The summer is heating up and another week is upon us, which means it’s time to queue up 10 Cool Pop Songs to help you get through the work week.
From the yearning Yves Tumor to the boastful Blueface to the contemplative Conan Gray, these tunes will get you energized to take on the week — especially for those of us in the midst of another summer heat wave.
Add any of these gems into your personal playlists — or scroll to the end of the post for a custom playlist of all 10.
Yves Tumor, “Crushed Velvet”
Following the wildly compelling 2020 album Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor has given fans (who are still trying to catch their breath from that psych-funk fantasia) another generous helping with a new EP, The Asymptotical Mind. “Crushed Velvet” is the straightforward standout, an example of the boundary-pushing artist committing to making a killer pop-rock single, complete with lip-smacking hooks and guitar screeches. – Jason Lipshutz
Peach Tree Rascals & AG Club, “Popeye”
The genre-flouting Peach Tree Rascals team up with hip-hop collective AG Club for an animated new single, “Popeye,” which hits your ears like a can of spinach perks up the ole sailor; over inventive but never overcrowded production curiosities (the best of which is the warped sound of a guitar being unceremoniously plucked), the two groups flex, brag and boost each other with a tongue-in-cheek style that gets you rooting for both. – Joe Lynch
BAYNK feat. Tinashe, “Esther”
As she prepares her own new album, 333, Tinashe found time to link up with producer BAYNK for an understated but effective electro-R&B jam that leans into the sensuality of its lyrics. “Got my body, sweating, glistening, lights so low,” Tinashe sings, her voice punctuating each verb with passion. – J. Lipshutz
Conan Gray, “People Watching”
Conan Gray mixes lilting sadness and quiet resolution on the aching, lovely “People Watching,” which displays the singer-songwriter’s increasingly deft lyricism as he paints a vivid portrait of a young couple in love and compares it poignantly to his own solitude (“cut people out like tags on my clothing”). – J. Lynch
Regardless of your interest level in watching rising rapper Blueface’s bare-knuckle boxing match with TikTok comedian Neumane (yes, that’s really happening), it’s hard not to get carried along by the charismatic bravado of Blueface’s new song “TikTok,” which melds a skittering trap beat with a staccato piano riff similar to the one on “Thotiana,” only more playful. – J. Lynch
Maggie Andrew, “Survival Mode”
In the same way that “Survival Mode” hints at a major crescendo in its finale but ducks out of view before it arrives, L.A.-based newcomer Maggie Andrew uses this reflection on post-traumatic solitude to demonstrate her songwriting skills while saving the more ostentatious moments for future releases; based on this short but impactful offering, consider us intrigued. – J. Lipshutz
Empty Streets, “Pleaser”
Empty Streets, the musical project from adult film actor Aaron Thompson, delivers some darkly alluring Depeche Mode vibes with “Pleaser,” a melancholy, moody synth sermon that pulls you in like an inescapable undertow tugging at your ankles. – J. Lynch
MASN, “Don’t Talk”
It’s easy to picture the first 30 seconds of MASN’s new single “Don’t Talk” fitting in alongside artists like Post Malone, The Kid LAROI and Iann Dior at pop radio with its combination of unobtrusive guitar, trap beats and melodic rapping. But then those beats drop away on a chorus in which MASN begs for some peace and quiet, and “Don’t Talk” turns into something more inventive than it had previously let on. – J. Lipshutz
JAWNY, “Tombstone Grey”
Lo-fi singer-songwriter JAWNY mines C86 melodicism, shambolic indie rock and Sufjan Stevens-esque orchestral flourishes on the instantly winning “Tombstone Grey,” a track from his character study-based EP The Story of Hugo. – J. Lynch
Cody Frost, “Stomachaches”
British pop artist Cody Frost used to live in an apartment above a pub in Burnley, England, and her flat got broken into multiple times, leaving her with fear and anxiety in the pit of her stomach; she captures that feeling on the frenetic final track on her debut EP, It’s Not Real, as different vocal takes swirl together in the last minute to communicate an unshakable sense of unease. – J. Lipshutz