The months leading up to summer 2018 have delivered the unexpected, in the best way imaginable.
Despite the intensifying music release schedule, artists such as Janelle Monáe, SOPHIE or Deafheaven have managed to surprise by not only releasing good singles but by also coming up with critically acclaimed albums. If you need a recap on the recent highlights, we've looked back at some of the best songs released between April and June and listed a selection below. Make sure to check Best Songs of 2018 – Part 1 here and don't forget to track the music you listen to by scrobbling!
Japanese-American singer-songwriter Mitski made a dramatic return last May with 'Geyser', the lead single from her upcoming fifth album Be The Cowboy which is out on 17 August. The powerful and emotional song sees the singer deliver what appears to be a desperate plea for love. She has stated that the song is "not really about a person, which might disappoint listeners because it's so much more romantic if it was about a person. But it is about just like, following an idea regardless of whether it's actually good for you."
We already picked 'I Like That' as part of Songs You Need To Hear Right Now last May and the song has proven to be one of the highlights of Janelle's new album Dirty Computer. Combined with a sensual music video, she shows us the extent of her creative talent, both musically and visually.
Three years after his last album, ASAP Rocky is back with a third opus simply entitled Testing. His most experimental release to date features a psychedelic influence and original collaborations with Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean, Skepta and more. Being one of the standout songs on the album, 'Praise the Lord (Da Shine)' delivers a nostalgic yet fresh and fun approach thanks to English rapper Skepta's production and vocal contribution.
After smashing it with the highly rated but overlooked progressive pop found on mixtapes
Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 last year, Charli XCX is back with her first single of the year, '5 in the Morning'. The song acts as a cool and hazy synthesis of the mainstream pop successes she is known for and of her experimental pop comfort zone.
Originally released in February 2017 on EP Ready, 'Boo'd Up' by British singer Ella Mai took over a year to rise in popularity. The summer love song was officially released as a single in April 2018 and has since become a huge hit in the US, peaking at number six on the Hot 100.
SOPHIE's debut album is already being called Album of the Year by many and it is hard to pick a stand out track with so many highlights such as 'Immaterial', 'Infatuation', 'Whole New World/Pretend World' and 'Is it Cold in the Water?'. But the anthemic nature of 'Immaterial' and its reference to Madonna's 'Material Girl' is difficult to resist as the liberating vocals incessantly repeat "I could be anything I want / Immaterial boys, immaterial girls".
Christine and the Queens is back fiercer than ever as Chris with 'Girlfriend', an empowered pop-funk collaboration with G-funk pioneer Dâm-Funk which serves as the first single of her upcoming album.
Anyone who appreciates IDM-influenced music, from acts such as Boards of Canada or The Field, will enjoy the song 'Singularity' by Jon Hopkins and the whole album of the same name. This third single is a majestic opening track for what is probably one of the best electronic albums of the year so far.
When Death Grips revealed they were working on their new album
Year of the Snitch with Andrew Adamson, the director of Shrek and Shrek 2, some thought he was the album's producer. The band was obviously trolling and it turns out Adamson only contributed spoken words on song 'Dilemma'. With Year of the Snitch, Death Grips shows no sign of stopping by constantly breaking boundaries and innovating while staying true to themselves. 'Death Grips Is Online' and 'Black Paint' are two of the most astonishing songs on this powerful return.
It all happened quite suddenly between the first single 'Honeycomb' last April and the release of their latest album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love a few days ago. An urgent release for an urgent album that showcases Deafheaven's decidedly unique sound and position in the current musical landscape.
(Photo: Getty Images)