This week in pop music saw some highly-anticipated releases and rising stars. Three-fifths of One Direction debuted new music, Camila Cabello dropped her sophomore record, Romance, and Halsey offered a stripped-down ballad.
Harry Styles — “Adore You”
After an extensive ad campaign promoting travel to the non-existent island of Eroda, Harry Styles revealed the stunt was related to his latest single “Adore You.” Along with the fantastical narrative of a video, the track itself boasts a groovy bassline and triumphant percussion. The single is exemplary of Styles’ pivot to jazzy tones and pop music that teeters between genres.
Niall Horan — “Put A Little Love On Me”
Niall Horan, another ex-member of boyband One Direction, showed his emotional side on the track “Put A Little Love On Me.” After putting forth the track “Nice To Meet Ya,” the newest single departs from Horan’s dancey music in favor of melancholy piano and earnest songwriting. The track showcases Horan’s range, from sugary pop tunes to honest ballads, and everywhere in between.
Halsey — “Finally // Beautiful Stranger”
Halsey surprised fans by dropping two singles in one day. One saw yet another collaboration with K-Pop group BTS and the other was the soaring ballad “Finally // Beautiful Stranger.” Opening with simple guitar strumming, Halsey’s deep vocals color a story about the terrifying uncertainty that comes along with falling in love with someone you barely know.
Camila Cabello — “My Oh My” Feat. DaBaby
Camila Cabello‘s highly anticipated sophomore effort Romance debuted Friday and it saw an unexpected feature with “Suge” rapper DaBaby. While the track doesn’t stray far from Cabello’s signature throaty vocal delivery and snapping backbeats, DaBaby’s verse adds a surprising complimentary verse to the catchy tune. Cabello offers another side to her good-girl image on the bumping track.
Liam Payne — “Live Forever” Feat. Cheat Codes
Despite facing backlash on social media for the voyeuristic nature of the song “Both Ways,” Liam Payne dropped his debut full-length record, LP1, and “Live Forever” was a stand-out track. The radio-ready tune features a catchy chorus and buoyant beat drops provided by LA-based electric trio Cheat Codes.
Allie X — “Love Me Wrong” Feat. Troye Sivan
As Allie X wrote in a statement, “Love Me Wrong” is her way of processing “confusion and hurt associated with love.” Allie’s haunting lyrical delivery is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” era and Troye Sivan soaring vocals craft an affecting tune.
Grace Weber — “Young Love Games”
Over a rolling beat, Grace Weber’s soft, breathy vocals shine through. The sensuous track crafts a thick, dripping soundscape with a layered production — a perfect backdrop for any late-night activities.
Oliver Tree — “Cash Machine”
Marking the first single off his forthcoming debut record Ugly Is Beautiful, “Cash Machine” showcases the fun-loving Oliver Tree’s dynamic talents. Pulling influences from alt-rock’s heyday in the ’90s, the musician adds contemporary spin with distorted vocals and a thumping electronic drum beat.
Georgia Maq — “Pleaser”
Lead singer of indie rock band Camp Cope, Georgia McDonald put forth her first solo effort, Pleaser, under the moniker Georgia Maq. The record’s title track particularly showcased McDonald’s unique departure from her main group. Crunchy synths provide a backdrop for McDonald’s honest vocals. The singer described her songwriting process in a recent interview with The Fader: “I want to create beautiful music, rather than rock music.”
Frida Sundemo — “Gazelles”
Swedish songstress/actress Frida Sundemo’s unique voice is at the forefront of her most recent track “Gazelles.” An ornate string section and crackling production lay the groundwork for the song’s powerful-yet-delicate sentiment.
Some of the artists mentioned are Warner Muisc artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidary of Warner Music Group.