This was a great week for bold, unapologetic pop girls. Lizzo eviscerated skinny girls with the celebratory, body-positive, Missy Elliott-featuring “Tempo.” Grimes is apparently getting ready to expand her musical personas into sub-genres, and “Pretty Dark” is a great introduction to parts of her mind we haven’t gotten to know yet (even if the song is just a demo). Hayley Kiyoko teamed up with goth-pop princess Kailee Morgue to find the empowerment in mental health. And, Marina wrote a gorgeous song about the landscape of her home with “Orange Trees.”
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Lizzo, Feat. Missy Elliott, “Tempo”
“Slow songs are for skinny hoes / Can’t move all of this here to one of those,” Lizzo raps over a frenetic beat. The Midwestern rapper-singer-songwriter eschews flat, boring rhythms and celebrates everything big, bold, loud — arrangements, personalities, and most of all, bodies. “Tempo” is unapologetically sexual (and damn sexy), as Lizzo celebrates herself and bodies that look like hers. This song makes you want to dance forever, and Lizzo on a track with Missy Elliott is truly everything we needed but don’t deserve.
Kelsy Karter, “What U”
Kelsy Karter doesn’t prefer “pop” as a genre designation for her music. She calls herself “blue-eyed rock and roll,” more Mick Jagger meets Amy Winehouse than Taylor Swift. Though she made headlines for getting a tattoo of Harry Styles’ face on her cheek, Karter is more than just a publicity stunt. “What U” is a rollicking, bold dare of a song, where the singer eggs on a lover who seems to be hesitating on next steps. She’s fun, taunting, and smart about playing with gender (and genre) stereotypes. It’s smart to follow up a publicity stunt like that with a solid single — maybe that viral fame was onto something.