As we near the end of the year and gear up for the holidays, it’s a good time to reflect on all that 2019 has had to offer. Afterall, Uproxx rounded up the best releases of this year. But this week in pop music saw artists decidedly shed the past and look toward the future.
Dua Lipa debuted “Future Nostalgia,” the second single of her upcoming era, Harry Styles dropped his much-anticipated sophomore record, and Hayley Kiyoko gave fans another taste of what’s to come in the new year.
Hayley Kiyoko — “Runaway”
The penultimate single off her forthcoming project I’m Too Sensitive For This Sh*t, Hayley Kiyoko sings of shedding learned toxic behaviors in a relationship. The dreamy single’s popping beat and drawn-out lyrical delivery highlight the theme of coping with one’s own issues rather than taking it out on a partner.
Harry Styles — “Sunflower, Vol. 6”
Harry Styles released his highly-anticipated sophomore record Fine Line, and fans were finally able to get the full picture of Styles’ musical evolution. “Sunflower, Vol. 6” is exemplary of the musician’s pivot from radio-ready pop of his One Direction days. In the mesmerizing track, distorted synths offer a backdrop for revved-up electric guitars and vocal harmonies.
Dua Lipa — “Future Nostalgia”
The second single from her new era, Dua Lipa‘s sophomore record title track is a certified groove. An empowering single about being a “female alpha,” the track showcases Lipa’s playful songwriting. Scaling piano, elastic synths, and a bouncy lyrical delivery color the upbeat track guaranteed to get anyone up and moving.
Ava Max — “Salt”
Buoyant violins open to a snapping beat drop on Ava Max‘s latest single, “Salt.” The disco-tinged tune is a swaying showcase of Max’s powerful and confident vocal delivery while pitch shifts and revved-up production are reminiscent of early-2000s dance floor favorites.
Alec Benjamin — “Mind Is A Prison”
Alec Benjamin returns with a showcase of his intimate songwriting, saying his new single is “some of the most personal lyrics” he’s ever written. The third single released after his debut mixtape Narrated For You, “Mind Is A Prison” mends powerful lyricism with swaying instrumentals. The song is a taste of what’s to come from the artist in 2020.
KIRBY — “Don’t Leave Your Girl”
Kirby’s latest soulful ballad melts her velvety vocals with a timeless production. The second single of 2019, “Don’t Leave Your Girl” is Kirby’s soulful spin on classic R&B hits.
Ava Grace — “Zoo”
With “Zoo,” Ava Grace makes her impressive musical debut. Beginning slowly, the track builds to an eruption of captivating layers that compliment Grace’s soaring vocals.
Sofia Carson — “I Luv U” Feat R3HAB
Over a rhythmic, Latin-inspired beat, former Disney Channel star Sofia Carson’s bright vocals shine through. Peppered with lovelorn lyrics, the instant club hit’s glistening synths build to an energetic beat drop.
Delacey — “No One’s Gonna Ever Love U”
Delacey’s “No One’s Gonna Ever Love U” is a fired-up response to an ex-lover. Her fourth single of 2019, Delacey’s swooning vocals and soft piano keys emphasize the track’s poignant message.
Cub Sport — “Hearts In Halves”
After releasing their third album this year, Australian group Cub Sport is back again with a slow-burning single, “Hearts In Halves.” Feathery vocals and a steady, popping beat color the track’s honest lyrics.
Some artists mentioned are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.