We’ll get this out of the way right off the bat — Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You is fantastic, and one of the best pop albums of the year. It’s effervescent and earnest and all the good, happy adjectives, and Lizzo is an absolute star. But this week also had lots of other great releases worth spotlighting. Jade Bird, who I’ve included in this column a few times released her self-titled label debut on Friday. Your mileage may vary on Carly Rae Jepsen’s post E•MO•TION singles, but I’ve dug everything she’s put out recently, and her latest release is solid, too.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Kygo, Feat. Rita Ora, “Carry On”
Yes, I realize this song is from the Detective Pikachu soundtrack, but Kygo and Rita Ora‘s latest collab is pretty great. Ora has a beautiful voice, and Kygo dials it down from his usual dramatic EDM style to match her mellow vibe. “Carry On” was initially demoed by Charlie Puth, and if you listen closely, you can still hear him on the background vocals.
Lizzo, “Like A Girl”
The first few seconds of this bouncy, joyful track sound a little like Chance The Rapper‘s “No Problem,” and “Like A Girl” only goes up from there. Lizzo salutes the badass record-breakers who came before her — Chaka Khan, Serena Williams, and Lauryn Hill, to name a few — but “Like A Girl” is also a celebration of Lizzo’s unique strength and powerful voice. Cuz I Love You is getting Lizzo a lot of acclaim, and for good reason. Her music is a breath of fresh air and a jolt of energy.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Julien”
We’re only a few weeks away from the release of Carly Rae Jepsen‘s newest album (Dedicated is out May 17), and the Canadian singer-songwriter has shared another new track from the upcoming album. “Julien” is an ebullient electro-pop banger, as Jepsen explores her heartbreak over a disco-tinged beat. Jepsen wrote on Twitter that “‘Julien’ is the song that taught [her] the heart and direction of this album.” If “Julien” is the roadmap for the rest of the album, we’re in for some more great stuff.