There was a lot going on in the pop world this past week. There were some Ls — like The Weeknd losing his voice during his show in Los Angeles, or Matty Healy’s debunked rumors of a collaboration with Taylor Swift. But to balance that out, we got more information about Björk’s forthcoming album Fossora and we got a ton of great new songs from artists such as Charlie Puth, Dodie, Justin Bieber, and more.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Ava Max — “Million Dollar Baby”
Ava Max’s “Million Dollar Baby” is a relentlessly catchy anthem made for the club. With otherworldly synths and a pulsating rhythm, it has the atmosphere of late nights and dancing with friends until the sun is up. About the song, she said, “I titled it ‘Million Dollar Baby’ to remind myself of my self-worth and wrote the lyrics to show that you can overcome and achieve anything when you put your mind to it.” This confidence shines through in her powerful vocals, imbuing the listener with a sense of invincibility.
Charlie Puth — “Smells Like Me”
On, “Smells Like Me” Charlie Puth sings vulnerably, “Baby, don’t forget about me ever.” The track is steeped in the pain of heartbreak and full of questions: “Do you ever miss me when I’m gone? / Wondering what body I’ll be on?” It captures the chaotic days following a breakup, and it’s made more emotional with the texture of an ’80s pop song in the vein of Tears For Fears.
Fletcher — “Sting”
Fletcher has mastered the art of making clubby earworms with tear-jerking lyrics. “Sting” is perfect to either dance or cry to (or both) as she sings about a lingering lovesickness against an infectious beat: “But maybe I like the way it sting / It’s all I got left of you and me.”
Imagine Dragons — “Love Of Mine”
To celebrate 10 years of their crashing debut Night Visions, world-dominating band Imagine Dragons, who aren’t as bad as everyone says they are, unveiled this demo from their early days. It’s catchy but it doesn’t sound like it was engineered to be overplayed on radio stations; it feels honest and invigorating, like many tracks from that first record.
Dodie — “Hot Mess”
Dodie’s “Hot Mess” is a stunning song about a never-ending on-and-off relationship. The lyrics are poetic and unforgettable: “I’m a hot mess / Wake up, do the same thing / Break up, then we’re dancing / Why am I so alright / To do it again and again?” she sings, her voice haunting.
Shygirl — “Nike”
Shygirl never holds back, especially on this new track “Nike” with the genius hook: “He told me Nike / Just do it.” Her Billie Eilish-esque style of whisper-rap is hypnotic as she maintains a clever flow: “Perri perri / Too hot to handle / Better get a piece / I’m a real hand full,” she drawls.
Justin Bieber — “Beautiful Love (Free Fire)”
“Beautiful Love (Free Fire)” is a wholesome love ballad by Justin Bieber that was originally an exclusive song for the video game Garena Free Fire. The lyrics are sprawling and his voice is passionate: “Like the blue skies / We don’t appreciate the sun until it rains / Try to see it like a child / The innocence in everything we do.”
Alex Warren – “Headlights”
The opening lyric to Alex Warren’s new song “Headlights” is startling: “I’m in the backseat of my own life / Someone else is driving.” The entire track is painfully relatable, detailing the struggles of loneliness and trying to find motivation in one’s own life. It has the texture of hope, buoyed by colorful guitar chords and his ambitious vocals.
Louis Tomlinson — “Bigger Than Me”
Louis Tomlinson’s “Bigger Than Me” is about trying to stay optimistic and strong. He sings, “So, come on, call me liar / Yeah, you’re so quick to judge / ‘Cause yeah, I might have changed / But everybody does.” Despite these obstacles, he declares in a powerful voice: “I’ve woken up from my sleep.”
Jessia — “One Of The Guys”
Off the bat, Jessia’s new song “One Of The Guys” hooks the listener in with her bewitching isolated vocals, which are full of attitude: “This might come off a little unromantic / But I guess that’s how you see me / I’m sorry If I’m sounding too pathetic / But I’m tired of believing.” The entire track bursts with her unrestrained personality, and it’s great.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.