This week was a big one for the best new pop music. Not only did One Direction celebrate their 10-year anniversary, but many of today’s biggest pop stars shared new music. Taylor Swift dropped a surprise album, Maroon 5 shared a moving ballad, and J Balvin teamed up with Dua Lipa for a shimmering single.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new pop releases. Listen up.
Taylor Swift — “Cardigan”
When one of today’s biggest global artists drops a surprise album, it’s sure to make Uproxx’s best new pop list. This week Swift shocked fans with Folklore, the 16-track album where she collaborated with indie artists like Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner. In a statement, Dessner spoke about his experience working with the seasoned pop singer: “She is one of the most talented, hardworking, and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love as much as I do.”
Maroon 5 — “Nobody’s Love”
Even though Maroon 5 has been releasing music for nearly 20 years, they still know how to perfect a pop song. The group shared “Nobody’s Love” this week, and it marks their first new release of the year. Vocalist Adam Levine used the song’s video to make a statement and draw attention to how the enforcement of cannabis laws disproportionately falls on people of color.
J Balvin — “Un Día (One Day)” Feat. Dua Lipa and Tainy
Both J Balvin and Dua Lipa released albums at the onset of the pandemic lockdown, but that doesn’t stop them from releasing even more music. This week, Balvin teamed up with the Grammy Award-winning pop star for “Un Día,” as a pulsing and lovelorn ballad. “I hope this song transports you to an island somewhere…,” Lipa wrote alongside the track’s release. “Even if only for a moment.”
Loren Gray — “Alone”
Breakout star Loren Gray continues to make a name for herself in the world of pop with “Alone.” Following her bubblegum pop single “Cake,” Gray gets introspective with the new but equally buoyant number. “‘Alone’ is the first love song I’ve ever written,” Gray said in a statement. “I’m so happy it’s out in the world and I hope my fans aka my angels love ‘Alone’ as much as I do.”
Pia Mia — “Hot”
Pia Mia has been making music since she was a teenager and her hard work has paid off. The 23-year-old has collaborated with major musicians like YG and Tyga, and is approaching an impressive one billion streams as an artist. Now the singer shares the new anthem “Hot” in time for the warmest days of summer. Breezy chords open the track before Mia’s sugar-sweet vocals arrive in the hook, detailing the intoxicating nature of a budding relationship. “Wait I get a high trippin on your love / That’s why I need it daily,” she sings.
Noah Cyrus — “Dunno”
Noah Cyrus is making a name for herself separate from her infamous family with her new music. The singer quietly released her debut album The End Of Everything earlier this year and continues to show-off her soulful style with a Mac Miller cover. “Mac was such a beautiful and respected artist, and his loss was felt around the world,” Cyrus said about the cover. “His legacy lives on through his incredible music. I’m so proud to cover his record ‘Dunno’ and support the Mac Miller Fund in his honor.”
Kylie Minogue — “Say Something”
Known affectionately as the “Princess of Pop,” Australia’s Kylie Minogue is the country’s highest-selling female artist and has an impressive 14 albums in her catalog. Now, the singer is ushering in a new era with “Say Something,” which she recorded with longtime-producer Biff Stannard, who is known for co-writing the Spice Girls hit “Wannabe.”
Charlotte Lawrence — “Slow Motion”
20-year-old singer Charlotte Lawrence continues to craft brooding pop hits with her new single. “In my heart, I’m a person who leans towards sad songs,” she told NME about the song. “That’s the music I’m obsessed with, but I’m also someone who loves to dance and to be able to move to a song. I’m always split between the two. I wrote this song on the piano and wanted to keep that sad feeling attached, but also to be able to smile and move to it.”
Little Mix — “Holiday”
Girl group Little Mix got their start in the same way as One Direction. The four singers formed in the eighth season of The X Factor and have stayed active ever since. “Holiday” marks the second single of the group’s still-untitled sixth album and boasts everything you need in a pop song: Valient vocals, lighthearted lyrics, and a bouncy beat drop timed perfectly at the chorus.
Jeremy Zucker — “Supercuts”
When Jeremy Zucker left his New Jersey hometown to got to college in Colorado, he had big plans for his career. Before he even finished the four-year program, the singer had already signed a major label record deal with Republic Records. Following a handful of singles and EPs, Zucker shares “Supercuts,” the feel-good single which he noted is about “the fear of being complacent and ending up where you started, which for me was a small town in the suburbs of New Jersey.”
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.