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 Lauren Daigle, Daft Punk, Charlotte Cardin and 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 our favorite 2023 cool pop songs.
Charlotte Cardin, “Looping”
Montreal singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin makes the most of a sample of Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were,” and her own vocal loops, on a track that turns the phrases that haunt us through mental repetition into a literal refrain. Created with Mr. Hudson, Felix Joseph and Jason Brando, “Looping” fits into the soulful pop tradition that made a mark on top 40 radio near the beginning of the 2010s, but the songwriting makes Cardin’s obsessions sound thoroughly modern. – Jason Lipshutz
Victoria Anthony, “New Disaster”
The title track of Victoria Anthony’s just-released sophomore album captures a delightfully familiar teen-hang scenario: after breaking her best friend’s phone and realizing it’s time to head back to her house, the Vancouver native lingers a little too long with the wrong partner, knowing it’s a mistake but being okay with making it. “New Disaster” speeds ahead with a light pop-punk touch, as Anthony commits to her course of action with youthful energy and plenty of hooks. – J. Lipshutz
Becky Hill & Lewis Thompson, “Side Effects”
A wondrous dance song like “Side Effects” isn’t the least bit surprising when considering Becky Hill’s track record: the UK house mainstay has been scoring hits for nearly a decade, and her voice is pristinely attuned to this type of kinetic energy. Working with British producer Lewis Thompson, Hill wields her power comfortably on “Side Effects”: belting with restraint on the pre-chorus, racing alongside the beat on the hook, and injecting every stray thought about an ex with roof-rattling emotion. – J. Lipshutz
Kamille feat. Nile Rodgers, “Muscle Memory”
Part of the fun of first listening to “Muscle Memory,” the new disco strut from British multi-hyphenate Kamille, is waiting for Nile Rodgers’ main guitar riff to arrive, as if the song waits a bit before reaching another gear of groovy euphoria. Once the legend steps in, “Muscle Memory” really takes off: with Kamille guiding the action and Rodgers supporting her direction, the track invites repeat listens so that you can experience that arrival all over again. – J. Lipshutz
Local Natives, “NYE”
Indie-rock staple Local Natives have returned with “NYE,” the lead single off Time Will Wait For No One and a new balancing act for the band, as its members deliver a characteristically breezy melody with more edge and urgency. Member Ryan Hahn recalled in a statement how the song was inspired by his own wedding, during which the band continued its tradition of performing at one another’s nuptials. Once Hahn’s bandmates started to play a song by The Strokes, “I thought we had to do a fast and wild song — and ‘NYE’ was born.” — Lyndsey Havens
Lauren Daigle, “Ego”
2023 is a major year for Lauren Daigle: fresh off a label deal with Atlantic Records, the Contemporary Christian Music star has now released the first half of her two-volume self-titled album, filled with songs that highlight her brand of personal pop and soulful roots. “Ego” is situated in the sweet spot of Daigle’s register, as she sings in a low and cautionary tone: “Have we lost who we are to the pressure / Trading souls for the sake of the pleasure / I’m done wrestling with my ego / Lord knows it all feels so hollow.” — L.H.
Beverlee, “I Am a Window”
“Don’t have to open all up baby, go slow,” sings Beverlee on new single “I Am a Window.” With its playful rhythms, plinky synths and a recurrent siren, this ode to finding balance in a relationship (which comes with a “lesbian reimagining of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” music video) is an irresistible slice of quirky queer pop, reminiscent of Tune-Yards, from the L.A.-based singer-songwriter. – Joe Lynch
Tucker Nichol, “Long Story Short”
Juxtaposing sensual R&B vibes with blunt lyrical kiss-offs (“to make a long story short, I can’t stand you”), “Long Story Short” finds up-and-comer Tucker Nichol expertly demonstrating that you can move on from a toxic relationship while still feeling yourself. – J. Lynch
Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas and The Voidz, “Infinity Repeating”
Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories turns 10 this month, and to celebrate, the defunct French duo released a deluxe edition of the album featuring several demos from the vault — including the Julian Casablancas and The Voidz collaboration, “Infinity Repeating.” While the original version of the album will cause fans to draw comparisons to “Instant Crush,” “Repeating” serves as its jazzier B-side: Casablancas languidly sings over hi-hat drum beats and trinkling synth keys as he reflects on the fickle nature of humans. – Starr Bowenbank
Albert Hammond Jr. feat. Matt Helders and Steve Stevens, “Thoughtful Distress”
Albert Hammond Jr. rolled out the first half of his fifth studio album, Melodies on Hiatus, last week, and of its nine tracks, “Thoughtful Distress,” serves as a delightful surprise. Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens teamed up with The Strokes member on the song, helping to flesh out its simmering yet groovy instrumental as Hammond Jr. plays tug of war with the object of his affection. – S.B.