Yes, I know it’s the end of July, but Pride Month isn’t over until Charli XCX and Christine And The Queens say it’s over.
This was a fantastic week for new pop music, and especially for new pop music by queer artists. Hayley Kiyoko is back with her first new single of 2019, the yearning “I Wish.” King Princess announced that her debut album is officially (finally!) coming this fall. Sam Smith dropped a groovy, melancholy new single, “How Do You Sleep?” And, of course, Charli XCX and Christine And The Queens’ collab is just as thrilling as you can imagine, and easily one of the best new songs of the year so far.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Alec Benjamin, “Jesus In LA”
Singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin’s latest single, “Jesus In LA,” is a plaintive search for meaning. In a sweet, soft-voiced tenor, Benjamin sings about arriving to Los Angeles bright-eyed and optimistic and quickly seeing all his dreams squashed. Over a simple acoustic melody, Benjamin sounds optimistic even as he’s singing about losing hope. Benjamin’s debut mixtape, Narrated For You, was released in 2018.
Charli XCX, “Gone” Feat. Christine And The Queens
Lately there have been a lot of pop songs about feeling anxious in social situations — Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber‘s “I Don’t Care,” Billie Eilish‘s “Xanny,” pretty much every Khalid song. But “Gone” isn’t just a song about not fitting in. With every single one of its production choices, “Gone” delights in upturning pop music conventions. Charli XCX and Christine And The Queens don’t sound like they’re echoing each other, but separately suffering their own anxiety spirals. The dichotomy between Charli’s synth-pop gloss and Chris’ smooth, bass-driven funk-pop makes the song a prism, refracting different light and sound with each turn. If it wasn’t already, Charli is officially one of the most anticipated albums of the fall.