This week in the best new pop music saw some laid-back releases. Tate McRae teamed up with Khalid for a snappy track, Leon Bridges announced his upcoming project with an earnest tune, and HER dropped an anticipated LP to showcase her powerful songwriting.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop music. Listen up.
Tate McRae, Khalid — “Working”
After serving up some mega-hit singles, rising songwriter Tate McRae teamed up with multi-platinum tastemaker Khalid for the bouncy collaboration “Working.” The track is their entry for 2021’s Song Of The Summer, featuring emboldened lyrics about cutting ties with a past flame. “I usually release a lot of songs that are pretty emotional but this one is just a straight summer bop,” McRae said about the single. “We had such a fun time creating this song.”
Leon Bridges — “Why Don’t You Touch Me”
Three years after the release of his previous album, Leon Bridges returned this week to announce his upcoming LP Gold-Diggers Sound with the soulful single “Why Don’t You Touch Me.” The slow-burning tune is a way for the Texas crooner to flex his emotive songwriting as he woefully sings of second-guessing himself in a relationship. About the forthcoming album as a whole, Bridges noted that the songwriting process also occasionally featured some overthinking. “With immense joy, greater purpose, and sometimes doubt, I labored over these eleven songs, but the record truly came together when I immersed myself in everything,” he said.
HER — “My Own”
HER released her highly-anticipated 21-track album Back Of My Mind this week, which saw features from the likes of Lil Baby and Ty Dolla Sign. But the effort also showcases her powerful solo songwriting on songs like her single “My Own.” The tune is accompanied by a loungy beat as HER gently delivers thoughtful lyrics detailing the difficulty of getting over a relationship while also acknowledging the self-growth that is born out of the pain.
Seventeen — “Ready To Love”
Prolific K-Pop group Seventeen dropped the EP Your Choice this week. The group had been teasing the release with a series of short previews, and fans were so excited that the project sold over a million copies in just a few days. The EP’s focus track “Ready To Love” encompasses the 13-member group’s vibrant sound. It features a thumping beat, catchy chorus, and feel-good lyrics about the euphoria of new love.
Griff — “Shade Of Yellow”
After earning the coveted Rising Artist award at the 2021 BRITs, buzzing UK artist Griff dropped her almost entirely self-produced project One Foot In Front Of The Other this week. The seven-track effort is a strong debut mixtape that offers listeners a taste of her cutting-edge sound. It features the snappy tune “Shade Of Yellow,” which stands as an electrifying ode to finding comfort in difficult times.
Kyd The Band — “Real Problems”
As heard on his EP’s opener “Real Problems,” Kyd The Band leaned more into his honest songwriting with his fourth EP Season 4: Series Finale. The poignant tune is the musician’s way of coming to terms with his past history of addiction as it details the importance of asking for help. “When you’re in the middle of those things it’s the last thing you ever think you’re feeling suffocated by it all you can’t see outside of it,” Kyd The Band said about the heavy themes on the song. “Being on the other side realizing there is another side, I’ve learned that asking for help is huge, that overdose probably wouldn’t happen if I did.”
Clara Mae — “Not Sad Anymore”
Swedish singer/songwriter Clara Mae makes pop music that packs a punch, and her latest track “Not Sad Anymore” exemplifies her buoyant-yet-biting sound. Over soulful keys, Mae leans on her soaring vocals to deliver a thoughtful tune about moving on. “I think that most people who have been through a tough breakup know the feeling of how everything feels hopeless, how everything in life has lost meaning and you think that you will never be able to laugh again,” she said of the track. “Then suddenly it turns, life begins to come back to normal.”
Polo & Pan — “Les Jolies Choses”
French dance duo Polo & Pan shared the opulent and breezy single “Les Joiles Choses” this week ahead of their upcoming release Cyclorama. The song, which leans on whimsical percussion and jaunty vocals, is “a nostalgic postcard of the French way of life and love” according to the group.
Jayli Wolf — “Would You Die?
With her debut EP Wild Whisper, Indigenous Canadian artist Jayli Wolf draws inspiration from leaving her Jehovah’s Witnesses faith and shedding traumatic experiences. Her breathy track “Would You Die?” represents her knack for emotive songwriting as she sings of shifting her perspective on love. “I wrote ‘Would You Die?’ after feeling true unconditional love for the first time; after that, I learned that conditions and boundaries are very different,” the singer noted about the track.
Bailey Baum — “Bad For Me”
Rising indie-pop songwriter Bailey Baum gave fans another look at her upcoming debut EP Over It with the addictive track “Bad For Me.” The sparkling tune is Baum’s version of a breakup anthem, featuring atmospheric synths and crisp percussion alongside earnest lyrics about putting herself first.
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.