Saweetie, Doja Cat, Stefflon Don, “Best Friend”
Saweetie and Doja Cat's "Best Friend" is a Galentine's Day anthem for the ages -- ladies celebrating ladies! -- and now it’s got even more star power. With the addition of UK rapper Stefflon Don, expect “Best Friend” to keep climbing.
Rei Ami, Aminé, “Do It Right”
Pop rulebreaker Rei Ami has kindly let rapper Aminé hop on "Do It Right," a sultry track about "the mental battle of being in a toxic relationship," as the South Korea by-way-of Maryland artist explains. Look out for a mixtape from Rei, who stormed on the scene with "Snowcone" in 2019, later this year.
Off Bloom, "Hit & Run"
Surely you haven't been sleeping on Danish-British duo Off Bloom (Mads Christensen and Mette Mortensen), whose debut album In Bloom includes production from Max Martin. Lead single "Hit & Run" is pure fun, and harkens back to the group’s early banger “Shut Up And Let Me Walk.”
Au/Ra, "Dead Girl!"
Teal-haired pop sorcerer Au/Ra’s latest is what it would sound like if Dua Lipa's crisp vocals went on a roller coaster and held hands with Billie Eilish's spooky beats. Just bask in that sassy bridge: “Funny you like me now/ Wasn't I just the dead girl?/ No, we ain't hanging out/ Nuh-uh, nuh-uh, nuh-uh.”
Aja, "Red Button"
Though she debuted just last year, Toronto singer-songwriter Aja has already firmly established herself as a vibrant addition to the pop scene. The 16-year-old is an effortless vocalist and worthy lyricist, as you can easily hear on her third release “Red Button,” whose enormous chorus will be in your head all day.
Japanese Breakfast, “Be Sweet”
Pivoting from writing about grief to focusing on joy can prove a difficult transition for artists, but Japanese Breakfast mastermind Michelle Zauner has previewed her upcoming album, Jubilee, with a track that confidently opens up her sonic universe. “Be Sweet” is immaculately executed ‘80s synth-pop, down to the polyrhythms and the harmonies that kick in during the radio-ready chorus.
Formerly a dancer on tour with Pharrell Williams, Mette makes an impressive debut as a pop artist with “Petrified,” in which her vocal tone shape-shifts around her fear of being left alone. The song’s music video, in which Mette clings to a person dressed in all black as they speed into the distance, will take your breath away.
Georgia Mae, “Let You Go”
“Let You Go” is a terrific song to lift your arms up and blissfully sway along with under twinkling lights at nighttime, as Georgia Mae does during the song’s music video. On her latest track, the Australian singer-songwriter continues her winning streak without any bells or whistles -- just a buoyant hook as a sense of purpose in delivering it.
Laufey, “Best Friend”
And now for a “Best Friend” that’s completely different than the Saweetie & Co. “Best Friend”: rising Icelandic-Chinese artist Laufey’s new single lovingly recounts her most special relationship with a casual jazziness, recalling bad haircuts and nights of laughing too hard with an ease that invites the listener into the room with her and her BFF.
Aziya strikes a delicate balance on “Slip!”: she’s furious at the song’s subject, but doesn’t allow that rage to topple the soulfulness of her vocals. The 21-year-old London native has been posting cover songs online for some time, but her debut single demonstrates what she can accomplish as a pissed-off pop-rock voice with a sharpened pen.