This week in the best new pop music saw some anticipated releases. Normani teamed up with Cardi B for a career-defining single, Conan Gray fired off a lovelorn tune, and Shakira ushered in a new era of music with a hip-shaking track.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop music. Listen up.
Normani, Cardi B — “Wild Side”
Following her internet-breaking track “Motivation,” Normani took a hiatus to focus on her craft. The nearly two-year wait clearly paid off with her new Cardi B collaboration “Wild Side.” The bass-driven track features a skittering beat commanded by Normani’s heart-tugging vocals. Cardi’s verse arrives partway through the track, offering a raunchy contrast to Normani’s fluttering voice.
Shakira — “Don’t Wait Up”
After vaguely teasing a new project last week, Shakira is an impatient lover in her “Don’t Wait Up” single. The rhythmic track is the singer’s song of the summer entry, combining a hip-shaking beat drop at the chorus with Shakira’s recognizably textured vocals.
Conan Gray — “People Watching”
Conan Gray rose to prominence with his relatable reflections on romance. But with his new, vulnerable track “People Watching,” Gray admits he’s never really been in love. The fluttering single details the feelings that arise when Gray witnesses cutesy couples. He’s happy for them, but can’t help feel a twinge of jealousy. “I’ve never dated anyone in my entire life, so I’ve spent so many years of my life watching perfect couples sit in cafes and share coffee, whispering sweet nothings to each other,” he said about the song. “I can’t help but fantasize about what it must be like to feel that emotion.”
Caroline Polachek — “Bunny Is A Rider”
Former Chairlift founder Caroline Polachek pivoted to a solo career with her 2019 LP Pang. Now teasing the possibility of a sophomore release, Polachek returns with the irresistible alt-pop number “Bunny Is A Rider.” In a statement about the single, Polachek said it’s her version of a summer jam. “‘Bunny Is A Rider’ is a summer jam about being unavailable,” she says. “Bunny is slippery, impossible to get a hold of. Maybe it’s a fantasy, maybe it’s a bad attitude. But anyone can be bunny, at least for three minutes and seventeen seconds.”
Chvrches — “Good Girls”
Continuing the rollout of their album Screen Violence, Chvrches returned this week with the kiss-off track “Good Girls.” Over sizzling synths, vocalist Laura Mayberry’s unassuming vocals sing of destroying harmful double standards. “Women have to constantly justify their right to exist and negotiate for their own space,” Mayberry said about her inspiration behind the single. “We’re told that Bad Things don’t happen to Good Girls. That if you curate yourself to fit the ideal — keep yourself small and safe and acceptable — you will be alright, and it’s just not f*cking true.”
Tones And I — “Just A Mess”
Tones And I has come a long way since the release of her smash-hit “Dance Monkey,” which reach No. 1 in several countries. This week, the Australian singer dropped magnetic 14-track debut LP Welcome To The Madhouse. Songs like “Just A Mess” show off the singer’s more vulnerable side. The cascading tune features honest lyrics about pickup up the pieces following painful heartbreak.
Haim — “Cherry Flavored Stomach Ache”
It’s been just over a year since the Haim sisters released Women In Music Pt. III, their strongest effort yet. They’ve been steadily dropping remixes of tracks from the album, but this week, Haim shared the brand-new song “Cherry Flavored Stomach Ache.” The jaunty tune was originally written for the soundtrack for the upcoming Shailene Woodley-starring film, The Last Letter From Your Lover, which is set to be released on Netflix later this month.
Alessia Cara — “Sweet Dream”
Following up on her Not Another Love Song EP, Alessia Cara continues to stun with her new singles. Her latest, “Sweet Dream,” is a saccharine and snappy tune. Over a wonky beat, Cara sings a whimsical tune about coping with racing late-night thoughts.
Chet Faker — “It’s Not You”
Chet Faker, moniker of songwriter Nick Murphy, dropped his anticipated Hotel Surrender album this week. His track “It’s Not You” exemplifies the album’s groove-driven sound, drawing on funky instrumentals and Murphy’s soaring vocals for comforting tune. “The great lesson for me was that I could write from a place of joy,” Murphy said of the release. “I was also just being kind to myself. None of this music was hurting, it just felt good. It made me feel better, and it helped me be better.
Anne-Marie — “Beautiful”
Offering another taste of her upcoming album Therapy, Anne-Marie shared the carefree track “Beautiful.” The joyful pop song was co-written by Ed Sheeran and Max Martin and speaks to the importance of shirking harmful societal standards and instead finding beauty within.
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.