Looking for some motivation to help power you through the start of another work week? We feel you, and with some stellar new pop tunes, we’ve got you covered.
These 10 tracks from artists including Arlo Parks, Portugal. The Man, Jutes and more will get you energized to take on the week. Pop any of these gems into your personal playlists — or scroll to the end of the post for a custom playlist of all 10.
Arlo Parks, “Impurities”
Arlo Parks’ 2021 album Collapsed in Sunbeams was one of the strongest, most promising debut albums in recent memory, and based on what we’ve heard so far from follow-up My Soft Machine (out May 26), it sounds like the British singer-songwriter may soon have a classic on her hands. “Impurities” finds the retro soul vibes of Collapsed taking a backseat to blissed out ambient rock, with Parks’ voice occupying a satisfying middle ground between childlike sweetness and a sort of all-knowing assurance. – JOE LYNCH
Baltimore-based artist Dijon taps into the creakier regions of his voice and the chunkier tunings on a guitar for “Coogie,” an idiosyncratic slice of alt-R&B. According to Dijon, it was recorded in the woods and “is out because it lived on a phone and wanted out.” Fair enough – who can argue with the wants and needs of a song? – J. Lynch
Mimi Webb, “Amelia”
The tender closing track to Mimi Webb’s self-titled debut album of the same name (Amelia) is a letter to her younger self: “Your mistakes, heartbreaks, only make you stronger anyway / And when you’re older, you’ll see life will pass you by, so just enjoy the ride… Everything is gonna be just fine.” For an album that’s made for introverts and extroverts alike, “Amelia” finds middle ground with its introspective lyrics that can be belted out loud. – LYNDSEY HAVENS
Portugal. The Man, “Dummy”
Released as the lead single off the alt-rock outfit’s forthcoming album Chris Black Changed My Life, “Dummy” is a slow groove built around a hypnotic, counting chorus (“One two three four/Everybody get on the dance floor/Five six seven eight/Its four am and I am wide awake”). Moving away from the pop appeal of the crossover smash “Feel It Still,” here the band is embracing its original method: follow a vibe down a rabbit hole. It pays off. – L.H.
binki, “Hotel Window”
DIY artist binki’s “Hotel Window’ is a gritty, surging track that mantains a similar momentum to a theme park ride. It starts off steady, but from the chorus to the verse and beyond the song seems to subtly pick up the pace. At just barely over two-minutes, it’s the type of song one wouldn’t hardly notice — or mind — if it played on loop. Much like a parkgoer wanting to ride again and again. – L.H.
Allie Kelly, “Gunshy”
Little is publicly known of newcomer Allie Kelly, but her rock-pop “Gunshy” is an intriguing enough entry point. Equal parts pointed (like the declarative chorus and confident riffs) and soft (like the hushed self-harmonies and whispered bridge), Kelly is an artist unafraid to embrace — and explore — life’s ups and downs in her music. – L.H.
Leland feat. MUNA, “Bad at Letting Go”
“Bad at Letting Go” sports some charming synth-pop production and a snappy tempo, but when you’re dealing with songwriters as impressive as Leland and MUNA, you’d expect the lyricism to serve as a highlight — and this collaboration does not disappoint. “Dancing in the bar, the boys have all turned to shapes / Cursing in the dark, and no one heard anything,” Leland sings on the chorus, providing late-night decisions with provocative imagery and a sense of urgency. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Victoria Anthony, “Can’t Hold Back”
Victoria Anthony’s sophomore album, New Disaster, will be released on May 12 — the same day as the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter’s high school graduation — and new single “Can’t Hold Back” contains all of the ferocity of a teenage rebel yell. Anthony adopts the pop-punk production smoothly here, singing about catching feelings as the guitar line bares its teeth leading into a howl of a hook. – J. Lipshutz
Jutes feat. Royal & the Serpent, “Punkstar”
With a title like “Punkstar,” Jutes’ latest single aims high as a new-school pop-punk anthem, and carries the magnetism to sell its concept. Jutes sounds compelling whether he’s crooning the hook or fuzzing out his voice in the verses, and when Royal & the Serpent crashes into view, “Punkstar” multiplies its appeal. – J. Lipshutz
Cafuné — the duo of Sedona Schat and Noah Yoo — continues to delve into the shift in sound explored in its 2021 viral smash, “Tek It.” Schat’s lush vocals float over contemplative, full bodied guitar instrumentation and drum work that, at times, ever so slightly hints at early 2000s emo and drum and bass, as she sings of losing the connective thread once had with an acquaintance: “I saw your face fall/ Through the hours of daylight left/ Now we’re running out of time/ I think I’m losing perspective.” – STARR BOWENBANK
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