The Best Music of July: Maggie Rogers, Beyoncé, Caterina Barbieri, Bear1Boss : All Songs Considered Maggie Rogers leveled up and Beyoncé dropped another album we'll think about all year. But Johnny Gandelsman also took us across America, Bear1Boss super-smashed rap and Caterina Barbieri found immanence in synths.

Featured Tracks and Artists:

1. Maggie Rogers: "Shatter" from Surrender
2. Beyoncé: "PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA" from RENAISSANCE
3. Johnny Gandelsman: "Surrender to the Adventure for Musician & Tape: 1. Blossom / American Dream" and "O for Violin & Voices" from This is America: An Anthology 2020-2021
4. Bear1Boss: "$$$" from Bear1Boss
5. Caterina Barbieri: "Canticle of Cryo" from Spirit Exit

Our panel's additional recommendations for July:

• Adam Kent, Tania León: Teclas de mi piano
• Gwenno: Tresor
• Kali Malone: Living Torch

See also:

Maggie Rogers' summer mixtape sweats with sweetness
Caterina Barbieri's rapturous electronica was forged in deep solitude

NPR's favorite music of July, from thundering pop to ecstatic electronics

NPR's favorite music of July, from thundering pop to ecstatic electronics

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The best music released in July includes albums by (from top left, clockwise) Maggie Rogers, Caterina Barbieri, Beyoncé, Bear1Boss and Johnny Gandelsman. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

The best music released in July includes albums by (from top left, clockwise) Maggie Rogers, Caterina Barbieri, Beyoncé, Bear1Boss and Johnny Gandelsman.

Courtesy of the artists

From her production choices and sharper songwriting to some electrifying vocal performances, Maggie Rogers significantly leveled up for her latest album, Surrender. Whether it's an unexpected audio treat or a lyric that hits different, it's the kind of pop record that catches you off guard on the second, fourth and tenth listens. We open the best music of the month show with "Shatter," a distorted dance-pop banger.

NPR Music's Hazel Cills, Tom Huizenga, Gabby Bulgarelli and Mano Sundaresan join host Lars Gotrich as they share the best music they heard in the month of July. We also discuss violinist Johnny Gandelsman's epic view of America, Bear1Boss' maximalist rap, Caterina Barbieri's ecstatic electronics and life before and after Beyoncé.

All that, plus a lightning round of picks the panel couldn't stop listening to. But we'd be remiss not to mention some other major drops worth your ears: Gemini Rights by Steve Lacy; Special by Lizzo; Take It Like a Man by Amanda Shires; Florist's self-titled album; Wasteland by Brent Faiyaz; Las Ruinas by Rico Nasty; You Still Here, Ho? by Flo Milli; Jazz Codes by Moor Mother; Hiss by Wormrot; and Electrified Brain by Municipal Waste.


Featured Tracks and Artists:

1. Maggie Rogers: "Shatter" from Surrender

YouTube

2. Beyoncé: "PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA" from RENAISSANCE

YouTube

3. Johnny Gandelsman: "Surrender to the Adventure for Musician & Tape: 1. Blossom / American Dream" and "O for Violin & Voices" from This is America: An Anthology 2020-2021

YouTube
YouTube

4. Bear1Boss: "$$$" from Bear1Boss

YouTube

5. Caterina Barbieri: "Canticle of Cryo" from Spirit Exit

YouTube

Our panel's additional recommendations for July:

  • Adam Kent, Tania León: Teclas de mi piano
  • Gwenno: Tresor
  • Kali Malone: Living Torch