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 Role Model, Joji, Ashe, RAYE and Hope Tala 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.
Role Model, “Cross Your Mind”
“Cross Your Mind,” the first single from alt-pop artist Role Model since releasing his debut album Rx earlier this year, rightfully arrives with an undeniable pop-rock hook. “Do ya do ya do ya think about me?” the artist wonders over fuzzed out guitar and raucous drums. Throughout, Role Model makes crystal clear just how in love he is, offering the refreshing take of a man’s mind being consumed by his partner. — Lyndsey Havens
MILES, “Never Have I Ever”
L.A. based rock-rapper MILES recently released his NEVER HAVE I EVER EP, featuring none other than Travis Barker on its frenzied title track (Barker produced the track as well as drums on it). As MILES said in a statement, “[It] felt like the perfect song to record live drums on when we were finalizing the EP.Iwas so excited when word came back that Travis was going to hop on the track; having him play drums on my songis a huge honor.” — L.H.
Jacob Banks, “Aim For My Head”
Ahead of Lies About the War, the latest project from independent soul singer Jacob Banks, single “Just When I Thought” proved to be a compelling entry point. Turns out, the entire album — filled with intimate and vulnerable writing and incredible vocal range — sucks listeners in. One of the best examples of Banks’ artistry is “Aim For My Head,” which features a slow build before exploding in quite rage. — L.H.
Joji, “YUKON (INTERLUDE)”
After scoring a top 10 Hot 100 hit with the stunning ballad “Glimpse Of Us,” Joji returns with “YUKON (INTERLUDE),” a slightly more uptempo tune — though not at first. Thanks to looped production (that could just as easily fit on a PinkPantheress song) that bulks up the piano-built backbone, “YUKON” shows that while Joji’s soft side won’t be the only one he gives fans a glimpse of with this project.
Ashe has never shied away from having fun with her music, exploring sung-spoken vocals and stepping outside of standard strong structures. On “Emotional,” she’s arguably at her most confident, as the song is proof of what happens when an artist feels entirely comfortable in their skin and trajectory. The fun, harmonica-introduced track is an unapologetic ode to not having to get too emotional when it comes to dating — because if one there is certain, there’s enough to feel some type of way about already. — L.H.
Skott, “Once in a While [smile]”
Modern pop isn’t often as guilelessly upbeat as Skott’s new track “Once in a While [smile],” but the Swedish veteran pulls off the cheeriness by turning the song into a cocoon of sorts — cozy up to these loving harmonies, unassuming beats and lilting melodies for three minutes and you’ll feel that frown quickly turning upside down. — Jason Lipshutz
RAYE, “Black Mascara”
RAYE’s “Black Mascara” stands tall at a striking juxtaposition: as the singer-songwriter unpacks her personal trauma and attempts to move on following a gutting betrayal, the track whirls on, spinning around her with a breathless tempo that rejects the need for any sort of remix. A killer dance cut that lets the hurt seep into its bones, “Black Mascara” arguably represents a new high point for RAYE, and an exciting step in her next chapter. — J.L.
Hope Tala, “Leave It on the Dancefloor”
“The night is young, and baby, so are you,” Hope Tala confides on the silky new single “Leave It on the Dancefloor,” an ode to recognizing a carefree moment and embracing it without hesitation. Tala finds an impressive equilibrium with the busy, funk-informed production, gliding along with the percussion and carefully placing the hooks in their correct positions for a downright luxurious experience. — J.L.
Rowan Drake, “Abandonment Issues”
Rowan Drake’s “Abandonment Issues” covers well-trodden lyrical territory — the insecurities that distance magnifies, written after the Ithaca, N.Y. singer-songwriter moved to Los Angeles and was missing his girlfriend and friends — but Drake’s feathery vocal approach, paired here with meaty guitar strums and canned strings, yield a surprisingly affecting declaration that doesn’t lose any luster on replay listens. — J.L.
Anna of the North, “Bird Sing”
The first few seconds upon waking up — the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the memory of a complex reality is still a moment away — makes for a natural subject for Anna of the North on “Bird Sing,” the Norwegian songwriter’s gentle tone underlining her vulnerable state as the circular guitar lick captures the feeling of melancholy. “Bird Sing” exists in a haze that Anna of the North passes through expertly. — J.L.