This week in pop music saw a number of highly-anticipated releases. Olivia Rodrigo dropped her debut album Sour, Lil Nas X shared a more personal tune, and Lana Del Rey offered a taste of her upcoming LP.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Olivia Rodrigo — “Enough For You”
Breakout star Olivia Rodrigo released her buzzyworthy album Sour this week after her debut single “Drivers License” made her one of the biggest stars to watch in 2021. The eclectic effort boasts a number of dancey tunes, but it also features a handful of lovelorn tracks like “Enough For You.” The acoustic number allows for Rodrigo’s radical honesty and showcases her soaring vocal range as she sings of finally realizing her self-worth in a relationship.
Lil Nas X — “Sun Goes Down”
Following the release of his his hip-shaking tune “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” Lil Nas X dropped “Sun Goes Down” ahead of his SNL performance as his most vulnerable track to date. Over a rolling beat, the musician details the insecurities he faced growing up and feeling like an outsider. He sings of coping with his demons and learning that life truly does get better.
Lana Del Rey — “Blue Banisters”
Though it’s only been a few months since the last Lana Del Rey album, the singer is already gearing up for another release. Without warning, Del Rey dropped three tracks from her upcoming project this week, including the title track “Blue Banisters.” The song goes back to her singer/songwriter roots as she delivers a tender piano ballad detailing real-life scenarios (she even name drops her two dogs Tex and Mex)!
Marshmello, Jonas Brothers — “Leave Before You Love Me”
Ever since the Jonas Brothers released their 2019 album Happiness Begins, they’ve more than made a comeback. Now, they are returning for their first single of 2021 (discounting Nick Jonas’ solo effort). The summer-ready jam “Leave Before You Love Me” is a groove-driven collaboration with producer Marshmello, dropped just ahead of their performance at the Billboard Music Awards.
BTS — “Butter”
After weeks of teasing, BTS‘ new single “Butter” is finally here. Complete with a captivating hook, grand chorus, and shimmering chords, it’s sure to be their next hit. It’s also their second-ever fully English language song, which follows the massive success of their first English track “Dynamite,” so this one is sure to be equally successful.
Anne-Marie — “Our Song” Feat. Niall Horan
With “Our Song,” Anne-Marie announces her upcoming album Therapy as a follow up to her 2018 breakout Speak Your Mind, which was the UK’s biggest-selling debut release of that year. The fluttering duet details the difficulty of being constantly reminded of a past relationship, a vulnerability that Anne-Marie shares elsewhere on her upcoming album. “My lyrics are my open diary to you all and writing this album has helped me focus and understand my feelings,” she said about the LP.
Marina — “Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land”
Marina returned to share another look at her upcoming album. This time, it’s the snappy and futuristic title track “Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land,” which features buoyant synths under Marina’s hypnotic lyrical delivery. “Our ancestors had to fight to survive / Just so we could have a chance of a life / We’re not here so we can blow it all / We could bear witness to the rise and the fall,” she sings, reflecting on her place in history and how our actions impact the earth’s future.
Oneohtrix Point Never, Rosalía — “Nothing’s Special”
The last we heard from Oneohtrix Point Never, he was collaborating with The Weekend and dropping the album Magic Oneohtrix Point Never. Now, the musician has tapped Rosalía to add her vocals on his LP’s album closer “Nothing’s Special.” The reimagined track adds much dimension to the song. Rosalía’s moving vocals melt over drawn-out synths, evoking a certain melancholy as she sings of losing a friend.
Rebecca Black — “Worth It For The Feeling”
With her recent singles, Rebecca Black has been leaning into hyperpop territory. But her latest track “Worth It For The Feeling” offers a more sultry R&B tune. The song moves Black one step closer to her impeding album, which she said is going to be a reintroduction of her artistry. “This year has really been a reintroduction of not only where I’m at in my music but really everything surrounding that to create a full picture,” Black said. “It’s so fun for me to play sexy in a more unconventional and unusual way – and I want to keep challenging myself to disrupt the idea that people might have of the direction I am going in next.”
Bleachers — “Stop Making This Hurt”
Jack Antonoff has spent the last few years producing the biggest pop hits for artists from Taylor Swift to Lana Del Rey. But now, he’s reviving his band Bleachers with the effortlessly fun tune “Stop Making This Hurt.” While the song has been in Antonoff’s head for years, he said it came to light after missing playing life shows: “‘Stop Making This Hurt’ is what you get when we are not allowed to go play for our people. it’s a line that had been ringing in my head for years. i fell into a dark place after a loss and then starting to have that feeling of rage towards the depression — which is when you know there’s a way out. started looking at the people close to me in my life and finding all the ways we keep ourselves from breaking through.”
Banoffee — “Tapioca Cheeks”
With her first single of 2021, Banoffee melts heartbreak into a moody electropop tune. “Tapioca Cheeks” features skittering beats and Banoffee’s metallic-tinged vocals about a complicated relationship. “It’s about the fears that come with diving in with someone,” Banoffee said of the track. “How love can be awful as well as wonderful at the same time, because it’s just so damn scary. ‘Tapioca Cheeks’ is a dedication to someone, for them to feel loved and held even when they feel completely incapable or unlovable.”
Some of the artists mentioned here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.