10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of July 2, 2021

We are so ready to kick off the 4th of July weekend—and we have just the tunes to get ourselves started.

This week had too many stunning releases to even count from rising artists like Madisyn Gifford and Elke, TikTok superstars Just Stef and Claire Rosinkranz and so many more, making it harder than ever to pick just 10 of our faves.

Can't wait to listen? Keep scrolling for our 10 favorite things that happened in music the week of July 2, 2021.

1. Madisyn Gifford Makes Breakups Empowering With 'Bare Minimum'

Breakups don't always have to be all doom and gloom, and Madisyn Gifford's soulful and anthemic new single "Bare Minimum" is proof. With its building sound and empowering message, it's just the thing to help you move on and find your power if your own heart is broken. "Bare Minimum is a song all about coming into your own after a breakup and realizing that you deserved better throughout the relationship," Madisyn explained in a press release. "It acknowledges the pain and bitterness that often comes along with moving on while also exploring themes of empowerment throughout the track."


2. Elke Releases the Wonderfully Weird 'Vacuum'

Looking to kick off your weekend with something a little different? We can't stop listening to  "Vacuum" by Nashville-based artist Elke. With its chill beat, unique art-pop sound and lyrics you're not going to hear anywhere else, you're going to have a hard time getting it out of your head. Plus, we love the music video, showing Elke trying trying to bring a man out of his TV-induced stupor, to no avail. "I decided a vacuum is what one needed first and foremost, because in reaching distance from where I was writing the song was a book I was reading—Pretend I'm Dead by Jen Beagin," she revealed in a press release. "I had the line already written, 'If I could give you anything, I'd give you this,' and from there I had to decide what that was. Seeing the book ignited the idea of a vacuum because the main character cleans homes for a living, and I also have this weird attachment to the sensation of vacuuming, watching the dust get picked up. It's all my way of saying 'Wake up! Try harder and make something of yourself!'"


3. Robert Grace and Emma Steinbakken Get Super Personal With 'Self'

We all suffer from doubt, insecurity and uncertainty from time to time, and Robert Grace's new single "Self," featuring Emma Steinbakken, is a heartfelt ode to these feelings. It's about when you're not sure of yourself, and just wish you could feel differently when you're swirling with negative thoughts and just making things worse with your actions. Even so, it's got an upbeat sound that drives home just how relatable it all is.  "I love this song so much because it's about me," Robert said in a press is me essentially. Super personal, super raw."


4. Isaac Dunbar Drops the Uplifting Song of the Summer With 'Celebrate'

Want to move past the things that are holding you back this summer and really embrace the things that bring you joy? Isaac Dunbar's "Celebrate" is just the track to help you do that. The 18-year-old artist has us hooked with the infectious new pop track, and just listening to it makes us feel like we can do anything. "'Celebrate' is about waking up and choosing happiness every single day instead of getting stuck in your own negativity," Isaac said in a press release. "It's sometimes easy to stay in a negative space than move to a positive one so with this song I wanted to bring awareness to that and to give people a reason to choose to celebrate each day."


5. Just Stef 'Miss U Miss Me'

TikTok sensation Just Stef's "Miss U Miss Me" is finally out today, and we can say the wait has been worth every minute. With its pounding, bouncy beat and memorable keyboard melodies, this is one you're going to be singing in the shower for a long time, just attempting to hit Stef's high notes—and we think the lyrics about missing someone and hoping they miss you back are all too relatable.


6. Claire Rosinkranz Captures the Feeling of Letting Go in 'Boy in a Billion'

This has been a good week for songs originally birthed on TikTok, because we adore Claire Rosinkranz's "Boy in a Billion" and the way it flawlessly captures that powerful feeling of falling hard for someone, only to have it end. It's snappy and smooth with a driving, forceful sound and a hook that'll keep you coming back for more. If you're going through something similar, it'll definitely help you through it.


7. MKLA Teams Up With Zeds Dead for the Euphoric House Single 'Alive'

What are you dancing your butt off to this weekend? If you haven't decided, we'love to recommend the new Zeds Dead-produced single, "Alive" featuring MKLA. Her vocals on the track are absolutely stunning, bringing the out-of-this-world track alive and transporting us to another world. "This is one of my favorite songs that I feel like I've ever written and working with Zeds Dead on it has been one of the most amazing experiences I've had on a record, yet," MKLA said in a press release. "Zeds Dead are artists who believe in making music that feels conceptual, meaningful, and emotional—I'd gotten a sense of this even before we started working together because the vocals/lyrics they showcase always have something deeper to say and the artists they work with are the same."


8. Dynoro and 24kGoldn Find Their Inner Strength and Courage in 'Monsters'

DJ and producer Dynoro and rapper 24kGoldn have joined forces for the uplifting new EDM single "Monsters," and just try not to start dancing when this one comes on. It's all about the fact that the monsters we face tend to be within us, rather than something external, and fighting them is a matter of finding your own inner strength. "This one is what I was really looking forward to releasing this year," Dynoro explained in a press release. "It's been a while since my last song, but I believe it was worth the wait. Forget about your biggest fears, gather all your strength and let's go to fight our scariest monsters together."


9.  Faouzia Asks to Be Loved in Return in Epic Single 'Hero'

Relationships are a two-way street, and in Faouzia's soaring new single, "Hero," she simply asks that if she's going to love someone with all of her heart, she's loved just as deeply in return. This pop track is destined to be a sensation.  We also love the video game-themed music video, moving between an Alice in Wonderland-style fairytale and a fighting game inspired by Mortal Kombat to create something truly unique.


10. Sam Ryder Kicks Off the Summer With 'July'

After the giant bummer that was summer 2020, we are more than ready to live life to the fullest this time around. English singer-songwriter captures that sentiment more beautifully than we could imagine in his new single, July—and we plan to keep blasting this one even into August, September and beyond. "'July' is all about seeing the light after a period of darkness," Sam explained in a press release. "Whether we're watching the blooms waking up outside in nature or experiencing an inner awakening after the longest year, I think we're all ready to say hello, July."


Missed us last week? Click HERE for all the biggest and best things that happened in music the week of June 25.