June Release Rundown

A look at some of the most notable new albums and singles released in June, from established stars to emerging artists.

June Release Rundown
Third Bridge Creative
Third Bridge Creative
June 28, 20244 min read
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Written by Sydney Salk and Kristin Corry of Third Bridge Creative

This is the sixth installment of our monthly column that looks back at key new releases from artists across the spectrum, from superstars to upstarts. We’ll break down what happened and why it mattered. In this edition, we look at big-ticket releases from Charli xcx and Normani to names you’ll want to be familiar with like Lola Young and Leigh-Anne.

Charli xcx Reigns Over the Dancefloor with BRAT

The internet’s favorite it-girl returns with BRAT, a pounding electronic pop record that propels her level-headed confidence and deepest insecurities to the center of the club. Featuring production credits from Charli herself alongside longtime collaborator A.G. Cook, the album also features Cirkut, Gesaffelstein, and Easyfun, who kicks things up to 100mph on "Von dutch." BRAT’s neon green color palette has already inspired countless memes parodying the fried Arial font cover, as well as ushering in “brat summer” on TikTok, where the second single “360” soundtracks over 32.5k videos. The album has boosted Charli’s profile to superstar status, where she ranks within the top 20 artists in the UK and the top 200 globally by Charmetric artist score.

Lola Young is the Queen of Break Up Anthems on This Wasn’t Meant For You Anyway

Breaking up is hard to do — except when you’ve got Lola Young to provide the soundtrack to the nearest exit. On This Wasn’t Meant For You Anyway, the 23-year-old isn’t just singing about red flags, she’s waving her own around, too. On songs like “Messy,” the South East Londoner channels the candor of Amy Winehouse while “Big Brown Eyes” has a nod to reggae/ska à la Lily Allen. Elsewhere, like on “Good Books,” her songwriting sounds a bit like a brokenhearted SZA. It’s a combination that has listeners paying extra attention: her Spotify monthly listeners have increased by 450k in the past month. We’d hate to be her ex, but we’re thankful for the inspiration. 

X Factor Alums Normani and Leigh-Anne Embrace Their Solo Ambitions

In an industry as one-of-a-kind as entertainment, Normani and Leigh-Anne Pinnock have had strangely similar trajectories: both owe their breakout moments to X Factor. Unfortunately, both have also felt the pressure of being the only Black women in pop groups where they felt “invisible” and underutilized. Now, Leigh-Anne, an ex-member of Little Mix formed in 2011, and Normani, a former member of Fifth Harmony established the following year, have finally found their own sounds.   

Normani’s Dopamine (released June 14) comes five years after her smash single “Motivation.” The lengthy delay, which Normani told The Cut, allowed her to revise the album until she felt she found her sound: a healthy offering of ‘90s nostalgia inspired by the production of Timbaland, vocal stylings of Brandy and Aaliyah, and hometown heroes like Mike Jones. Despite not releasing any official visuals — in fact, she’s only released a teaser aptly named “First Dose” — her YouTube channel has gained 11 million views and 20k new subscribers since the start of June. There’s no doubt that as Normani continues to administer doses of Dopamine, her audience will follow. 

Although there are parallels between Normani and Leigh-Anne, the latter is straying away from a mainstream pop sound altogether. Instead, the UK native is tapping into her Bajan and Jamaican roots on her first solo EP, No Hard Feelings. Released on May 31, Leigh-Anne’s new direction is resonating with new fans: she’s experienced a 366k increase in Spotify monthly listeners, and has even grown her audience on TikTok. With 2 million additional likes, and 100k new followers on the platform, Leigh-Anne is well on her way to leaving Little Mix in her past.

Goat Girl’s Latest Dark Fantasies Become an Alt Rock Reality

Known for their expansive take on alternative rock, Goat Girl’s new album Below the Waste elevates their sound to the next level. Their 2021 release On All Fours produced psych-tinged hits like “Sad Cowboy” and “Cracker Drool,” but Below the Waste has a more languid, intentional sound. Songs like “motorway” careen through empty minimalist highways, while the whispered harmonies of “words fell out” have been spun ​​more than 166.8k times on Spotify since its June 7th release. The change in pace has expanded their reach, doubling their Spotify monthly listenership and tripling their Pandora monthly listeners over the past month. 

Gus Dapperton Isn’t Afraid of Making Covers His Own 

Gus Dapperton (surprisingly not the name of a character on Bridgerton) wrote “Lil Tune” with Electric Guest about the wonders of writer’s block. Then, he spent the rest of his EP, Tunes for Late Spring, recording covers of iconic songs like Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love,” Cher’s “Believe,” and Wham’s “Everything She Wants.” Released in February, “Lil Tune” has amassed nearly 2.2 million streams on Spotify. Despite the 4 track EP only containing one original song, Gus did film a music video for his rendition of “Believe.” In the month leading up to Tunes for Late Spring’s June 7 release, Gus’s YouTube channel increased by 490K views.

Visualizations by Nicki Camberg and Crasianne Tirado and cover image by Crasianne Tirado; data as of June 28, 2024.