10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of June 18, 2021

This weekend marks the official start of summer. So what will you be listening to?

We can tell you what music we'll be blasting out our windows this weekend, and it'all of the incredible new tracks that dropped this week. Some of our most beloved artists were out in full force, from rising faves like Elise Eriksen and Clara Mae to heavy-hitters including Rezz, Khalid and Tate McRae.

Can't wait to listen? Keep scrolling for our 10 favorite things that happened in music the week of June 18, 2021.


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1. Elise Eriksen Drops Her Debut EP, Golden Boy

We've been following singer-songwriter Elise Eriksen very closely in 2021 because every song she releases is truly music to our ears, and her debut EP, Golden Boy, is the perfect distillation of her talents. If you're looking to lose yourself to five soaring, relatable summer anthems, this is the place to start—and the title track, "Golden Boy," should be the '80s montage-inspired backdrop to your weekend.

 

2. Clara Mae Gets Optimistic With'Not Sad Anymore'

Fans of Clara Mae know that her songs typically encapsulate moments of hurt and heartbreak, so her latest release, "Not Sad Anymore" is a break from the usual—and we're obsessed. It's all about moving on and learning to grow and heal after you've been sad for so long. "I have always had a hard time writing songs that are about feeling good," Clara Mae explained in a press release. "That is why I feel extra proud to have managed to write this song together with Johan Lindebrant and Robin Stjernberg."

 

3. Kentö Releases Smooth and Timeless Dance Track 'Silhouette'

We've only just been introduced to singer-songwriter Kentö, but his powerful story and the music he's been creating have already left a lasting impression. His sultry and danceable new track "Silhouette" seems to be about defying the people who are always looking at the negative and being sure to leave a lasting impression. "I am LGBTQI+ and I'm on the autism spectrum, and I think these are all my superpowers," Kentö explained in a press release. "I think pop music tends to have trends that all sound like one thing, and then someone comes along and shakes things up with a timeless sound … I'm so proud of myself, and I want to just share my music and positivity to the world."

 

4. Hope Tala Bears Her Heart in 'MAD'

We can't get enough of the bold bossa nova sound of Hope Tala's new song, 'MAD,' and think it's only a matter of time before the English singer-songwriter takes off in a big way. The song is striking and moody, with lyrics about feeling like you're getting back what you put into a relationship and struggling with miscommunication. The stylish music video makes us love the song even more. "I wrote 'MAD' about having feelings of frustration and hysteria in a long-distance relationship," Hope explained in a press release. "It's about being unable to communicate properly and feeling lost in loneliness—so it's ironic that I wrote most of the song a week or two before the first lockdown started in the U.K. Foreshadowing, almost."

 

5. ButterFly Ali Gets Us Dancing With'Ain't Ready for Me'

Actor and singer-songwriter Titus Makin Jr., also known as ButterFly Ali, has had our hearts since his Glee days, and his rousing new track, "Ain't Ready for Me" is a funky and soulful ode to self-worth. We don't think we'll stop listening anytime soon. "'Ain't Ready For Me' is a feel-good, any time of the year, song," ButterFly Ali explained in a press release. "I wanted to write this song as a reminder to everyone and myself that we have a lot to offer. Self-motivation to keep shining despite hate… We can't lower our greatness just to 'fit in.' The world will catch up eventually."

 

6. Kat Cunning Celebrates Trans Men With the Beautiful Song 'BOYS'

Kat Cunning's gorgeous new song 'BOYS' is here in time for Pride Month, serving as a love letter to trans men and nonbinary people everywhere, as well as a message of self-acceptance—Kat is nonbinary themself. The music video is particularly profound, and every person in its cast and crew identifies as either transgender or nonbinary.  "The video was extremely important for me to make to spell out the true focus of the song because of the lyric's subtlety," Kat explained in a press release. "I wanted to do my part to help represent the diversity and beauty of the transmasculine community that is so often erased, exploited or hardly peppered into the media. Representation matters, especially to young people. If you can't see it, you can't be it."

 

7. Gang of Youths Returns With 'the angel of 8th ave.'

Gang of Youths just released their first new track in four yearsand it's truly worth every minute of the wait. The Australian rock band has recently relocated to the U.K., reflecting a shift in their creative process, and it shows. "the angel of 8th ave." might be their most triumphant and powerful track yet.  "It's about falling in love, and finding a new life in a new city together," explained frontman and songwriter Dave Le'aupepe—and we think the song captures those sentiments flawlessly.

 

8. Indi Star Captures the Radiance of Young Love in 'Afterglow'

There's something so magical about new love, and though aspects of it are impossible to capture, Indi Star's latest release, "Afterglow" comes close. We love its relaxed vibe and every single relatable line. "It was actually inspired by a real relationship—or what I thought the relationship was at the time," Indi told Sweety High. "The songwriting process is strange because some parts come really easy, and some take some digging. You might have a feeling or thought that you want to get out but sometimes it can be hard to get that feeling out into words that will sound good!"

 

9. Tate McRae and Khalid Team Up for the Summer Love Duet, 'working'

Tate McRae's tracks are often the perfect blend of raw, authentic and emotionally devastating, but we can't say we mind that her latest track, "working" is a boisterous and fun summer love song—even if it's about a complicated relationship. The song also features Khalid in an unexpected yet impeccable duet. Their voices are a match made in heaven, and we'love to see these two do more together in the future.  "I am so stoked for this song I did with Khalid," Tate explained in a press release. "I usually release a lot of songs that are pretty emotional but this one is just a straight summer bop. We had such a fun time creating this song—I seriously can't wait for everyone to hear it."

 

10. Rezz and Dove Cameron Drop a Horror-Themed Music Video for 'Taste of You'

Rezz's "Taste of You," featuring sizzling vocals by Dove Cameron, was instantly unforgettable when it was released last month, and we think its sultry new music video will win it more fans. The music video is inspired by horror cinema, emphasizing the song's already haunting and slightly vampiric vibes, making us wonder if this truly is a love song or something more sinister. In a press release, Dove described the music video as "The kind of nights I dreamt about when I was a kid as to how my job would look." We'd love to see her do more videos just like it.

 

Missed us last week? Click HERE for all the biggest and best things that happened in music the week of June 11.