bada$$, as always, comes through with some mindful bars about harmful coping mechanisms and negativity. Even though Chance and Joey talk about struggling with low points, I felt acknowledging high points eventually come around was really refreshing.

George Chiligiris

Drake, Honestly, Nevermind

People were on the edge of their seats waiting for Drake to release his next album. Were we going to get a rap club banger-centered album like Scorpion? Or were we going to want to call our exes like Nothing Was the Same? No one was expecting a house album from Drake. Drake’s ability to keep this project a secret made Honestly, Nevermind one of the most controversial albums in a long time. I wasn’t especially interested in hearing this new album, since I was not a fan of Certified Loverboy. Once I saw people posting their anger at the dance tracks, then I wanted to listen to the album. I couldn’t help but be super proud of Drake for shaping pop culture. I think all our favorite artists and rappers will now be releasing dance tracks, which makes me excited for new music. I’m so happy to hear songs for supper with high tempos and BPMs, I feel like this is the sound we needed at a mainstream level. I love dancing, give me a few bars and a great beat, that’s how you win me over. Good work, Aubrey!

Standout track is “Sticky”; I enjoyed every track on the album, but when I heard “Sticky,” I was immediately transported to another place. I was taken back to the mid 2010s, getting ready with my girlfriends and going to clubs that we weren’t old enough to drink in yet. The pop replication of EDM and house music of the 2000s was a classic era, and this song had me reminisce on how that music made us feel. It made people dance, whether they were good at it or not. This track almost made me emotional, at a time where the popular rap and hip hop BPM is low, in the 60-70 range, here Drake was forcing people to move at a much faster speed than he normally would. This song went instantly viral on TikTok, where many people synced it to Waacking dance numbers. Waacking is a form of street dance created in the LGBTQ clubs of Los Angeles during the 1970s disco era. Whether it was Drake’s intention to make his music this inclusive, it felt inclusive and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

– Nudia Hernandez

Giveon, Give Or Take

Giveon’s debut full-length album Give Or Take is 15 tracks of pure emotion. On every song you can tell through his lyrical vulnerability and deeply soulful voice this album came from his heart. The album opens with a sample of his mother’s voice, serving as a guiding light throughout tracks reminiscent of heartbreak and painful life experiences. Rather than sulking in these feelings, Giveon’s take on classic R&B ballads explores and travels through them. As a listener, it’s a deeply intimate sonic experience… one that I feel honored to experience.

Makenzie Creden

NNAMDÏ, “I Don’t Wanna Be Famous”

Chicago musician NNAMDÏ has announced a new album set to release October 7, and we’re absolutely squirming in anticipation over here at Vocalo. The local star released the first single last month titled “I Don’t Wanna Be Famous.” The catchy hip-hop track seems to stray away from the genre-fusion NNAMDÏ showcased on his 2020 album BRAT, instead taking a more straightforward hip-hop sound. It features playful vocals and a flow that’s anything but boring – all wrapped up in top-notch production quality. It feels like we’re really being let into NNAMDÏ’s psyche with this one, and we can’t wait for what’s to come.

Makenzie Creden

SZA – Ctrl (Deluxe)

SZA blessed us all last month with Ctrl (Deluxe) — a re-release of the 2017 Ctrl’s 14 songs, plus six new tracks and a version of “Love Galore” where she swaps out Travis Scott’s verse with her own (which, sorry Travis, I like better than the original if I’m being honest). Not to mention the original Ctrl track listing, standouts from Deluxe, to me, are definitely “Percolator,” “Jodie” and “Miles”… but it’s so hard to choose. They’re all so good. If you don’t know the rest of Ctrl, start there — but either way, put your headphones in and start listening ASAP.

– Morgan Ciocca

Introduction written by George Chiligiris

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