This week’s new pop releases are the best kind of nostalgia trip. Kings of late-aughts tween pop The Jonas Brothers are back with their first new music since 2013. Ellie Goulding and Marina have released a handful of new singles in the last few months, but the fact that the synth-pop princesses each released another one this week feels serendipitous. The Jo Bros’ old Disney Channel pal Selena Gomez is featured on a new song with Benny Blanco and J. Balvin, and Carly Rae Jepsen released a pair of fun new singles.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. It’s the contents of my high school iPod Classic, but make it 2019.
The Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
The Jonas Brothers have officially ditched their purity rings and tween bubblegum sound — “Sucker” is a grown-up banger. Nick, Joe, and Kevin’s first new single in half a decade is a delightful combination of the brothers’ unique talents. As a nu-Timberlake R&B-pop idol, Nick refined a pretty solid falsetto, and the song isn’t dissimilar to Joe’s catchy pop-rock sound with DNCE. (It’s also, uh, not dissimilar to “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man.) But “Sucker” is an infatuated, sticky-sweet girl-worshipping anthem, and a great re-introduction to the brothers’ playful pop.
Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, and J Balvin, “I Can’t Get Enough”
J. Balvin prophesied that his collaboration with Blanco, Gomez, and Tainy would be a “worldwide hit.” The song was only released a few days ago, but with an all-star slate of collaborators like that, it’s already a smash. Benny Blanco has produced some of the biggest radio hits of the year — “Eastside” with Halsey and Khalid and “I Found You” with Calvin Harris are still everywhere. Gomez took “Taki Taki” to the top of the streaming charts, and a feature from J. Balvin is basically a guarantee that a song will hit. “I Can’t Get Enough” is a romantic bilingual bop, pulsing with desire and a danceable beat. A worldwide hit, indeed.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Now That I Found You”
Carly Rae Jepsen‘s first new singles of 2019 are both pretty solid, but “Now That I Found You” has a sparkling, urgent beat and sweetly infatuated lyrics that make it an immediate favorite. The song bursts with the joy of discovering a love who makes you feel like yourself. “My heart’s a secret / I think I’m coming alive, I think I’m coming alive with you,” she sings, almost tiptoeing through the lyrics before she explodes with happiness and synths in the chorus.
Ellie Goulding, “Flux”
Ellie Goulding has released a couple solid singles over the last few months, but “Flux” is easily the best of them. A gorgeous piano-and-strings ballad, “Flux” is bittersweet and thoughtful as Goulding ponders the alternate paths that she could have taken if she and a lover hadn’t broken up. Goulding is honest and heartbreaking running through all the lives she could have led (“Living in Camden / Getting a ticket to your band”) while trying to live through that impossible state of “flux” trying to get over someone. Goulding hasn’t released a full album since 2015, but all these new singles appear to be leading to an announcement of some sort. “Flux” would be a killer lead single.
Sigrid, “Sight Of You”
Sigrid‘s debut album Sucker Punch is one of the most anticipated pop releases of the year so far, and the wait is almost over. Before its release on March 8, Sigrid has shared another excellent track from the record. “Sight Of You” is an honest look at the exhausting nature of being an internationally touring musician — and a love song about the friends, family, and fans who keep her grounded through all the tough stuff. It’s a synths-and-strings fairytale of a song, and Sigrid is one of the most exciting up-and-comers in pop.
Marina‘s second single since dropping The Diamonds from her stage name, “Superstar” is a great re-introduction to her music. Like Goulding, it’s been a while since Marina released a new album — her third studio album, Froot, was released back in 2015. “Superstar” is a romantic tribute to a love that makes her feel celestial. Marina and her lover ground their affection in hard work and mutual respect, but that effort doesn’t take away from the magic of it all. Marina’s voice always sounds otherworldly, and the spacey instrumentation on “Superstar” makes for an incredible match.
Gesaffelstein, Feat. Pharrell, “Blast Off”
Following a collaboration with The Weeknd, French DJ-producer Gesaffelstein has shared another new single from his upcoming record. “Blast Off” pairs Gesaffelstein with fellow super-producer Pharrell. The “Get Lucky” singer embraces a darker sound on the track, leaning into the spooky goth prince territory of Gesaffelstein’s music with confidence. Pharrell’s involvement also means it’s a lot poppier than some of Gesaffelstein’s other music, but it’s thrilling to listen to the pair push each other to the edge of their comfort zones.
The Japanese House, “You Seemed So Happy”
Good At Falling is English indie pop singer Amber Bain’s debut studio album, but she’s been around a while — Bain has opened for The 1975 on several of their tours, and has released four EPs since 2015. “You Seemed So Happy” is twinkling and moody, with radio-ready hooks and contemplative lyrics. The whole album, which follows the trajectory of a doomed relationship from start to finish, is worth a listen. “You Seemed So Happy” comes midway through the record, but it’s a great introduction to Bain’s thoughtful dream-pop.