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 Gracie Abrams, GAYLE, Cat Burns and Gryffin 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.
Gracie Abrams, “Difficult”
Gracie Abrams takes deep breaths on “Difficult,” quite literally: most of her lines about finding balance between her vulnerabilities as she enters adulthood are preceded by gasping inhalations, as if she’s gulping away her worries. The effect is a performance that’s steeped in fragile humanity, and perhaps Abrams’ most affecting, complete single to date. – Jason Lipshutz
GAYLE, “Snow Angels”
Climbing on the roof, jumping on pool tables, forgoing sleep and leaning into ephemeral feelings — GAYLE’s latest is all about the glorious messiness of youth, and contains the type of detailed songwriting that elevates “Snow Angels” above similar young-and-reckless anthems. Plus GAYLE, responsible for one of the year’s biggest breakout hits with “abcdefu,” sounds like she’s reveling in the chances taken. – J. Lipshutz
Fever Ray, “What They Call Us”
The Knife created some of the most singular, vital electronic music of the 2000s, so what a joy it is that Fever Ray mastermind Karin Dreijer has reunited with their brother and former bandmate, Olof Dreijer, for the haunting, kinetic new track “What They Call Us.” The song bristles with a tension that never fully spills over, but hopefully that just means “What They Call Us” is the opening shot of a new Fever Ray era. – J. Lipshutz
Gryffin feat. Tinashe, “Scandalous”
Tinashe thrives as both a solo artist and collaborator — particularly on dance tracks, as past team-ups with Snakehips, ZHU and Kaytranada have proven — and she commands “Scandalous,” Gryffin’s new neon-tinged workout. Part of Tinashe’s advantage on songs like “Scandalous” is her ability to mesmerize during quieter moments, like the second verse here, as well as within the rapid movement of the hook. – J. Lipshutz
Indie-pop duo Sawyer know how to take a universal truth — like, “this might be a mistake, but it feels good” — and sprinkle the narrative with clever comparisons that poke fun at such moments (for example, even the visual is “sponsored by: the feeling right before you kiss an ex.”) And while it’s easy to hear a song like “Mistake” performed by a band like MUNA, the pair’s writing style is what sets it apart. – Lyndsey Havens
Cat Burns, “People Pleaser”
The 22-year-old rising pop artist Cat Burns is on a hot streak: having collaborated with Sam Smith and ahead of joining Ed Sheeran on tour next year, she most recently released a two-pack. Feel-good single “People Pleaser” is a self-awareness anthem that dissects the not-so-great habit of pleasing others, while also spotlighting the positives that can come of caring for those around you. – L.H.
Mergui, an Israeli pop star beginning to make international waves with a series of English-language singles, just released his Dark Side of the Rainbow EP. Latest single “Paradise” is a heartfelt, wounded meditation on saying goodbye in the midst of a romance you’re nowhere near over – but with his effortlessly silky vocals, it’s ultimately an uplifting ode to resilience. – Joe Lynch
Seán Barna, “Everyone’s a Queen on Halloween”
Rising singer-songwriter Seán Barna, who recently joined the Kill Rock Stars roster, celebrates Halloween’s role as queer Christmas on “Everyone’s a Queen on Halloween.” With incisive lyrics, dark new wave energy and his most immediate chorus so far, this arresting gem is sure to become an annual indie queer anthem. – J. Lynch
Cody・Lee(李) feat. SIKK-O – “DANCE風呂a!”
CodyLee — a Tokyo based five-piece consisting of members Hibiki Takahashi, Reno Ozaki, Rikiki, Kei Nishishima and Teru Hara — captured global attention in 2021 with the release of “I Love You (我愛你),” which showcased their penchant for funky guitar riffs and infectious melodies. And now, with the release of “DANCE風呂a!,” the quintet continues to build on its upbeat sound, expanding outwards for a lighter groove that subtly recalls the city pop era and sentimental J-drama soundtracks. – Starr Bowenbank
Citizen Queen – “Break Up”
Citizen Queen has been laying down the groundwork for a possible girl group resurgence for a while now, but new track “Break Up” sees its members — Kaedi Dalle, Cora Isabel, Nina Nelson and Kaylah Sharve — cementing their place in the era’s eventual return. The sizzling, R&B-infused track focuses on ending a relationship with a disengaged partner, but they aren’t lamenting the loss: like the queens they are, they relish in the newfound time while putting their vocal agility to the test — the girls’ a capella roots shine in the harmonies, with Kaedi as its anchor and Cora taking a step back from beatboxing to dazzle with her stunning tone. – S.B.