2023 has been a fantastic year for music, and the summer was no exception. From June to August, arguably the time where fun, new music is most needed, the top artists did not disappoint. Consider this your official summer music recap, in case you missed anything.
Starting off strong in the first week of June, Noah Kahan released an extended version of his most recent album, Stick Season, adding We’ll All Be Here Forever to the original title. This extended cut included six brand new tracks and one lengthened cut of an existing song. A little over a month later, he recorded a new version of one of these seven tracks, “Dial Drunk,” featuring Post Malone. This track earned Kahan his first ever spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Coming next on July 7, Taylor Swift blessed Swifties with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), reclaiming her 2010 hit album and adding her trademark (From the Vault) tracks. This version, which Swift now owns, includes 22 songs compared to the original 14. Fans around the world, myself included, got to relive the memories and emotions from the original version in a whole new light.
At the end of July, the long anticipated Barbie movie captivated viewers of all ages, many dressed head to toe in pink. While the movie itself had mixed reviews, the score accompanying the film was very well received and continues to be played outside the theaters. Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night has remained on the charts since the release of the film, and Barbie World (Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, Aqua) has also made an appearance on the Hot 100. It’s not too often that a movie score has chart-topping numbers, but Barbie took the world by storm this summer.
Travis Scott made his return to the charts this summer with his release of Utopia on July 28. It’s been five years since Astroworld, and fans were eager for a new release. The album spent four weeks at No. 1 until it was passed up by a completely different genre.
Zach Bryan’s self-titled album, released on August 25, now takes Utopia’s place at the top of the charts. In addition to landing a spot as the current No. 1 album, the new release features the Oklahoma native’s first No. 1 song of his career, I Remember Everything featuring Kacey Musgraves. This also serves as Musgraves’s first ever No. 1 song. Zach Bryan has certainly made a name for himself in a relatively short amount of time, and I predict he will be remembered as an all-time country artist for many years to come.
With the success of this summer’s releases, the bar for fall’s new music is certainly set high. With announcements of upcoming albums from artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift (again), and Chris Stapleton, I’m sure this season will not disappoint.