This week’s best new pop music saw so many releases that it was almost difficult to choose just ten to award Uproxx’s best new pop stamp of approval. Katy Perry returned with a joyful single off her upcoming record, James Blake releases his second song of the year, and Dominic Fike unveiled more details surrounding his highly-anticipated debut record.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop music. Listen up.
Katy Perry — “Smile”
With a big-name artist like Katy Perry releasing the brand-new single “Smile,” its sure to make Uproxx’s best new pop list. The singer is an ode to remembering life’s joys and Perry said she drew from past experiences for inspiration on the single: “I wrote this song when I was coming through one of the darkest periods of my life. When I listen to it now, it’s a great reminder that I made it through. It’s three minutes of energizing hopefulness.”
James Blake — “Are You Even Real?”
James Blake shares his second single of the year with the sublime number “Are You Even Real?” With the track, Blake continues expanding on his experimental electro-pop sound. Beginning slow, Blake evokes a dreamlike state with cascading keys and enveloping harmonies before a leisurely beat compliments the singer’s crooning vocals.
Dominic Fike — “Politics & Violence”
With “Politics & Violence,” Dominic Fike unveiled his debut album’s tracklist and release date. Staying true to his signature style, Fike opens the track with emotive strings and gently croons the chorus before delivering his sultry lyrics over a pounding beat.
Blackbear — “Queen Of Broken Hearts”
Following a collaboration with Ellie Goulding, Blackbear returns with a new single and the announcement of his forthcoming record, Everything Means Nothings. “‘Queen Of Broken Hearts’ is a song that recognizes social media as an evil villain — while looking introspectively at the bright light on my cell phone and the validation addiction,” Blackbear said in a statement. “As well as bringing my other bad habits in relationships & character defects into the light, I am social media and I will break your heart.”
Kaytranada — “Look Easy” Feat. Lucky Daye
Back in March, Kaytranada shared a handful of untitled tracks for an exclusive online DJ set. The songs were the first new music the Canadian producer shared but now Kaytranda is back with an official release. Tapping Lucky Daye, “Look Easy” is a breezy, feel-good track designed to uplift during these trying times.
Faouzia — “How It All Works”
After scoring a high-profile feature on the star-studded soundtrack to SCOOB!, Faouzia offers another glimpse of her intimate songwriting. “’How It All Works Out’ is one of my favourite songs that I’ve ever written,” Faouzia said in a statement. “I wrote this song on my first trip to Sweden and it holds a really special place in my heart. With everything going on in the world right now, I expect this song to have a different meaning for everyone.”
Bazzi — “I Don’t Think I’m Okay”
After his latest heartfelt single, Bazzi takes an introspective turn with “I Don’t Think I’m Okay.” Speaking about struggling with mental health, Bazzi said: “I made this song 8 months ago in a cabin in Big Bear, California. At the time I was going through the lowest yet most introspective time of my life. To be honest, I’m still feeling all the pain I felt back then. I’m still trying to defeat the same addictions & still battling the same demons… I’m not just trying to learn to direct that energy to different places, instead of allowing it to paralyze me emotionally.”
Deryk — “Call You Out”
New Zealand-based songwriter Deryk makes her musical debut with the earworm “Call You Out.” On the song, Deryk says, “‘Call You Out’ is about the feeling you get when you’ve missed an opportunity to say something you felt you should have said or could have been said if you’d been quick enough. […] There’s a shame and frustration that comes with not standing up for yourself or somebody else when you could have but you just froze, lost for words. You end up brewing for a few days, plotting, questioning whether to call them out, and that exact fury is what inspired the song.”
James Bay — “Chew On My Heart”
Three-time Grammy-nominated singer James Bay makes a splash with his first new single of the year. In a statement, Bay spoke the positive nature of the track: “‘Chew On My Heart’ is a great example of releasing something positive about myself publicly for the first time. It’s an outpouring of love, and that’s a huge theme across this new music. When I come home from tour, I burst through the door and throw my arms around my girl, and she’ll just say, ‘Okay, relax, cool.’ It’s cheesy, but I wrote it from that perspective. It’s the opposite of being guarded.”
Zachary Knowles — “City”
Budding artist Zachary Knowles dives into his feelings on “City.” A reflection of the difficulties of a long-distance relationship, “City” marks a strong effort from the artist, who is the latest signee of the Fader label.
Some of the artists mentioned here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.