It’s a shorter week thanks to President’s Day giving us a three-day weekend, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easier one.
If you’re 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 Victoria Monét & Bryson Tiller, Princess Nokia, Hippo Campus, Riton, the Zombies 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 all 10.
Victoria Monét and Bryson Tiller, “We Might Even Be Falling In Love (Duet)”
The only valid complaint you can levy against Victoria Monet’s “We Might Even Be Falling In Love (Interlude)” from her 2020 EP Jaguar is that at 51 seconds, the twinkling funk-soul treat is over far too soon. So it’s an overdue boon to the tune that Bryson Tiller teamed up with the singer-songwriter to expand the track into a duet for Spotify Singles; it’s only 40 seconds longer, but you’ll relish every moment. – Joe Lynch
The Zombies, “Love You While I Can”
Fittingly released on Valentine’s Day, “Love You While I Can” is a gentle, harmony-laden acoustic celebration of love from British rock legends The Zombies. It hails from their upcoming album Different Game (March 31), which follows on the heels of their documentary Hung Up on a Dream making its premiere at SXSW this year. – J. Lynch
Seán Barna, “Ben Whishaw Smiled”
Over the mischievous, bubbly rhythm of “Ben Whishaw Smiled,” Kill Rock Stars signee Seán Barna paints a vivid picture of romance and/or lust in the wee, booze-soaked hours of a Greenwich Village night. It hails from the singer-songwriter’s upcoming full-length An Evening at Macri Park (May 12), which takes us across the East River and into the heart of queer Brooklyn nightlife nerve center Marci Park. – J. Lynch
Hippo Campus, “Kick in the Teeth”
Is Hippo Campus in its cowboy era? All signs seem to point to ‘yee-haw’ with the release of their new track, “Kick In the Teeth.” The laid-back song sees the band trading its indie rock sensibilities to experiment with some country twang, much to the delight of fans. Lead singer Jake Luppen’s vocals complement the genre shift quite well, languidly flowing over lax guitar melodies and harmonizing with himself so smoothly, even the hardest of rancheros would weep. “I’m about as lonely as a cowboy can be/ And a night without you is a kick in the teeth/ So when you go home, could you think about me?” he sings. – Starr Bowenbank
Princess Nokia, “Closure”
Princess Nokia always has always been a genre bending chameleon when it comes to her music. In fact, they gave listeners a sharp reminder on 2020’s “The Conclusion” (“All my albums differ, and I am really proud of that/ ’Cause I like to experiment, and I see nothing wrong with that”) that switching it up should be expected. With this in mind, new track “Closure” — Nokia’s pivot to nostalgic, Y2K-coded pop-rock — feels more like a return to form. Chugging guitars and bright drums serve as the perfect backdrop as she sings of an effervescent new love that provides the perfect distraction as she moves on from a dead relationship. – S. Bowenbank
The Aces, “Always Get This Way”
The Aces make a glittering return on high-energy single “Always Get This Way,” but beneath its ‘80s-leaning synths and poppy melodies lie raw, relatable lyrics that tell the truth about mental health struggles. Lead vocalist and guitarist Cristal Ramirez is brutally honest on the track, and reveals sleeping problems, appetite loss and other markers of depression. “This song is about shame, panic, and struggle. It’s about the fact that we hold no space for those struggling mentally in our society, and just kinda wish they’d get over it and quit being an inconvenience,” Ramirez says of the track, which gives fans the first look into the band’s forthcoming LP, I’ve Loved You For So Long. – S. Bowenbank
Eloise, “Giant Feelings”
At first blush, the new single from London singer-songwriter Eloise might be mistaken for a coffee-shop nod-along, all gentle harmonies and disarming guitar fuzz. But “Giant Feelings” is actually pissed-off, post-breakup fare, with Eloise bemoaning lingering sentiment while wondering, “When’d you get to be so damn cruel?” Romantic frustration rarely sounds this at ease, and that’s a testament to the Trojan horse that Eloise has made into a potential breakthrough single. – Jason Lipshutz
Maude Latour, “Heaven”
The chorus of “Heaven,” Maude Latour’s blazingly romantic new single, sounds primed for a TikTok takeover, as she snappily lists the reasons why her subject should give in to the bliss of love — but without the rest of the song creating a golden halo of feelings around it, the hook would sound tossed-off instead of hard-earned. “Heaven” carefully constructs its pop joy, and Latour does a fine job dancing around the main refrain, then doubling down when it returns. – J. Lipshutz
Riton feat. Soaky Siren, “Sugar”
Leave it to Riton — the U.K. dance veteran who’s been on a hot streak of late contorting classic hooks into different positions — to turn 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” into the foundation of a boisterous, far more uptempo club track. With Soaky Siren providing a nimble vocal take over the sped-up, years-old beat, “Sugar” functions like Riton’s 2021 international hit “Friday”: familiar yet irresistible, a killer hit spun on its head. – J. Lipshutz
Stolen Jars, “Somewhere Else”
One vocalist of the Brooklyn group Stolen Jars, Cody Fitzgerald, is active in the world of film scores, having recently helped compose the music for the Disney film Noelle; the other vocalist, Sarah Coffey, is something of a TikTok sensation, with over 200,000 followers. They don’t need to be lobbing out gorgeously aching indie-pop tracks like “Somewhere Else,” which flares up with some pandemic-ridden stir-craziness and fluttering drums… but we’re all the luckier to have them. – J. Lipshutz