The Best Songs of June 2024

#1 hits, indie link-ups, pop star beefs squashed, and two doses of MJ Lenderman abound...

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The Best Songs of June 2024

If fairness was thrown out the window, all 10 of these songs would just be from Charli xcx’s BRAT extended universe. But, we decided to just pick one tune from the pop superstar’s hyperpop triumph. The other nine songs we’ve landed on are just as good, too. From Sabrina Carpenter’s really, really, really catchy #1 hit to a massively great collaboration between IAN SWEET and Porridge Radio, June gave us everything we could ever want. Throw in a new banger from MJ Lenderman and the return of Soccer Mommy and you’ve got a recipe for perfection. So, without further ado, here are our 10 favorite songs of June 2024. —Matt Mitchell, Music Editor

Allegra Krieger: “Never Arriving”

On her brilliant 2023 album I Keep My Feet on the Fragile Plane, Allegra Krieger made downtempo folk pickings her bag—and all of it was a treasure trove worth exploring over and over (especially “A Place For It To Land”). Now, not even a year on, the New Yorker is back with another record: Art of the Unseen Infinity Machine. Lead single “Never Arriving” is, in an instant, one of the very best tracks Krieger has ever released. It’s an immediate shift in sound, as she kicks the pacing up a notch and puts a heavier electric guitar into focus. “Never arriving, no crying, just lifting your chest to the sky,” she sings. “Art of the unseen, a blue screen, formless things with which you align. There is no sharpness.” What makes Krieger’s writing so special, always, is that she inflects her emotions into a one-of-a-kind language; “Eliminate edges with wonder, for the sake of becoming light” works only because she made it. “Never Arriving” is immune to commonality, as Krieger effortlessly balances a quick arc and a bombastic, soulful arrangement. —Matt Mitchell

Charli xcx ft. Lorde: “The girl, so confusing version with lorde”

I recently praised the refreshingness of how Charli xcx tackles the complexity of interpersonal relationships between women on BRAT—especially during an era in which well-intentioned but often ultimately shallow and reductive sloganeering of “girls supporting girls” runs rampant in pop culture. In the album version of “Girl, so confusing,” Charli makes it clear that the track is about a peer of hers who she both admires and envies. Because the two of them get compared to one another so often, it’s natural that Charli would internalize those comparisons—and, because they don’t know each other very well, Charli has the space to project her own insecurities. But instead of sidelining this other girl, Charli passes her the mic. Enter Lorde—the subject of the original “Girl, so confusing”—who lets us in on the foundations of her own protective emotional shield: “Girl, you walk like a bitch / When I was 10 someone said that / And it’s just self-defense / Until you’re building a weapon.” What this collaboration ultimately leads to is a deeper understanding between Charli and Lorde, a chance for both artists to express their reverence for one another—and it’s an absolute heater. Here’s to working it out on the remix. —Grace Robins-Somerville

Fontaines D.C.: “Favourite”

Let’s talk about a song that, from the first note, is perfect. “Favourite,” the second single from Fontaines D.C.’s forthcoming new album (and XL debut) Romance, is a chest-bursting, terminally sweet earworm that finds the post-punk Dubliners experimenting with a far poppier hue that usual. If preceding single “Starburster” was frenetic and energized through an anxiety personified, “Favourite” is the lullaby meant to cushion its fall. “Stitch and fall, the faces rearranged,” bandleader Grian Chatten sings. “You will see beauty give the way to something strange.” “Favourite” is immediately one of Fontaines D.C.’s best songs ever, a “continuous cycle from euphoria to sadness, two worlds spinning together.” There’s well-worn poetry and romance in the candy-coated, rocking and rollicking arrangement; a sense of longing that swirls around the endearments. —MM

Horse Jumper of Love ft. MJ Lenderman & Squirrel Flower: “Snow Angel”

Horse Jumper of Love enlist an indie darling dream team on “Snow Angel,” the third single off their forthcoming fifth record, Disaster Trick. “Snow Angel” is certainly the heaviest of the three singles the band has released so far, with fuzzy, layered rhythm guitars and spacey drums in tow. Airy vocal interjections from Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams add a welcome contrast to the rest of the instrumental. Like many HJOL songs, the lyrics are vague and abstract, and here the band paints a picture of grief: “It feels evil in the dark / The minutes of your life / Love’s been sleeping in my mirror / I just want to be alone in it” really is something that can mean whatever the listener wants it to, and it’s certainly a thought-provoking way to end a song. —Leah Weinstein

IAN SWEET & Porridge Radio: “Everyone’s A Superstar”

