Summer is well underway and the music is as hot as the temperatures. Here are our favorite August 2023 new music releases.
“Fortress” – Dan Sultan feat. Julia Cole
Aussie singer Dan Sultan just released “Fortress” featuring the breathtaking lyrics of Julia Cole. He says of the song, “Fortress is about my family home and that in times of upheaval and uncertainty it’s becomes the strongest and most fortified place in the universe. A place of peace and power and ultimately love. It was close to being finished when we asked the amazing artist and my dear friend Julia Stone to take part. With her beautiful contribution we knew we had something special.”
“Mirror” – Aryeé the Gem
Aryeé the Gem is an emerging talent from Atlanta and her newest single, “Mirror,” just positioned her on our radar. She says the song is about letting go of the past and any of that old baggage. It’s about learning how to trust yourself (and others) and the beauty of new beginnings. She says, “The lyrics beautifully encapsulate the essence of growth and the beauty that unfolds when we embrace our true selves and remain open to love and reciprocation through our connections with others.” Like what you hear? Join her community of Gems on Instagram.
“Middle Ground” – Maroon 5 feat. Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton and Maroon 5 is the collaboration we didn’t know we needed! Her vocals add another layer to this deep track. Fans in Las Vegas got a special treat the same weekend that this one was released, as the country singer joined the pop band onstage for the last night of their residency to perform it.
“Peach Velvet Sky” – Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae’s new song was inspired by the true story of Harriet Jacobs told through her autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Rae read the autobiography as a child but she has since re-read it, with it affecting her in a new way. “Re-reading the work as an adult and a mother, I was even more profoundly affected by Harriet Jacob’s mental fortitude and courage, as well as being shocked anew by the injustices and cruelties of her situation,” she explains.
“Jacobs, born in 1813, escaped slavery in her early twenties. She feigned her flight North, knowing her obsessive, sexually harassing and violent ‘master’ would not relent until he had searched the Free States for her. Instead, she hid in the crawl space above her free Grandmother’s storeroom, where she remained, with the help of her Grandmother, for 7 years. Jacob bored a small hole through the wall of the cabin, through which she could occasionally see her children as they played nearby. She could sew clothes for them by this light, as well as overhear conversations that pertained to her safety.”
Paris Jackson – “Hit Your Knees”
On this new one, Paris Jackson partnered with co-writer and producer Linda Perry, the co-founder along with Alisha Ballard, of EqualizeHer, an organization working to solve gender inequality in the music business by creating more opportunities for women. “Hit Your Knees” was written, performed, produced, mixed, and mastered entirely by women.
Rett Madison – “Fortune Teller”
Of this new song, Madison says, “While I’m no longer a religious person, I still consider myself to be very spiritual. A few months after I lost my mom, I sought out psychics and mediums because I was curious if anyone could connect to my mother’s spirit. I was really seeking comfort and reassurance at the time.
“I wrote ‘Fortune Teller’ after an emotional reading with my friend and psychic medium, Natalie James Taylor, who also plays the role of the infomercial psychic in the music video. It was a full circle moment to have Natalie on set. She’s brought me comfort and clarity during our readings over the past few years and has helped me connect with my mother in spirit. Natalie is incredibly gifted and kind, and I’m so excited that she makes a cameo in the music video.”
“When I started to imagine concepts for the music video, I had a distant memory of an infomercial for a psychic hotline that I must have seen on television when I’d stay up past my bedtime as a kid. I really wanted the video to feel lighthearted and fun in contrast to the lyrics so recreating 90s infomercials felt like a perfect match.”
Boys Like Girls – “CRY”
After hearing the story behind this new single from Boys Like Girls, we knew we had to add it to this playlist. Of the track, lead vocalist Martin Johnson says, “I’m not really a campfire style singer, but on my third or fourth date with my now wife she asked me to play her a song. I don’t know why, but I picked up the guitar and started playing ‘CRY’ in front of someone for the first time. A crazy thing happened… I felt the song in the way I had always wanted to. I meant the words I was singing… and I meant them for her. To me, every song is a living, breathing thing. Some are born before their time. Some are just supposed to make you feel good, some have great purpose. Sometimes when you write, you’re telling a real story, but sometimes it’s a made up one. Sometimes the words just sound good and you figure it out later. This one took years to reveal itself.”
Megan Knight – “Good Luck”
“Good Luck” getting the newest release from Megan Knight out of your head because she found her pot of gold with this toe tapper. This single is charmingly filled with catchy and clever lyrics, while never feeling forced. It flows into a melodic yet bouncy tune that you’ll want to turn up and put on repeat. Read the full review from Nashville Noise‘s Brooke Whisnant here.