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 Rita Ora, Stephen Sanchez, Quinnie 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.
Stephen Sanchez, “Evangaline”
Rising singer-songwriter Stephen Sanchez had a breakout hit with “Until I Found You,” which introduced the world to his warm and vintage tone. “Evangaline” continues down that path, sounding entirely timeless as Sanchez croons over Evangaline — there’s even a crackle of a record to close out the track, further cementing the idea that Sanchez holds a bit of the past, present and future. — Lyndsey Havens
Alt-pop artist Samia paints a specific picture for a specific crowd (New York-based indie music fans) on “Honey,” singing: “Do you wanna go to Baby’s? / It’s been a long week and I don’t want to think / and Porches is playing.” Even more engaging is the end, when Samia repeats the refrain “it’s all honey” over and over again — as if willing everything around her to be just as sweet, and asserting she won’t have it any other way. — L.H.
Elle King, “Lucky”
Rock-country-pop star Elle King recently released her latest album Come Get Your Wife, which includes a particularly touching song inspired by her son, Lucky Levi. “Lucky” details the various lows in King’s life — “I’ve been a runner / I’ve been a fighter … It’s a bad reputation, but it’s damn well earned,” she sings — setting the scene for her to admit she got to where she is today but sheer luck. The catchy track is made even better with Lucky’s giggles, which wisely appear at the end — pretty hard to top that. — L.H.
Riovaz, “u neva”
It’s not the music Riovaz makes that shows his age, but rather that fact that the music can hardly fit into any one box. Seemingly inspired by hip-hop, alterantive, dance and pop, the teenage newcomer is not only eager to explore it all, but on tracks like “u neva” he’s proving he can deliver it all, too. – L.H.
Introduced by melodic-sounding footsteps and quick-picking instrumentation, “Flounder” instantly creates some creative tension — an unexpected stage-setter for Quinnie’s delicate vocals. The single shows a slightly edgier side to the rising artist — compared to hits like “Man” and “Touch Tank” — and sets her up for an exciting year ahead. — L.H.
Rita Ora, “You Only Love Me”
At this point in her career, Rita Ora is an expert in the type of sleekly designed, electro-tinged pop on display in “You Only Love Me,” a finely crafted ode to complicated romance. Listen to the internal rhyme of “Whiskey’s! Pouring! Four in! The morning!” in the chorus, or the supportive harmonies of the verses, or the strobe-light shimmer of the post-chorus breakdown — Ora makes all of these sumptuous details sound effortless, and serves up another sturdy addition to your pop playlist. – Jason Lipshutz
UK-born, NYC-based singer-songwriter Jessika strikes a tropical pose on “Her,” which basks in the dejected feelings of seeing a former flame be the one to move on first. Over relatively sparse production, Jessika lets her vocal tone tell the story — at moments she sounds like she’s about to crawl back into bed, and others like she’s ready to huff, puff and blow her ex’s whole house down — and turns “Her” into a striking introduction. – J. Lipshutz
Jordy, “Story of a Boy”
Even if Nine Days’ pop-rock confection “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” didn’t soundtrack countless radio sing-alongs in your teen years, Jordy’s “Story of a Boy,” which cleverly interpolates the 2000 single, is a welcome retrieval of a bulletproof melody. Jordy turns the hook into a snapshot of flustered male infatuation — “In short, this song is what I needed as a kid,” the singer-songwriter says in a statement — and gives us a sunny, effective queer anthem in the process. – J. Lipshutz
Percolating with the incisive wit of Lily Allen and the lo-fi melodicism of C86, buzzing British artist SOFY delivers a delectable pop treat in the form of new EP Bored In Colour (Pt. 2). Highlight “L-Plates” is a self-deprecating account of struggling to put down the phone and “get out of bed” that shimmers with wee-oooh synths and effortless songcraft. – Joe Lynch
Cassie Marin “ptsd”
Of her first offering of 2023, Los Angeles-based artist Cassie Marin said new track “ptsd” was written “to remind us that we are not wandering through this alone,” a sentiment captured by the electropop track’s foreboding, borderline scientific production. Throughout, Marin uses her voice as an instrument, guiding the listener through vast instrumentals as she ponders if she’s real, or just a product of a simulation suspended in time. Elements of breakcore and autotune provide a welcome twist to the track’s conclusion. – Starr Bowenbank
MUMBAI — Drawing more than 60,000 music fans over two days, with 40 artists performing on four stages spread across 50 acres, the inaugural edition of Lollapalooza India this weekend conquered the mantle of the largest multi-genre festival ever held in India. In the country’s exponentially growing live music scene, Lollapalooza was somewhat late to the party, arriving more than a decade after multi-genre properties such as the Bacardi NH7 […]
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