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 Betty Who, Aespa, Why Don’t We and AJ Smith, plus 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.
Lava La Rue feat. Biig Piig, “Hi-Fidelity”
UK multi-hyphenate Lava La Rue and L.A.-based upstart Biig Piig share a rich history, first meeting at school together in West London, and that longstanding connection shines through on new collaboration “Hi-Fidelity”: after La Rue positions the track as a woozy jam for late-night gallivanting, Biig Piig enters in the second half with a hushed tone made for headphone listening. The artists find equilibrium, and “Hi-Fidelity” succeeds in both settings. — Jason Lipshutz
Amelia Moore, “I Feel Everything”
The power of Amelia Moore’s vocal performance on “I Feel Everything” lies within its understanding of the idea of gaslighting — being told that something in a relationship that’s very clearly a big deal is actually not a big deal at all, to the point where only a shout can make you feel heard. Moore plays the situation masterfully, simmering with rage (“If I detonate, you won’t talk to me straight,” she laments) before yelping out her words (“And you won’t even talk / I just, I just wanna scream!”) until she’s hoarse, but satisfied. — J. Lipshutz
Why Don’t We, “How Do You Love Somebody”
“How Do You Love Somebody” re-imagines Why Don’t We as a garage-rock band, quite literally — the music video finds the pop quintet rocking out in various spaces, from a field to a gas station to a dimly lit, open-door garage, shirts off and heads thrashing. Yet Why Don’t We hopping on the pop-punk wave works with their group dynamic, as the guitar-and-drum mix suits their pop instincts and the snappy chorus gets supplied with pinpoint harmonies that make the hooks hit even harder. — J. Lipshutz
Reneé Rapp, “Tattoos”
The debut single from actor-artist Reneé Rapp (Sex Lives Of College Girls, Mean Girls on Broadway) is a complete knockout as she pairs poignant songwriting with soaring vocals — resulting in an affecting pop ballad. Perhaps what helps it cut through the most is how sparse the production is, a clever move when the bones are this sturdy. — Lyndsey Havens
Norwegian singer Dagny delivers a glimmering synth-pop gem with “Brightsider,” on which she sings of “catching all these feelings” and manages to succinctly chronicle the angst of wondering “if you think about me on the weekend” while also making it perfectly clear she’ll be just fine regardless of what the answer is. — L.H.
Betty Who, “Blow Out My Candle”
Betty Who’s latest, “Blow Out My Candle,” packs quite the punch as she asserts: “You can blow out my candle, but you’ll never put out my fire.” As the dance-pop banger plays on, it’s as if her energy alone is helping such metaphorical flames grow taller — serving as both an inviting spectacle and warm embrace to anyone tuning in. — L.H.
Phoenix, “Alpha Zulu”
Phoenix is gearing up to enter a brand new era and has given fans their newest offering “Alpha Zulu” to sink their teeth into. The single serves as a departure from the French indie pop band’s often sleek and stylish signature sound — which received the most refinement in previous albums Ti Amo and Bankrupt! — while slightly darker synth instrumentals reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys’ heyday (see their 1987 hit “Shopping”) provide tension as singer Thomas Mars sings of humanity’s impending judgement day. — Starr Bowenbank
Despite being a girl group for less than two years, aespa amassed a faithful K-pop following ahead of the release of its debut EP, Savage, which peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the Top Album Sales chart. Now, NingNing, Karina, Giselle and Winter are slated to make their comeback, releasing the sinister new single “Illusion” to tease their forthcoming mini album, Girls. The sinister track continues to explore the group’s cyber-futurism theme, with the K-pop stars gaining on their prey to feed the monster within — likely the Black Mamba from their debut title track of the same name. — S.B.
AJ Smith, “Famous”
Over a rubbery bass line and vibey guitar lines, Colorado-born singer-songwriter AJ Smith coos and growls about what he does need (old friends, humility) and doesn’t need (“fake shit”) if he ever gets “Famous.” Co-written with Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin, it’s an expertly crafted funk-pop treat ready for a beach or BBQ near you. — Joe Lynch
BAYLI, “Think About Drugs”
Brooklyn singer-songwriter BAYLI is all up in her late-night atmospheric feels with “Think About Drugs,” riding a thumping, laid-back beat as she asks someone if they ever think of her in the same way that they think of drugs. According to her recently changed Twitter handle, this is for you “if ur emo and/or gay.” Happy Emo Pride Month. – J. Lynch