Pop

All The Best Overlooked Pop Albums From Summer 2019

WIth two of the biggest pop stars in the world releasing career-defining albums at the end of summer 2019, sometimes it felt like all eyes were on Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. Those two deserved every bit of the spotlight — and all the praise that came after — but a big pop album double-header like that meant that a lot of smaller artists in the realm of pop didn’t necessarily get the shine their work warranted.

Here’s a collection of a few artists who released albums over the last few months that might be less well-known than Lana and Taylor, but are just as great at making the kind of pop music that will chase out the last rays of summer, or perk up any gloomy fall day.

Yuna — Rouge

Release Date: 7/12
On her fourth full-length album, Yuna embraces her role as an international pop star by working with a slew of other artists from all different backgrounds. Enlisting the likes of Tyler The Creator, G-Eazy, Kyle, Little Simz, Jay Park, Masego, and Miyavi to guest on Rouge, she maintains her role at the center of it all, flitting from tender to fierce to loved-up across the space of eleven tracks. She also addresses her Muslim heritage and the pressures of social media on “Likes,” speaking freely about being misunderstood, and staying true to herself regardless. Rouge is a sexy, confident, and unbridled album from an artist who keeps coming into her own more and more with each release.

Mabel — High Expectations

Release Date: 8/2
Though it’s sometimes more difficult for British pop stars to cross over in America, Mabel is busting out of the UK on her debut album High Expectations. Ariana said “God Is A Woman,” but Mabel is sure “God Is A Dancer,” and over twenty-plus tracks she makes as many similar, interesting assertions with lots of dance-y production and her own powerhouse voice to back her ideas up.

Shura — Forevher

Release Date: 8/16
On one of the most criminally overlooked records of 2019, Shura makes assertions about her sexuality, the nature of love, and the affinity of the divine that ring truer than most religious texts. On Forevher, she set out to create a queer love text that superseded sexual and romantic binaries, and on this synthy, dreamy ode to long-distance love, she’s succeeded a million times over.

G Flip — About Us

Release Date: 8/30
On the indie side of things, G Flip ponders the familiar struggles of life, love, and independence across ten incredibly catchy tracks. The Australian songwriter, producer, drummer, and singer/songwriter has taken the world by storm, racking up plenty of plays on her native Triple J radio, and becoming a crossover pop act who is destined for huge stages all over the world.

Sheryl Crow — Threads

Release Date: 8/30
Crow has teased Threads as a potential last project, given the sheer force of the talent she’s assembled for the collaborative record. Not-so-subtly teasing it beginning last year with the St. Vincent collab, “Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You,” and going on to enlist the likes of Stevie Nicks, Jason Isbell, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and more, Threads pulls together all the influences Crow has ever channeled, and funnels them back into a record full of the strongest original material she’s ever made. With songwriting this strong, she must have another album up her sleeve.

Mahalia — Love And Compromise

Release Date: 9/6
Thanks to trailblazing R&B artists like SZA, Khalid, and Lizzo, the contemporary landscape couldn’t be more ready for a brazen, bristling diva like Mahalia. She’s emotional, she’s high-energy, and she’s blunt — all qualities that have proven to be exceedingly popular in the most recent era of this genre. Between “I Wish I Missed My Ex” and her Burna Boy collab “Simmer,” her unbridled style has become of 2019 pop’s DNA.

The Highwomen — The Highwomen

Release Date: 9/6
While this album is decidedly country, it’s coming from artists in the genre who are so high-profile, they almost defy the baby-in-a-corner feel that many country artists must face. Between Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, and Natalie Hemby, The Highwomen aren’t just redesigning women, they’re redesigning the way the fairer sex are seen in the music industry — whether that’s in country… or in pop.

Bat For Lashes — Lost Girls

Release Date: 9/6
In the early 2000s, it was impossible to miss a release from the wildly talented Natasha Khan. But things change, fashions shift, and as women age, they are overlooked by popular culture through not fault of their own. Lost Girls is probably the best thing Khan has ever done, but it was released with little fanfare in early September, and is still waiting for a cult fanbase to discover it. Go on, go against the grain, and find yourself a new favorite artist today.

Melanie Martinez — K-12

Release Date: 9/6
By carefully retelling the constructs of primary school and junior high, Melanie Martinez has reimagined the elements of childhood socialization in a series of unflinching, insanely catchy pop songs. They might not have happy endings, but these songs are sure as hell cathartic. Even if you survived high school without serious trauma, there’s enough common ground here to be relatable to anyone.

Tove Lo — Sunshine Kitty

Release Date: 9/20
Even if you haven’t been keeping up with the off-the-wall pop of Swedish hitmaker Tove Lo, you’ve probably heard her latest hit “Glad He’s Gone” tearing up the streaming services. With over 24 million streams on Spotify, this bonafide hit kicks off another extremely solid of catchy, emotional, and accessible songs from one of pop’s still-blooming forces.

Some of these artists are Warner Music Group artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

×