With the announcement of a new Sabrina Carpenter record, plus a collaboration between Tiësto and Charli XCX and a new Rina Sawayama single, this week in pop did not disappoint. No, not even if Katy Perry botched a well-intentioned, pro-choice joke on Twitter about her hit “Firework.”
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Quinnie – “Touch Tank”
If you’ve been on TikTok at all in the past month or so, you know how anticipated the release of this song was. The lo-fi track went viral before it was even out; the clip circulated of Quinnie singing, “He’s so pretty when he goes down on me / Gold-skinned eager baby, blue shirt out the laundry.” It was tender and open about female sexuality in a way that’s rare and special. The entire ballad is as lovely as you’d expect.
Sabrina Carpenter – “Vicious”
“Vicious” is Sabrina Carpenter’s first release since the announcement of her new album, and it portrays a catchy, sassy direction that her previous songs “Skinny Dipping” and “Fast Times” previewed as well. Her attitude and devotion to drama, especially in the bridge, make for a visceral listening experience.
Tiësto, Charli XCX – “Hot In It”
Speaking of attitude, Charli XCX’s devotion to being a pop diva has been carried over from her extravagant masterwork Crash. The hook is simple and repetitive but serves as a perfect mantra for clubbing this summer: “Tonight, I’m gon’ be rockin’ it, droppin’ it / Shake my ass, no stoppin’ it / I look hot in it, hot in it.”
Rina Sawayama – “Catch Me In The Air”
Rina Sawayama’s forthcoming album Hold The Girl is going to be dynamic and unpredictable. The first single, “This Hell,” was an abrasive, rock-tinged anthem that flirted with danger; this new single “Catch Me In The Air” feels like its polar opposite. With a buoyant sound reminiscent of early-2000s pop, it’s much more wholesome and is focused on optimism and growth.
Daya – “Love You When You’re Gone”
Daya’s synthy “Love You When You’re Gone” is a sparkling ode to yearning with a Cure-like atmosphere. The rhythm bounces in a “Just Like Heaven” kind of way, and her vocals soar through the song with pure feeling. The lyrics are poetic in portraying frustration and misplacement: “I only love you when you’re gone / Lonely hearts just don’t belong.”
Catie Turner – “Step Mom”
“Step Mom” by Catie Turner kicks off with instantly relatable storytelling: “We broke up, it was messy and I’m so embarrassed / Let it get the best of me, I wasn’t thinking clearly.” Turner’s bubbly, unafraid personality separates her from the other pop singers right now; with the brazen hook “I’m gonna steal your dad / Be the best he ever had,” there’s no competition.
Lauv – “Kids Are Born Stars”
There’s an infectious groove running through Lauv’s new song “Kids Are Born Stars.” Even with downtrodden lyrics about rejection and heartbreak, Lauv keeps it hopeful and confident: “I cried but it’s cool she didn’t come over / But I knew that someday I knew I’d be a really, really, really, really big star,” he sings.
Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”
Woozy guitars make “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy absolutely addictive, and his vocals, drenched in an intense sense of longing and sincerity, make it even better. A deep bassline and glittering synths complete its perfection; after listening, you’ll have the melody stuck in your head for hours: “I wish I knew, I wish I knew you wanted me.” It ends in a trance-like, psychedelic haze.
Gia Woods – “Lesbionic”
Gia Woods is fearless on “Lesbionic,” which bursts with Kim Petras- or Slayyyter-like hyperpop insanity. Instead of singing, it sounds like she’s making declarations: “Hey girls, no fighting, no kiss, just biting / It’s not iconic, it’s lesbionic.” Over trippy synths and a fast rhythm, the song is sure to be blasted at clubs.
Gryffin, MØ – “Reckless”
After collaborating together and with King Princess for “Head On Fire,” Gryffin and MØ are back to making music with each other. Their chemistry is obvious; “Reckless” is another great, radio-ready anthem for driving through a beautiful, hot day with the windows down. It has an undeniable groove and texture of excitement that feels inspiring and contagious.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.