It’s only been a few weeks into the new year and it’s already looking like 2020 will be The Year Of Pop. Halsey finally released her highly-anticipated record which deals with themes of mental health, K-pop supergroup BTS debuted the lead single from their next LP, and the Jonas Brothers made a splash with their new single.
Every week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Hayley Kiyoko — “She”
Though she just postponed her sophomore release, Hayley Kiyoko‘s singles prove her ear for pop hits, and “She” is no different. A blown-out bassline compliments Kiyoko’s soaring vocals on the coming-of-age track. Along with the single’s release, Kiyoko spoke to its emotional meaning. “All my insecurities are the reason why I became me,” she said in an IG TV video. “So, I want to encourage you all to keep going, keep pushing, keep moving, just keep moving forward.”
BTS — “Black Swan”
K-pop supergroup BTS announced the album Map Of The Soul: 7 with the lead single “Black Swan.” The single diverts from the group’s previously-released electronic-pop. “Black Swan” opts for a more stripped-down sound, with violin making up the majority of the song’s instrumentals accompanied by BTS’ dynamic harmonies.
Halsey — “3 AM”
After months of teasing, Halsey finally released her record Manic. While much of the record is touched with Halsey’s poignant vocals and powerful pop numbers, “3 AM” stands out. The track pulls on pop-punk influences, with grungy guitar and an explosive chorus. With the defiant track, one can tell Halsey really came into her own as a musician on Manic. The song has everything; interesting intrumental arrangements, a powerful message, and even a recorded voicemail from John Mayer.
Jonas Brothers — “What A Man Gotta Do”
The Jonas Brothers made their comeback in 2019 but in 2020? They’re looking for world domination. And “What A Man Gotta Do” brings the brothers one step closer to that goal. The quick-tempo rhythm of the song lends itself to joyous dance routines, like those exhibited in the accompanying video.
Chelsea Cutler — “Sad Tonight”
Chelsea Cutler’s 16-track debut full-length album How To Be Human dropped this week, and with it came the irresistible “Sad Tonight.” Along with the album, Cutler is just about to embark on an expansive North American tour, which will include a stop at this year’s Coachella.
Alec Benjamin — “Demons”
Alec Benjamin’s “Demons” showcases the singer’s refreshingly vulnerable songwriting. The first single from his forthcoming debut album, “Demons” is “about the one person in your life you know will always support you without asking any questions,” according to Benjamin. Just after the release of his debut record, Benjamin will continue making a name for himself by performing at Coachella.
Chloe Lilac — “Here’s Your Song”
Chloe Lilac is making way for her place in pop music. Her tender and fun-loving recent singles show the young singer’s promising talent. But “Here’s Your Song” shows another side of Lilac — one that’s more introspective. In a statement, Lilac said the song is one of the most important that she’s put out to date. “It’s about feeling used by a friend I used to have and how painful that was for me,” she said.
Charlotte Lawrence — “Jokes On You”
Off the upcoming DC movie Birds Of Prey, Charlotte Lawrence’s “Jokes On You” is expansive enough to fill a theater. The track pivots slightly from Lawrence’s previously-released driving singles by including a heavy drop at the chorus. Inspired by the manic nature of Birds Of Prey centerpoint Harley Quinn, “Jokes On You” is an iconic revenge anthem.
Soko — “Being Sad Is Not A Crime”
The lead single from her first-released album in five years, Feel Feelings, “Being Sad Is Not A Crime” was worth the wait. While the French singer took a break from music for a few years, she was still busy acting in four movies and having a child. Soko’s captivating vocals melt over the song’s dynamic and shimmering instrumentals.
Niia — “Obsession”
After taking time to pursue her musical passions in LA, Niia is just about ready to release her forthcoming record to the world. But she’s giving fans a taste of the album first and “Obsession” is the latest single. The track itself boasts a lounge-inspired backbeat, which likely came from her start as a jazz singer, with slight lyrical nods to Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed.”
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.