This week in pop music saw the return of some major artists that have earned Uproxx’s best new pop stamp of approval. Billie Eilish shared a reflective tune, Sam Smith linked with singer Burna Boy for a smooth single, and Jorja Smith shared a poignant protest anthem.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Billie Eilish — “My Future”
Billie Eilish’s debut LP When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? catapulted the young singer into stardom. Ever since the singer has been taking her recent songs in a moodier direction, as seen on her best new pop single “My Future.” According to Eilish, she wrote and recorded the track in just two days: “For me, I’m sure you know, I take f*cking forever to get a vocal take that I like, and I do like a billion takes. And this one… I just, I don’t know, there was something about this one take that I did, and I was like, ‘This is the only way that it can be.’”
Sam Smith — “My Oasis” Feat. Burna Boy
It’s been three years since Sam Smith released their sophomore album The Thrill Of It All but earlier this year, the singer ushered in a new era with the Demi Lovato collaboration “I’m Ready.” Smith has now returned once again, this time tapping singer Burna Boy for the slow-burning track “My Oasis.”
Jorja Smith — “By Any Means”
Jorja Smith is back after adding her own spin on the jazz classic “Rose Rouge” last month, and this time it’s for another compilation record. In a statement about “By Any Means,” Smith says the song is a protest anthem: “The inspiration behind ‘By Any Means’ really came from going to the Black Lives Matter protest and leaving thinking, what can I do to keep this conversation going? It’s not just a post on social media, it’s life.”
Dominic Fike — “Cancel Me”
Dominic Fike shared his highly-anticipated debut record What Could Possibly Go Wrong this week and with it came the earworm “Cancel Me.” A tongue-in-cheek critique of cancel culture, Fike sings that he hopes the internet will try to cancel him so that he can dedicate more time to his family.
Mxmtoon — “Bon Iver”
After her EP Dawn debuted back in April, Mxmtoon is now ushering the effort’s counterpart, Dusk. “When we think of nightfall, we often associate it to the ‘end’ of something,” Mxmtoon wrote alongside “Bon Iver,” which announced the upcoming EP. “The ‘Bon Iver’ music video is meant to counter that notion, and to spark thought over the possibilities that are ahead instead. A day does not just end when the sun goes down, you continue to find wonder and joy despite the dark, and a whole other world awaits you as the moon glides overhead.”
Amy Allen — “Difficult”
After taking up the opportunity to write songs for some of today’s biggest stars like Harry Styles and Halsey, Amy Allen is ready to write music for herself. That’s where “Difficult” comes in. “As a woman, I’m often referred to as ‘Difficult,'” she said in a statement. “Difficult for advocating for myself. Difficult for wearing my ambition on my sleeve. Difficult for prioritizing my dreams. Every woman I know has had this term weaponized against her. I wrote Difficult after I realized this word, which I used to take as an insult, is actually something I own. I’m proud to be Difficult and want to reclaim the word.”
Ava Max — “Who’s Laughing Now”
Though she’s been sharing her music for years, Ava Max is now gearing up for her debut album. Announcing the LP Heaven & Hell, the singer debuted the track “Who’s Laughing Now” as a revved-up preview. “I’ve been holding onto this secret for so long and am so excited I can finally talk about my debut album Heaven & Hell,” Max said. “I put my heart and soul into making it and cannot wait to share my music with everyone.”
Alexander 23 — “Caught In The Middle”
Alexander 23 has cultivated a name for himself in the bedroom pop genre, touring with the likes of Mxmtoon, Alec Benjamin, and Omar Apollo, and even having a song go viral on TikTok. Now, the singer continues his catalog with the nostalgia-inducing number “Caught In The Middle,” which showcases his far-reaching vocals over a resounding guitar.
Somegirlnamedanna — “Seriously Just Stop”
With “Seriously Just Stop,” Somegirlnamedanna announces her debut EP Twenty One, Twenty Two. About her music on the upcoming EP, the singer said she hopes to dismantle the pristine image of someone’s life that social media can create. “I think it’s easy to forget that people are not living the perfect lives portrayed on social media, and these songs were inspired by the real challenges and downswings that many of us face behind the screen. I want people to remember they are not alone in these times and I hope we continue to display our vulnerabilities and traits that make us human in popular culture.”
Prep — “On And On”
This British indie-pop four-piece announced a self-titled debut album with the hypnotic number “On And On.” Aimed at curing summertime sadness, the track is a taste of Prep’s feel-good tunes and offers a preview of their synth-heavy catalog.
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.