This was a stellar week for collabs and remixes. “Old Town Road” is holding strong at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber’s “Bad Guy” proves that Billy Ray Cyrus isn’t the only one who can swing a killer guest verse. Lykke Li’s “Two Nights” was one of my favorite pop songs of last year, and she enlisted Ty Dolla Sign and Skrillex for a thumping, dance-ready remix of the song. I have to admit I was a little skeptical what good would come out of an Ed Sheeran song called “South Of The Border,” but he smartly lets Camila Cabello and Cardi B steal the spotlight.
Every week, Uproxx will round out the best new pop releases of the last seven days. Listen up.
Beyonce — “Spirit”
“Spirit” is an original song from Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King, and it’s also Beyonce‘s first new music following her Netflix special Homecoming. For “Spirit,” Bey collaborated with Hans Zimmer (who did the original score for The Lion King) and South African producer and composer Lebo M. The all-star team gives the song a gorgeous instrumental texture, but Bey’s own artistry and voice take the song to new heights. “Spirit” will be eligible for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and those engravers should start getting to work right away.
Banks — “Contaminated”
Banks’ latest single, “Contaminated,” is an airy, delicate examination of toxic relationships. She wishes she could pull away, but the circle is endless — you give and give and keep giving, feeding the beast as you grow weak. “And I wish I could change it / And we’re always gonna be / Contaminated,” Banks sings over popping drums and stalking synths on the chorus. Banks’ third studio album, III, was released on Friday.