As it’s the end of the school year and the start of summer, May is a popular month for artists to release new music. While many of these tracks may be popular contenders for song of the summer, here are the top five so far.
“Hyperreal” is a pure electronic track with alternative indie influences, falling under a style dubbed future bass. The song is the third time that Flume and KUČKA have collaborated. “I wrote ‘Hyperreal’ after spending the day at the most beautiful waterfall in New Zealand,” KUČKA posted on her Instagram when the track released. “Once again thank you [Flume] for being such an inspiring artist and general human being. This is one of my fav[orite] collabs ever.” The song is about yearning for change and leaving the past in the past. It released on May 5 as a bonus tack to promote Flume’s Skin Companion EP II.
Released on May 4, Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands” is the second single off his upcoming solo debut album. The track veers away from the acoustic style of “This Town,” foreshadowing the diversity of his upcoming work. The pop song has a classic rock influence, starting with a jumpy edge and building on a steady heavy beat. “The whole song was pretty off-the-cuff. I wanted it to be a little bit cheeky with the lyric,” Horan told Sirius XM Hits 1. “Before we even wrote lyrics, we had this big track and it sounded quite sexy. So we thought that this concept would match the vibe of the song, and I think we might have been right.”
Halsey debuted “Eyes Closed” on May 4 as the second track from her upcoming sophomore album hopeless fountain kingdom, due out June 2. “Eyes Closed” rocks Halsey’s typical alternative pop vibe, tinged with some extra electronic influences. The track is about still having feelings for an ex-partner despite being in a new relationship. Showcasing her outstanding vocals, Halsey also released a stripped version of the song to help promote the song and album. Like her debut album Badlands, hopeless fountain kingdom will be a concept album, following a Romeo and Juliet type story of two lovers who change themselves for their love and lose the authenticity of themselves in the process.
“Shelter” by machineheart released on May 5. The track matches the band’s alternative indie vibe while also treading deeper into synth pop territory. The band is new to the music scene, being active only since 2014, and “Shelter” has a chance to be their first major hit. The song is about giving yourself up for someone else and protecting them with your heart, making the song a head-banger with a purpose.
Miley Cyrus’s comeback single “Malibu” dropped on May 11, soon after her May 3 comeback interview with Billboard Magazine, which published on May 13. Cyrus wrote the song about rekindling her romance with fiancé Liam Hemsworth after their 2013 breakup. “I needed to change so much, and changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard. Suddenly, you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize you anymore.’ We had to re-fall for each other,” she said in her Billboard interview. A part of this change for Cyrus was a change in her music style. “Malibu” is a lovely and endearing ode taking on an acoustic pop style, a sharp contrast to the explicit hip-hop sound of her previous 2013 studioalbum Bangerz, a sound that she says she’s felt pushed away from. “Malibu” instead evokes a soft and heartfelt aura, based on the feel of the surfing town that the song is named after. Malibu, located north of Los Angeles, is where Cyrus and Hemsworth own a house together. Cyrus performed “Malibu” on May 21 at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, her first nationally televised performance in nearly two years since her October 2015 Saturday Night Live performances to promote her independently released 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.