Summer is usually a music-lover’s dream haven. It’s when we get new album releases each week, have endless concerts to attend, and when we can gaze upon outstanding music videos from some of our favorite artists.
Take last summer for example: We were blessed with Willow Smith’s self-titled album and Megan Thee Stallion’s FEVER mixtape among many other critically acclaimed masterpieces that are still receiving praise to this day.
But as COVID-19 disrupted just about everything in the world, the music industry’s typical release cycle wasn’t exempt. Music festivals and award shows were canceled one by one and the future of music for the year looked bleak. And as we’re already many months in, it can be confirmed that this summer during quarantine has definitely felt like a music drought at times.
Despite it all though, some artists have released new projects to keep us all dancing and singing from home. Here are 25 female musicians with recent drops that are keeping this summer alive:
1. Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas
On July 17, the Greek and Jamaican soul singer released her third self-titled album that candidly talks about growth within a failed relationship. Lianne La Havas’ sultry voice, vulnerable lyrics, and smooth jazzy tracks make for a cohesive album that’s perfect to listen to with a lit candle, facial, and tall glass of wine on those stormy summer days.
2. Hinds – The Prettiest Curse
These four garage-rock musicians from Madrid, Spain are back and better than ever with their third album, The Prettiest Curse, released on June 5. Hinds has given us the ultimate soundtrack of the summer with their airy voices and catchy lyrics that almost anyone can relate to.
3. Aditi Ramesh – “Heal” (Single)
Mumbai, India’s Aditi Ramesh is changing the world with her soulful pipes one song at a time. Whether cooking and sharing recipes on her instagram or dropping new singles, Ramesh can not disappoint.
4. Dounia – DE-LOVE-USION
Love and the complexity of relationships aren’t new topics for Dounia, the North African activist who’s making waves in the music scene with her smooth rapping. She’s at it again in her latest two-song project titled ‘DE-LOVE-USION’ that was released on July 17 where she sings of secret crushes and falling hard in love.
5. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
In her sophomore album titled Punisher released on June 18, the indie singer and California native sings about mental health and wellness. Her deep self-awareness shines through and challenges listeners to do the same. Bridgers has made something for us to cry to and dig deep introspectively for the summer.
6. Saweetie – “Tap In” (Single)
If there was ever a movement where I missed the outside parties and barbeques of the summer, it was definitely when I first heard Saweetie’s single “Tap In” on June 20. In it, she samples Too $hort’s iconic “Blow The Whistle” song from 2006 but completely makes it her own with her famous “Icy Girl” brand. Saweetie is on the road to success with this as a tease of what’s next to come in her next album to be released sometime soon called “Pretty Bitch Music.”
7. Empress of – I’m Your Empress Of
With her name inspired by a tarot card reading, this bilingual Honduran singer is connecting to her roots in her third album called I’m Your Empress Of that was released on April 3. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Empress Of talks about old trauma and heartbreak with background audio from her own mom included in some songs.
8. UMI – Introspection
UMI – which is the Japanese word for ocean – has always poured her heart into her music which was exactly what the world needed this year in her latest EP called Introspection that was released on June 21. The biracial singer who plays the piano, guitar, and ukulele blessed us with stunning visuals and songs to sing all summer long.
9. Jessie Reyez – Before Love Came to Kill Us
Jessie Reyez is a stand-out star this year in her debut album called Before Love Came to Kill that was released on March 27. The Colombian singer and songwriter has soulfully light pipes that you’re sure to remember. She delicately approaches conversations about sexual assault, mental health, and love in a summer record that’s nuanced and unique.
10. Ivy Sole – Bittersweet (Single)
Ivy Sole’s latest single is luxurious, sexy, and smooth which fits in perfectly to the North Carolina artist’s sultry discography. Each track from her is layered, multifaceted, and complex which is a direct reflection of her as a queer Black woman who grew up in strict churches. Sole doesn’t fit into one box musically or personally and it’s powerful and much needed in this day-and-age.
11. Tei Shi – Die 4 Ur Love
Nothing can come keep Tei Shi down. After a tumultuous year of switching music labels and having her tour cancelled due to COVID-19, the Columbian and Argentinian artist took life into her own hands and self-released her EP called Die 4 Ur Love on July 17. Consider this project an epic breakup letter to her old music label, old self, and old life. Tei Shi is not holding back.
12. Rina Sawayama – SAWAYAMA
All eyes are on Rina Sawayama as she’s now finally dropped her highly anticipated debut album titled SAWAYAMA on July 2. The Japanese singer and model has given us timeless bops like ‘XS’ with a jaw-dropping music video that’s sure to be on repeat for the rest of the summer. While wearing her queer identity proudly on her sleeve, having a degree in politics from Cambridge University, and literally doing it all, Sawayama is an inspiration to us all.
