The first full week after the Thanksgiving holiday was completely stuffed with great pop music. (I swear, I didn’t mean for that to be a pun). We got full albums from some pop column staples — English electronic group Clean Bandit released their second studio album on Friday, and The 1975 finally dropped the fantastic, genre-spanning A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Grimes is back and hailing the genius of our benevolent AI overlords. Just when we thought she’d turned away from pop for good, country girl Miley Cyrus has returned for a collab with Mark Ronson.
Every Monday, Uproxx will round out the very best pop releases from the week. I know A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is so good you could get lost in it for a month, but give the rest of these picks a listen, too.
Grimes, Feat. HANA, “We Appreciate Power”
Grimes has had a busy year, collaborating with K-pop group LOONA/yyxy, Janelle Monae, and Poppy, but the electro-pop singer’s first single since 2015’s Art Angels proves why she’s one of the most iconic artists working in that genre right now. On “We Appreciate Power,” singer Claire Boucher pulls off hairpin turns from sugary sweet vocals to some Nine Inch Nails-esque industrial rock screams. Grimes and fellow electro-pop singer (and longtime collaborator) HANA trade verses about our kindly robot rulers, asking us to “pledge allegiance to the world’s most powerful computer.” I don’t know about robots, but I’ll appreciate the power of this absolute banger.
Cheat Codes, Feat. Kim Petras, “Feeling Of Falling”
Electronic trio Cheat Codes‘ latest single, “Feeling Of Falling,” features a genius collaboration with German pop princess Kim Petras. Petras’ infatuated voice is a perfect accompaniment to Cheat Codes’ gleeful synths. Petras sings about hating “the feeling of falling in love,” but you also get the impression that there’s joy in the refusal of commitment. This song is so happy. It’s easy to imagine a dance floor of people shouting “If you wanna stay, be my one mistake / I don’t wanna wait anymore, anymore.” If there’s any justice in this world, “Feeling Of Falling” will be this this winter’s “Closer“-esque bring-the-club-down hit. (This song is about a thousand times better, so there’s also that.)
The 1975, “Be My Mistake”
Speaking of “being my mistake,” The 1975 have had me in my feelings all weekend with “Be My Mistake.” It’s an absolute heartbreaker on an album full of them. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is often up-tempo and bursting with feeling, but even the album’s most cheerful sounding tracks are painfully aware of the dual beauty and agony of being young and being alive.
Singer Matty Healy shows just how delicate his voice can get on “Be My Mistake.” Healy sings about a meaningless hookup, two bodies finding one another in confused, wine-soaked sadness. The song isn’t super representative of everything that’s on A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships — the album tends toward activity, not resignation, and The 1975 rarely sound this gentle. On the record, “Be My Mistake” is sandwiched between the anthemic “Love It If We Made It” and the jazzy, Social Experiment-esque “Sincerity Is Scary.” This embrace of experimentation and genre-hopping is what makes the album such an instant classic.