The sun is shining a little brighter. Trees bloom with greenery and color. The world feels like it’s waking up — and everybody has a take on it. Sure, spring has sprung, but it’s also officially Taylor Swift season. Swift has announced her next era of new music with the pastel-tinted, polarizing, Brendon-Urie-featuring “ME!” Whatever your personal opinion on the song, it’s inescapable and undeniably the pop event of the week.
But even if you find “ME!” a little too Jojo Siwa for your tastes, there were a bunch of other great releases this week. Kim Petras announced her own new era of music with the vulnerable bop “Broken.” Marina dropped the second half of her album, completing the duality of Love And Fear. We’ve got some great new ones from up-and-comers Fletcher, Carlie Hanson, and Zara Larsson.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Taylor Swift, Feat. Brendon Urie, “ME!”
Taylor Swift‘s lead singles are, more often than not, total red herrings. The Disney villain drama of “Look What You Made Me Do” sent Twitter into a tailspin, but Reputation ended up being mostly an album of love songs and self-reflection. Taylor Swift’s bubblegum pop turn was predicted with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but that came a whole album later with 1989. Swift’s lead singles are designed to get the world talking, and “ME!” certainly does. It’s bold and theatrical like a Panic! At The Disco song. It’s full of pastels, rainbows, and hidden clues to keep conspiracists guessing and searching for weeks. The more you listen to it, the catchier it becomes. Taylor season is here, and we’re powerless to the tide of nature.
Kim Petras, “Broken”
Kim Petras is known for her ebullient bubblegum pop, but the German singer-songwriter is gearing up for a new era of her own. New single “Broken” is Petras’ first release since wrapping her run of stand-alone singles. “Broken” is contemplative and vulnerable as Petras wishes for a lover who spurned her to feel the same hurt she does. The song is as cathartic as anything from her singles era, and she lets her feelings unspool as fast and messy as they come. Being “broken” never sounded so good.
Lauv, “Drugs And The Internet”
Singer-songwriter Lauv (real name Ari Leff) is known for his honest synth-pop, and “Drugs And The Internet” is no exception. In the song, Lauv opens up about his struggles with anxiety and addiction, and how social media can exacerbate both. When going through a rough time, sometimes the worst thing a person can do is spend time on Twitter and Instagram, comparing themselves to the hyper-curated lives of others. Lauv turns this all-too-relatable sensation into a great pop song full of left-of-center beats and cool production flourishes.
Fletcher, “If You’re Gonna Lie”
Fletcher (real name Cari Elise Fletcher) combines her otherworldly voice with dreamy synth-pop beats. If that sounds like another huge rising pop star, it’s a funny coincidence, because Fletcher and Maggie Rogers actually went to school together at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. Fletcher’s latest single “If You’re Gonna Lie” deals with the complicated phenomenon of wanting someone despite how bad they are for you. Fletcher implores her lover that if they’re “gonna lie,” they should at least “do it in [her] bed.” Fletcher is a great vocal and songwriting talent — listen to “If You’re Gonna Lie” now before she breaks huge.
Carlie Hanson, “Back In My Arms”
18-year-old singer-songwriter Carlie Hanson released some excellent stand-alone singles last year, and she’s back with her first new one of the year. “Back In My Arms” is synth-pop perfection. Hanson has an evocative, strong voice — you can hear the longing in her voice as she reminisces on a past love. Hanson’s debut EP is expected sometime this year, so we’ll certainly be hearing more from her soon.
Zara Larsson, “WOW”
Swedish singer-songwriter Zara Larsson released one of the catchiest singles of 2019, “Don’t Worry Bout Me,” earlier this year, and she’s continuing her pop takeover with “WOW.” Produced by Marshmello, “WOW” has an infectious electro-pop beat and is full of killer beat drops. “WOW” is all about feeling confident and sexy in your own skin, as Larsson sings about feeling glam “in a t-shirt on the couch.” It’s a slinky EDM bop, pretty different from Larsson’s other singles but a thrilling indication of how she’ll surprise us on her second LP.
LANY, Feat. Julia Michaels, “Okay”
“Okay” is LANY’s first single since their 2018 album Malibu Nights. It’s an emotional, confessional anthem about picking up the pieces of a breakup and assuring yourself that everything is gonna be alright (or, I guess, “Okay”). The song is LANY’s first release with a feature, and Julia Michaels is actually more than just a feature — she sings every chorus and verse with singer Paul Klein.
Marina released the second half of her double album Love And Fear on Friday. While the first half was filled with sunny imagery and love songs, Fear is a little darker and more intense. On the slinky “Karma,” Marina eviscerates someone who doesn’t value her as she deserves. “Real hearts don’t lie / Take it from me (I know) / You’ll see in time / Take it from me,” she sings, tongue-in-cheek and very witchy.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.