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Five Standout June Album Releases

  • 5 min read

Five Standout June Album Releases


Contributed by Amanda Long

With the release of Charli XCX’s new album, BRAT, June became the start of “brat summer” with social media feeds and media outlets overtaken by lime green backgrounds, Y2K and indie sleeze fashion, and radical honesty.

BRAT certainly created a well deserved cultural moment in mainstream music and pop-culture, there have been many other impressive and powerful albums released over the last month from Indie Soul to Arabic Hip-Hop.

With dozens of artists releasing records this past month, we know it can be difficult to keep up with all of them. To make it easier for musicheads, Softside has compiled five June releases that have stood out amongst the crowd for their expressive lyrics, cultural impact, and fusion of sonic influences.

1. Brat (6/07) – Charli XCX

The star of the summer – Charli XCX’s BRAT is the masterpiece that just keeps on giving. From music videos, to memes, to a Lorde remix with incredibly relatable lyrics centered on girlhood, the record has continued to create a cultural impact since its release.

While singles such as “360” and “Club Classics” have resonated with audiences because of their fun, synth-heavy production, there are some emotional and slower-paced tracks on the album that highlight Charli’s talent as a lyricist as well. “So I” is a heartfelt tribute to Charli’s late collaborator and friend, Sophie, a pioneer in experimental pop music. The track is a lot more stripped down than other songs on the album and depicts the grief that comes with losing a friend too soon: “Always on my mind (Every day, every night)/Your star burns so bright (Why did I push you away).”

“Sympathy is a knife” is another potent song on the album, calling out how frustrating feigned sympathy can be and describing the pressure and constant scrutiny that Charli feels as a public figure. Charli’s remix of “The girl, so confusing” with Lorde also touches on the toxicity of being a woman in the entertainment with brutal lyrics such as “I don’t know if you like me/Sometimes I think you might hate me” and “I’ve been at war in my body/I tried to starve myself thinner.”

Ultimately, Charli XCX has yet again mastered partnering experimental pop production with underlying lyrical themes to create an “it girl” album. 

2. Deira (6/07) – Saint Levant

Saint Levant’s debut album, Deira, may only have eight songs, but this record expertly illustrates how musicians can thread activism and storytelling into their songs.

Raised in Palestine by parents of Algerian, French, and Serbian descent, Levant dives into Deira with a multitude of inspirations, painting a picture of his diverse cultural background. Songs like “5am in Paris” and “Galbi” have more of a western pop influence, while tracks like “Allah Yimeeki” and “Deira” take on traditional Arabic folk music. Every track is sung in a combination of French, English, and Arabic, which further highlights Levant’s different identities and how he embraces them within his art.

The album itself is a tribute to the Palestinian people, with the title of the album referencing the hotel that his parents built in 2000, now destroyed by bombing, and the lyrics speaking of hope and peace for Palestine.

Deira is a true collaboration of cultural influences, combining so much history and emotion into 20 minutes of music. It is a powerful work of art, one who’s message will withstand the test of time. 

3. Where the Butterflies Go in the Rain (6/14) – Raveena

On Where the Butterflies Go in the Rain, Raveena continues to embrace her listeners in sparkly synths, delicate guitars, and effortlessly smooth vocals.

The record speaks of comfort and rejuvenation, exploring Raveena’s deep connection with spirituality. Raveena has crafted an incredibly cohesive and immersive soundscape that brings the listener into a moment where the sun has just started to shine after a rainstorm. Tracks like “Kid” and “16 Candles” reminisce on the struggles of childhood and adolescence: “Won’t cry on my birthday cake this year/Putting out those 16 candles/I never thought I’d see through those tears.”

The closing song, “Water” takes on a more positive tone, the lyrics discuss being “guided by the water,” with percussion in the beginning that sounds akin to water drops. The sonic texture and vocal layering continue to build throughout the song, almost as if Raveena is ascending as she sings.

On this record, Raveena continues to blend psychedelic pop, Bollywood, and R&B influences into a beautifully cohesive piece of work. 

4. Baby I’m The Wolf (6/21) – Ha Vay

Ha Vay is an up-and-coming indie-pop artist currently based in San Francisco. With the indie and alternative spaces becoming saturated with new artists and releases in recent years, Ha Vay stands out with her creative songwriting and unique aesthetic.

For many of the songs on her debut album, Baby I’m The Wolf, Vay uses elements of fairy tales and folklore to represent larger themes throughout her music. The title track, “Baby I’m The Wolf” uses the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood being chased by the Big Bad Wolf to highlight how scary it is to be a girl growing up in today’s current climate. On “Vampires” Ha Vay weaves in creepy melodies and symbols, like burning in sunlight, blood, and immortality, to create a commentary on society’s unrealistic beauty standards for women.

Throughout the record, Ha Vay ties together haunting melodies and age-old stories into songs that touch on modern day issues. Her music is extraordinarily powerful and presented in an enticing way that leaves you craving more, making Baby I’m The Wolf a must listen for anyone searching for a refreshing record that, in her words, confronts “the horrors & triumphs of girlhood.”

5. Born In the Wild (6/06) Tems

Originally gaining popularity in 2020 after collaborating with Wizkid on his single, “Essence,” Tems has continued to cement herself in the industry, racking up notable collabs with Future, Drake, and Rihanna, as well as releasing two EPs.

This past month, Tems has released her long-awaited debut studio album, Born in The Wild, a dazzling combination of Afrobeats and traditional R&B. Tracks like “Turn Me Up” and “Wickedest” ooze confidence with their vibrant production and bold lyrics, while other songs, such as “Boy O Boy'' are softer and more stripped back, detailing the melancholy resentment felt after a breakup.

Also of note is the fact that Tems holds writing credits on every song, as well as production credits on many of them. This information is powerful considering that as of 2022, females make uponly 14% of songwriters and 3.4% of producersin the music business. With Born In The Wild, Tems continues to make waves for women in the industry through her combination of global sonic influences and hard-hitting lyrics.


The Fan Focus blog is a corner of the Softside website dedicated to fan club deep dives, Q&As, community album reviews, artwork, and more.

All content reflected is drawn from fan inspiration and is not in official partnership with the respective musician unless stated otherwise.