Each Friday, we'll showcase a handful of tracks that have been burning up our speakers. These can include a brand-new song or something that's been simmering; the only rule is that it's worth space in the Pop Shop!
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"
It's interesting to try and imagine a version of Sam Smith's new single "Stay With Me" without the gospel choir. Would the desperation within the U.K. singer's pleas for company be amplified if his voice was not leading a pack of unseen angels? Or would that tweak dampen the emotional magnitude of the song's titular cry? Perhaps we'll find out when Smith performs the song solo on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend -- unless, of course, he brings his choir along for the ride.
Pharrell, "Happy" (Woodkid 'Sad' Remix)
Sometimes, it's okay to be sad. Woodkid understands.
Wrathschild, "Fall Into Love"
Simon Curtis and Wolfy -- two pop outsiders searching for a way in -- may have found it by simply joining forces. "Fall Into Love," their first single as the duo Wrathschild that premiered on Billboard.com earlier this week, arrives with heaps of gusto, wildly dramatic vocal takes and lines like, "Sex will forever be on our minds/But I want the real thing, just like an '80s movie." I mean, who doesn't?
Haerts, "Call My Name"
Columbia's Haerts are becoming pros at crafting atmospheric pop that aims at the sky when the verses break, and new track "Call My Name" is their latest arrow to disappear into the cool blackness of night. It's not quite on the level of "Wings," but "Call My Name" serves as another tasty sample of their forthcoming debut.
Bebe Rexha, "I Can't Stop Drinking About You"
The voice of Cash Cash's dance hit "Take Me Home" has made a beguiling solo debut: "I Can't Stop Drinking About You" may have a dubious title and a chilly drop that feels out of touch with the rest of the song's framework, but Bebe Rexha's voice impresses while she stumbles through a bad breakup and reaches P!nk-level anger toward the one that drove her to drink.