All The Best New Pop Music From This Week

A new Dua Lipa album is perhaps the poppiest punctuation imaginable to any week, and for the first time since March 2020, we got that exclamation mark. But plenty of other artists held their own. WILLOW released Empathogen, the most significant artistic statement of her career, and Gracie Abrams set the bar high for her forthcoming sophomore album, The Secret Of Us, with “Risk,” a perfectly uninhibited pop song. Meanwhile, Sam Tompkins hopped off tour with The Kid Laroi and dropped a tear-jerker, and Imagine Dragons recruited J Balvin for an “Eyes Closed” upgrade.

Check out the rest of Uproxx’s Best New Pop Music roundup below.

Dua Lipa — “End Of An Era”

As far as album openers go, Dua Lipa did well with “End Of An Era.” Dazzling, psychedelic soundscapes sustain Radical Optimism, and it starts with “End Of An Era.” Lipa chronicles the beginnings of a relationship by acknowledging her “hopelessly romantic” tendencies, but that “makes me an optimist, I guess.” She has a choice: Doom it from the start or open herself up to the possibility that it “could be forever.” Best wishes to Dua and Callum Turner.

Gracie Abrams — “Risk”

“Risk” is the first single from Gracie Abrams’ forthcoming sophomore studio album, The Secret Of Us. The song is pure catharsis — melodically capturing the frenetic, impulsive emotional surge when consumed by a crush. Abrams co-wrote “Risk” with her best friend, Audrey Hobert, who also directed the video. You can tell “Risk” is a song co-written by two best friends because it sounds like eavesdropping on two love-drunk best friends venting on the couch, which might be the ultimate compliment.

WILLOW — “Run!”

WILLOW sat down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe and opened up about her attempt to “separate that need for validation” around her brand-new Empathogen album. “The music industry kind of pushes artists to be in that state where it’s like, ‘Well, maybe I should dye my hair because people are liking this color now, or maybe I should wear [these] kind of clothes because people like that now. It’s like, what people really want is to see you. That’s it.”

WILLOW lets people see her throughout Empathogen. Her transparency is especially vivid in “Run!” because she takes listeners into her intrusive rumination: “No, I can’t get out / This pattern, it’s maddening / Making a tragedy happen that’s not even real.”

Sam Tompkins — “Numb (Live From The Champ)”

Dynamic UK singer-songwriter Sam Tompkins is gearing up to release his debut studio album, Hi, My Name Is Insecure on July 26. The release date was pushed to allow for Tompkins to continue grieving his father, who died by suicide last November. “Numb,” Tompkins’ April single, was already potent enough to induce tears, but this week’s “Numb (Live From The Champ)” video is particularly poignant because it shows Tompkins performing the song as a stripped-back piano ballad at his father’s pub.

“Numb” encapsulates Tompkins’ one-two punch. His distinctive voice is evocative by itself, but when paired with lyrics that are equal parts dense and delicate, he’ll stop you in your tracks every time.

Nicholas Galitzine — “The Idea Of You (Acoustic Version)”

Some people win the genetic lottery, and two of those people were cast as opposing leads for The Idea Of You, the romantic Amazon Prime Video movie adaptation of Robinne Lee’s novel of the same name. Anne Hathaway is the moment, which we have known since she was Mia Thermopolis, but The Idea Of You solidifies Nicholas Galitzine as a true triple threat. Not only does he act like that (and look like that), but he can also sing like that.

The Idea Of You chronicles the unlikely love story between Hathaway’s Solène, a 40-year-old mother and art dealer, and Galitzine’s Hayes Campbell, a world-famous member of the fictitious boy band August Moon. The movie’s original soundtrack feels like a legitimate August Moon album full of pop bangers, which was the point, but Galitzine’s “The Idea Of You” stands out because who among us can’t relate to relying on the idea of Anne Hathaway to get through life? I need someone more technologically savvy than I am to edit an August Moon song over the below January 2023 clip of Hathaway dancing.

Imagine Dragons Feat. J Balvin — “Eyes Closed”

Imagine Dragons first dropped “Eyes Closed” in early April. Then, the Dan Reynolds-led pop-rock band released an acoustic version, and now, they’ve unleashed “Eyes Closed” featuring J Balvin. And “unleashed” is absolutely the appropriate verb here. I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall a time when J Balvin rapping in Spanish made something worse.

Quinn XCII Feat. KYLE — “Cruel Love”

Quinn XCII released his five-track EP Breakfast alongside the tweet, “This year you’ll be getting some of my favorite music I’ve ever made so chew slowly.” The Breakfast track “Cruel Love” featuring KYLE fits the bill. Quinn XCII’s signature upbeat melodies plus KYLE’s signature conversational flow equals groovy hypnosis. You’ll be vibing so much that you will completely forget that they’re singing about betrayal.

Kane Brown, Marshmello — “Miles On It”

Kane Brown and Marshmello? Sure, why not! Marshmello infuses Brown’s country-adjacent tone with dance-pop beats to make the summer-ready “Miles On It,” which indulges a metaphor that elicits the sort of clumsy romance everyone needs to experience at least once: “Put some miles on it / Back of the Chevy with the engine running / Just you and me in a truck bed wide like a California King / We could break it in / If you know what I mean / Put some miles on it.”

NIKI — “Too Much Of A Good Thing”

“We could be too much of a good thing,” NIKI sings in the funky, silky song “Too Much Of A Good Thing” ahead of her forthcoming Buzz album, “but isn’t that a real good thing? / Oh baby, look me in the eye and say you don’t got it bad.” NIKI said in a statement that the song is “about that initial anticipation we all know and love where there’s a little extra pep in your step, and “Too Much Of A Good Thing” only generates more anticipation to hear the rest of Buzz.

Dayglow — “Every Little Thing I Say I Do”

“‘Every Little Thing I Say I Do’ is a song where I’m poking fun at my perfectionism and my desire for control,” indie-pop standout Dayglow said in a statement. “It’s a pretty ridiculous claim — that I not only do everything perfectly, but also for your benefit — but that’s the point.”

His elevated sense of self-awareness is illustrated in his self-directed video, in which his features are creatively exaggerated and obnoxiously imperfect. Dayglow also described the song as “pretty damn catchy,” which is probably what I should have written and left it at that.