13. Amber Mark – “My People” (Single)
Amber Mark is known for utilizing her platform to advocate for issues on race, mental health and gender. Her latest single called “My People” released on June 19 addresses the international civil rights discussions of 2020. As a well-traveled activist, her Jamaican roots shine through in her music for a nuanced conversation over gorgeous cultural accompaniment.
14. Teyana Taylor – Studio M and The Album
Actress, singer, dancer, choreographer, songwriter, and model Teyana Taylor gives the people not only what they want but what they need. In this crazy year, Taylor did just that with her two projects called The Album released on June 19 and Studio M released on June 30. She’s walked New York Fashion Week, starred in some of your favorite award-winning movies, and given us couple goals with her NBA player beau, Iman Shupert.
15. Beabadoobee – “Care” (Single)
Beabadoobee has embodied the teen angst that we all feel while being locked away in quarantine in her latest single titled “Care” released on July 14. The Filipina indie singer has announced her debut album which is soon to release called Fake It Flowers, and has given us all a sneak peak to it with this early 2000s and garage-rock sounding single.
16. Haim – Women in Music Pt. III
These three rockstars have yet again given the world confident and all too relatable music in their latest album titled Women in Music Pt. III that was released on June 26. The girls of Haim are blunt yet personable in this project while bearing all of the flaws that make them human and loved by fans.
17. Alina Baraz – It Was Divine
Alina Baraz has one of the silkiest and sensual voices in the game right now. Her album called It Was Devine that was released on April 24 conjures up all of those sensual feelings of the summer that are perfect for dancing in the mirror for no one else but yourself in a silk robe.
18. Ramya Pothuri – “Do You Care” (Single)
Ramya Pothuri is using her quarantine to put out one dreamy song after the next in Mumbai, India. In her recent single titled “Do You Care,” released on April 9, Pothuri lays her feelings out bluntly and spills everything that too many of us are afraid of talking about. On her instagram she tells fans to stay tuned for all the new music that she’s working to put out soon.
19. HAWA – the ONE
HAWA is probably one of my coolest music discoveries of the year. Born in Berlin to West African parents, she toured the world at age 11 as one of the youngest-ever composers for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Now she’s just released her debut album titled “the ONE” on March 5. With singles like “MY LOVE” and “GET FAMOUS,” HAWA is an up-and-coming standout artist for sure.
20. City Girls – City on Lock
The City Girls are are indestructible and will overcome just about anything that you throw in their way. These unstoppable messages that preach girl power have inspired an entire generation of go-getters and the girls’ latest album called City on Lock that was released on June 20 couldn’t have come at a better time.
21. Joy Crookes – Anyone But Me (Single)
Joy Crookes speaks out about how music has helped with her depression over the years in a vulnerable tribute and a new single called “Anybody but Me” released on April 8. The South London raised Bengali singer has consistently put her soul into her art and has even been compared to classics like Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu.
22. Bree Runway – “Damn Daniel” (Single) and “Apeshit” (Single)
Bree Runway is breaking down every stereotype that you may have previously had about Black women in the music industry. Her sound is at times punk, and other times pop or rap, and far from the genre-classifications that we oftentimes put Black women into. This London native is giving us award-worthy concerts and visually stunning music videos all from her home as the world quarantines. In her recently released single called “Apeshit,” she even got a nod from her inspiration Missy Elliot!
23. TWICE – More & More
The nine members of the South Korean girl group who found their start on a reality survival show are showing their unique and individual personalities that the world fell in love with once again in their latest album called More & More that was released on June 1. This KPOP favorite was missed by fans and made a comeback during the perfect time in this summer quarantine to lift our spirits.
24. Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
These two Atlanta sisters are all grown up in their latest album titled Ungodly Hour that was released on June 3. With a mentor like Beyonce who gave the album two thumbs up, their ballads are nothing less than genius. Chloe x Halle have also gotten wildly creative by utilizing tennis courts and their home as the backdrop for music videos and concerts on their IG Live. I know I’ll be tuning into the next one.
25. Jhene Aiko – Chilombo
Singer/songwriter Jhene Aiko knows exactly how to conjure up complex feelings that are oftentimes juxtaposed within. In her third album titled Chilombo that was originally released on March 6, Aiko’s serene voice pairs perfectly with singing bowls and vibrational sounds. She sings of sensuality, love, and spirituality in a time most needed.
Of course, Taylor Swift also surprised the world with her album folklore which we at The Tempest absolutely loved too.
And the year isn’t over. Even though it may seem like we’re living amidst a musical drought at times during this COVID-19 summer, artists like Beyonce, Brandy, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande also have upcoming projects scheduled to be released this year. Stay tuned!
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