For Pitchfork London’s annual Amplify series, IAN SWEET’s Jilian Medford and Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin paired up at Abbey Road Studios for a new duet: “Everyone’s A Superstar.” It should come as no surprise that the song is unbelievably good, as Medford’s penchant for metallic, sugary pop hooks soars without a hitch when in conversation with Porridge Radio’s wall-to-wall, neckbreaker guitars. “I’ve been trying to forget what I’m missing,” Medford and Margolin harmonize in the chorus. “Once I forget, I’ll get back to living.” “Everyone’s A Superstar” is the collaboration you never knew you needed and, now that it’s here, good luck living without it. —MM

MJ Lenderman: “She’s Leaving You”

The year of the shred continues full-steam ahead. After serving as the lead guitarist (and occasional duet partner) on Waxahatchee’s new LP Tigers Blood, Wednesday axeman and ‘90s athlete enthusiast MJ Lenderman is back in the spotlight fully on his own. His fourth LP, Manning Fireworks, is arriving in September, and lead single “She’s Leaving You” is, as expected, as good as you could want it to be. It’s melodic and full of wit (“You can put your clothes back on, she’s leaving you”; “Go rent a Ferrari and sing the blues, believe that Clapton was the second-coming”), toeing the line between alt-country and something you’d find in the Matador catalog 30 years ago. Lenderman’s bandmate and partner, Wednesday’s Karly Hartzman, provides harmonies (and sings the song’s title in a concluding finale atop a pulsing bassline) and, naturally, MJ rips into a pitched-up guitar solo that squeals and dissolves back into his vocal. “It falls apart, we all got work to do,” he sings. Let us rest on every word. —MM

PONY: “Freezer”

The ideal listening setting for PONY’s “Freezer” would be to let it blast from a pink Hello Kitty CD player perched on a skillet-hot curb. It doesn’t matter if the sound quality is a little fried, that’d just add to the song’s charm. The Toronto group’s latest sticky sweet tune would probably pair well with something from an ice cream truck you had to run to catch up with. Its sunny guitar melodies, metallic drum hits and Sam Bielanski’s bratty, saccharine vocals make for a delicious, Y2K pop-rock confection.—GRS

Sabrina Carpenter: “Please Please Please”

I was not immediately a passenger on the “Espresso” train, but I do certainly adore the pop confection that is “Please Please Please.” Co-written with Amy Allen, Sabrina Carpenter unveils her on-the-rise, long-in-the-making stardom on the Jack Antonoff-produced second installment from her upcoming album Short n’ Sweet. I think this is a moment where Antonoff’s penchant for muted electronica serves its performer well, as Carpenter’s style has always flirted between the confines of pop, singer-songwriter and country—which makes the scaled-back synthesizers a perfect pillow for her sometimes-twangy, sometimes-anthemic delivery. The verses are sassy and conversational (the “Heartbreak is one thing, my ego’s another / I beg you, don’t embarrass me, motherfucker” lines are especially great in Carpenter’s care), while the “Please, please, please don’t prove I’m right” chorus is one of the catchiest of the year so far. —MM

Soccer Mommy: “Lost”

As Bernie Sanders once said: “Let me thank Soccer Mommy for the music. That’s exactly how I felt after hearing “Lost,” her first original release since 2022’s Sometimes, Forever. Here, Sophie Allison reminds us just how consistently excellent she is. While the song doesn’t diverge from what we’ve come to expect from Allison, she teams up with producer Ben H. Allen III (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Cults) for the first time, and the results stand alone. “Lost in a way that don’t make sense / Lost in a way that never ends / If I had a chance, I’d ask her then” she sings over a stunning string arrangement and sparse acoustic guitar. —LW

Wishy: “Triple Seven”

The title-track from Wishy’s impending debut album, Triple Seven, is Nina Pitchkites’ time to shine. She wrote “Triple Seven” with Angel Du$t’s Steve Marino, and the whole thing is a dreamscape worth tumbling into. “She comes as she pleases, doesn’t think about it twice, walks with her demons through a dark paradise,” Pitchkites sings, turning conversational lyrics into something more diaristic. Marino’s guitar parts, which cut through Wishy’s summery, fuzzy, swirling atmosphere, color Pitchkites’ brightened, catchy vocals with hues of psychedelia. “Triple Seven” sounds like a dream-pop band trying to write a soundtrack hit for a Y2K coming-of-age flick. The work is heavenly and charming, bolstered by a band following Pitchkites’ lead. —MM

Listen to a playlist of these 10 songs below.

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