This was a great week for artists we haven’t heard from in a bit. Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber haven’t released new music of their own in a while (unless we’re counting their cameos in Lil Dicky’s “Earth”), but the two pop singers have reunited for a catchy, infatuated new summer anthem. Ciara, whose last record came out in 2015, finally released her new one Beauty Marks. Zayn released his first new track of 2019, a lovely cover of “A Whole New World” with newcomer Zhavia Ward.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Ed Sheeran, Feat. Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber make a great team. Sheeran co-wrote Bieber’s 2015 hit “Love Yourself,” and separately, they’re two of the biggest pop stars on the planet. “I Don’t Care” will inevitably join the ranks of “Thinking Out Loud,” “Despacito,” and Sheeran and Bieber’s countless other summer hits. It’s infectiously catchy, with a bouncy, breezy beat you’ll be humming along to for days. Despite the song’s title, the lyrics are sweet and far from apathetic. Sheeran and Bieber love their respective “babies” so much they don’t care about the anxiety, boring parties, or any of the small stuff.
Ciara, “Beauty Marks”
Speaking of being in love, Ciara has just dropped a whole album full of romantic R&B-pop bops. In the album’s title track, Ciara muses on her flaws, and expresses newfound comfort in her imperfections. Because nothing is really an “imperfection” when you’re loved unconditionally, and you both embrace the quirks that make each of you unique. “Beauty Marks” is a piano-driven showcase for Ciara’s flawless voice. Wedded bliss has never sounded better.
James Bay, “Bad”
Technically, “Bad” isn’t a new song as of this week — Bay has played it at almost every single show since last December, and it was a fan favorite even before the studio version was released. But no matter how many times fans have listened to live recordings, the studio version of “Bad” is textured and beautiful enough to fall in love with all over again. Over a soulful acoustic melody, Bay sings about a love he just can’t leave behind — he wants his lover so bad he shakes, he’s “bleeding out,” he “can’t go on.” His passionate voice matches the melodrama of the lyrics, making every emotional line punch even harder.