The pop world flooded this week with new releases that are going to be perfect summer anthems. From Justin Bieber and Don Toliver’s trap-tinged “Honest” to Maggie Lindemann and Kellin Quinn’s angst-filled “How Could You Do This To Me,” all of these new songs reverberate with intense emotion and bass, making them ideal to blast on a road trip.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Sam Smith — “Love Me More”
Though the “Stay With Me” singer is known for ballads of love and heartbreak, Sam Smith is looking inward on this new track “Love Me More.” His heartfelt vocals are the driving force against casual beats as he grapples with insecurities and problems with self-esteem: “Have you ever felt like being somebody else? / Feeling like the mirror isn’t good for your health?” With the repetition of the phrase “love me more,” it’s clear that he’s making progress and moving into a better place.
Khalid — “Skyline”
“Young Dumb & Broke” singer Khalid is grateful in “Skyline.” Buoyed by an exuberant bassline and a catchy rhythm, this new, feel-good song is about living your best life. “It’s like I’m living my dream / Feels like we’re on LSD,” Khalid sings as he dances in a a green, open field in the music video. It drips with a sense of freedom and peace, which is very much needed right now.
Kehlani — “Everything”
Kehlani’s Blue Water Road came out this week, and this sparkling track is representative of the intimate, thoughtful nature of this album, which they described as “an emotional journey, a sexual journey, and a spiritual journey.” They also said that it’s “light, transparent, and the sun is shining right through it.” This brightness is evident on “Everything“; their voice glimmers, and violins help the song soar.
Maggie Lindemann, Kellin Quinn — “How Could You Do This To Me”
As pop punk continues to spread with Avril Lavigne, Machine Gun Kelly, and Willow all bringing it back to the mainstream, Maggie Lindemann is an underrated voice in this current scene. She teamed up with emo veteran Kellin Quinn, bandleader of Sleeping With Sirens, for this blistering, angsty anthem. The searing instrumentals resemble that of Paramore’s “Misery Business,” while the lyrics are as edgy and sharp-edged as possible: “You know I like to take control / so I’ll be leaving you out here to bleed.”
Justin Bieber, Don Toliver — “Honest”
Justin Bieber seems to be as capricious as Machine Gun Kelly, ricocheting back and forth between genres. With “Honest,” a collaboration with Don Toliver, the “Peaches” singer is flirting with a hip hop sound again, after leaning back into pop with last year’s Justice. He dons a ski mask in this new music video — Twenty One Pilots style — and he uses his words sparingly: “Honest / You’re modest / I like it,” he utters.
Holly Humberstone — “Sleep Tight”
On “Sleep Tight,” British singer Holly Humberstone’s second song that’s co-written by The 1975’s Matty Healy, she captures the feeling of longing for stability. “I wrote ‘Sleep Tight’ about the uncertainty of friendships evolving into something more,” she said about the song, which deals with fear and regret, but also hope that things will work out. Her voice is sincere and brimming with emotion, and the nostalgia reaches a high when she sings: “God knows I’ve missed this feeling.”
Ava Max — “Maybe You’re The Problem”
Ava Max returned this week with this abrasive, fed-up anthem “Maybe You’re The Problem,” about recognizing the toxicity of a relationship. “You hate my friends / Turns out they were right,” she sings with confidence and sass. It doesn’t focus on the negative, though; the track is about moving on to better things.
Max — “Gucci Bag”
This groovy, ’80s-style track from Max is both irresistible and funny. It’s a love song stepped in materialism: “I’m in my Gucci Bag / Lookin’ so damn fly / Come and kiss me babe (why) / Take me satellite high,” Max sings, his vocals high-pitched and lazy in a luxurious kind of way. It’s only a little over two minutes, wasting no time.
Zolita — “I F*cking Love You”
Zolita is over paparazzi and press on her new song “I F*cking Love You,” and she’s giving herself over completely to feeling. “What if I let it slip? Tell you that / Oh my God, I f*cking love you,” she sings in the chorus, finally letting her guard down. The music video captures her shift from worried to carefree with quite a few steamy scenes.
Lexi Jayde — “Self Sabotage”
Lexi Jayde prefaces the music video for “Self Sabotage” with a statement about the way a breakup last year made her feel as if her world was ending. “So here I am 8 months later, and I’m the best version of myself,” she writes. This song, though, encapsulates the pain that immediately follows the end of a relationship. It has the illusion of permanence and has a way of feeling inescapable: “Drowning in my panic attacks / I’m sick of suffocating in my tears,” she sings, but she holds onto her glimmer of hope that eventually sets her free.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.