This week in pop music saw the release of illustrious collaborations and upbeat singles. Charli XCX released her highly anticipated album, Charli, Halsey showed her array of talents as an artist, and Major Lazer teamed up with Latin pop stars.
Charli XCX — “Silver Cross
After steadily releasing singles, Charli XCX‘s highly anticipated Charli is finally here. “Silver Cross” is one of the few tracks that doesn’t see a feature, but it gives Charli an opportunity to show off her raw talent. The pounding track lives up to the pop star’s vivacious reputation with airy synths and distorted, metallic vocals.
Halsey — “Graveyard”
Halsey showed off her multitude of talents by debuting “Graveyard” during a timelapse of her painting a large-scale self-portrait. In the powerful track, Halsey opts to have her voice at the forefront as she sings about toxic love. An acoustic guitar accompanies Halsey’s syrupy cadence before the full, clapping beat arrives at the chorus.
Kero Kero Bonito — “When the Fire Comes”
A breezy pan flute and bright keyboard colors Kero Kero Bonito‘s new single. Uncharacteristically slow, the song lends itself as a platform for frontperson Sarah Midori Perry to paint a foreboding picture of a world afflicted by climate change.
Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, and Miley Cyrus — “Don’t Call Me Angel”
Three of pop music’s most distinguished musicians come together for an ethereal and empowering anthem slated to appear in the upcoming reboot of Charlie’s Angels. The three pop icons each carve out space in the thumping beat to make a lyrical statement. Miley Cyrus demands respect, Ariana Grande reinforces her worth, and Lana Del Rey introduces another side to her complex image.
FKA Twigs — “Holy Terrain” Feat. Future
FKA Twigs returns after three years of silence with an unexpected collaboration with rapper Future. A quick, tapping beat introduces the song’s rhythm, which cuts out to allow FKA Twigs’ moody voice to stand alone. The singer refines her breathy vibrato with a large vocal range while Future’s verse provides a refreshing tempo change.
Charlie Pluth — “Mother”
“Mother” is an anthem for rowdy teenage antics—sneaking out, trespassing in a neighbor’s pool, and causing a ruckus. A deep, rolling beat washes out under Charlie Pluth’s bright musings. Over the beat, Pluth opts for simple instrumentation in the new single by letting his voice shine as the only melody.
Major Lazer — “Que Calor” Feat. J Balvin and El Alfa
A distorted pan flute melody layers over a brisk, clapping beat on Major Lazer’s collaboration with Latin pop stars J Balvin and El Alfa. Major Lazer maintains a love for unconventional sound effects on this high-energy single fit for a club.
Dana Williams — “Do No Harm (Acoustic)”
Dana Williams strips down her single “Do No Harm” to a simple guitar paired with her resounding voice. Williams’ delicate, raw melodies are enough to captivate listeners alone. The acoustic version of “Do No Harm” melts dreamy vocals over smooth guitar chords, crafting an elegant tune and cementing Williams as an artist to watch.
Cautious Clay — “Erase”
Over a smooth beat, Clay gets candid about his generation’s reliance on technology while longing for the ability to remove embarrassing and seemingly immortal photos on social media. Clay is a classically trained jazz musician but chooses to forgo brass instruments in favor of an electronic bass and snare drum.
Julia Michaels — “If You Need Me”
Singer/songwriter Julia Michaels drew inspiration from survivors of grief on her latest single. Strumming along with a tambourine and piano, Michales speaks to the pain that comes from unexpected loss on her emotionally driving track.
Some of the musicians mentioned are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.