Now that the new year is upon us, pop music can begin crafting the sound of a new decade. Last year’s notable releases, as chronicled by Uproxx’s The Best Pop Albums Of 2019, were varied between sultry pop like FKA Twigs’s Magdalene and a move toward electronica, such as with Toro Y Moi’s Outer Peace. But some artists have already started looking toward the future of pop. Justin Beiber rang in the new year with his first solo single in five years, Ava Max continues to gear up for a big release, and Lauv makes way for some much-needed changes in his life.
Every week, Uproxx rounds up pop music’s best new releases. Stay tuned.
Justin Bieber — “Yummy”
Justin Beiber began teasing a new era of music months ago. He promised to release new music before the end of 2019 if an Instagram post had 20 million likes. But, alas, his fans couldn’t manage the hefty number and Bieber patiently waited until the new year to debut a single. And “Yummy” was worth the wait. In the single, Bieber pulls influences from contemporary hip-hop with his punchy lyrical delivery and rolling backbeat. But not all of the track is borrowed, as the singer’s classic sound still remains intact.
Lauv — “Changes”
New year, new Lauv. The singer is shedding his old self in anticipation of much-needed changes. “I’m getting rid of all my clothes I don’t wear / I think I’m gonna cut my hair / ‘Cause these days, I don’t feel like me,” he sings as a snapping beat arrives. Short and sweet, the song is a ballad for those afraid of making alterations in their life.
Ava Max — “On Somebody”
Ava Max wrapped up her break-out year with the release of “On Somebody” and she isn’t hiding the song’s theme. “Heartbreak is a motherf*cker,” she belts in the single’s opening lyric. Just after releasing the track, the pop star rang in the new year with a live TV performance on the historic Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Hailee Steinfeld — “Wrong Direction”
Hailee Steinfeld releases a stripped-down ballad with “Wrong Direction.” Showcasing her soaring vocals, the track opens with melancholy piano chords and lovelorn lyrics. Pouring her heart out, Steinfeld sings of a lover making empty promises. The honest single even sparked rumors of her ex Niall Horan cheating before they split in 2018.
Princess Alba — “Mi Culpa”
Chilean pop singer Princess Alba’s sugary vocals set the tone for this feel-good tune. Latin-inspired snare beat colors the singer’s first single of the new year. Rising to fame in 2017, the singer has been steadily releasing music and racking up accolades along the way.
Rosalía — “A Palé (Gesaffelstein Remix)”
French DJ Gesaffelstein took on a high-production remix of Rosalía’s “A Palé.” With the remix, Gesaffelstein takes an already pumped-up track and crafts a project fit for the dance floor. Holding onto Rosalía’s mesmerizing lyrical delivery, Gesaffelstein focuses instead on a thumping and choppy backbeat, extending the original track by 30 seconds.
Some of the artists mentioned are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.