The sun was glaring brightly these days, and it wasn't due to Earth Aphelion at all. It's simply because the Earth's north-south axis is tilted by about 23.4 degrees, and coincidentally Earth reaches aphelion when the North Pole is tilted more toward the sun than the South Pole is, where the sunlight hits the ground more vertically, therefore the Northern Hemisphere receives a longer duration of sunshine, which explain why the day is longer and the night is shorter.
This year the summer for Northern Hemisphere starts in June. Summer solstice means a longer daylight, and it takes several weeks for the earth to release the heat being absorb which explain why July feels so blaring hot. An article on Summer solstice 2013 by NatGeo explains it.