Tuesday is my favorite day of the week. Why, may you ask? Because Tuesday is the day that new albums are officially released to the world. Musicians spend months, sometimes even years, working on their craft to share with their fans, and I find that the moment it’s finally out for the world to cry over, critique, or share is a really special thing that should be taken seriously.
The past few weeks have been super exciting in the music world. Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple that arguably changed the entire music industry (read the Tumblr post here). Kanye West surprised 150,000+ people at Glastonbury this weekend by covering Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and invited Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon onstage to perform a couple of West’s songs, calling Vernon “one of the baddest white boys on the planet.” Hilary Duff, arguably one of my favorite humans on the planet, successfully released her first album in eight years.
I love keeping up with the latest news involving all things pop culture, as evident in the content that I post here on my blog. I specifically love keeping up with the music industry and would love to work in it someday. Something that I am definitely passionate about is seeing women finding success in the business when it’s not necessarily about their looks, but about what makes them talented. After listening to some of the albums that have been released during the month of June, I’ve narrowed it down to three of my favorites and why you should give them a listen.
In order of release:
1. Ryn Weaver, The Fool
Image via Google Images
Ryn Weaver’s debut album, The Fool, does not disappoint. After finding success with her first single, “Octahate,” which was co-written by another strong female performer, Charli XCX, Ryn gained a quick fanbase eager to hear more from the artist. It’s definitely hard to stick out these days in the music industry when there are so many strong female artists who are currently on the charts, but Ryn’s undeniable stage presence and unique sound separate her from the rest.
Image via Rolling Stone.
Her ability to incorporate EDM inspired sounds and folk like lyrics is a combination that may confuse some, but excite others (like myself). Ryn, only 22, has been making waves this summer, performing at festivals like Bonnaroo, where Rolling Stone magazine included her set in “50 Best Things We Saw At Bonnaroo 2015,” Osheaga, and Lollapalooza (check her out on my post about the ten acts I am most excited to see at Lolla this year). It will be interesting to see if the other tracks on her album will find as much success as Octahate has, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Key tracks: “Pierre,” “Traveling Song,” “Promises”
2. Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material
The majority of people who know me know that I am not country music’s biggest fan. However, before you immediately close out of this post because I am mentioning a country artist, please give Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material a chance. After Kacey took the country music industry by storm with her song “Follow Your Arrow,” she continued touring off the success of her 2013 debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park, and was awarded the 2014 Grammy for Best Country Album.
In short, Musgraves had a lot to prove with her follow up record. You see, Musgraves’ ability to tell her story from a perspective so self aware and and honest is something that I really admire about her work. Like I stated above, I rarely listen to country music because it all sounds the same to me. However, I believe what Kacey is singing about. I find it to be genuine and when I listen to this album, I feel like she is singing for herself, and not to prove anything or not to sell records, which is a trait that is not necessarily a common trait to have in the music industry.
Image via Country Universe
Pitchfork contributing writer Jessica Hopper writes, “Musgraves is confident and self-contained, but she’s not measuring herself against anyone’s standards but her own…under the microscope it’s more than confidence, it’s more than self-help self-love maxims. It’s a disregard of the system; it’s shrugging off the mantle of Southern Girlhood”
Key Tracks: “Late to the Party,” “Good Ol’ Boys Club”
3. Tori Kelly, Unbreakable Smile
Image via Google Images
Tori Kelly has been in the music industry for over ten years. She was signed to Geffen Records when she was only 12 years old, but they quickly parted ways due to conflicting ideas. Her first EP was released in 2012 on her own record label, and the album landed in the Top Ten Pop albums on iTunes. She made big waves after getting the opportunity to perform her song “Nobody Love” at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in May (video here).
Image Via C.Powell
Unbreakable Smile was produced with the help of Max Martin, who has worked with Taylor Swift on a number of her hit songs. The album has been selling quite well and has been in the Top Ten on iTunes since its initial release date. The album, in my opinion, is filled with a solid track listing. Calling all Ed Sheeran fans, are you listening? The British crooner even makes an appearance on the track “I Was Made for Loving You” who also co-wrote and produced it.
Marcel Jeremiah, contributing writer for MusicSnake.com, writes, “There is no doubt in my mind that if you have no idea who Tori Kelly is right now, you’ll know who she is by the end of this year. Albums like Unbreakable Smile are the starting point to becoming a superstar and Tori is definitely on her way to that level, being boldly authentic and effortlessly talented”
Key Tracks: “Expensive,” “First Heartbreak”
Please do yourself a favor and listen to these incredible women! Which release during the month of June was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!