Searching high and low for some motivation to help power you another work week? We know the feeling, and with some top-notch new pop tunes, we’ve got you covered.
These 10 tracks from artists like Laura Mvula, Noah Kahan, Cavetown and Elton John (with Years & Years) 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.
Laura Mvula, “Got Me”
A few weeks after previewing her upcoming Pink Noise album with the sparkling dance track “Church Girl,” Laura Mvula has unveiled something even more uptempo and irresistible: “Got Me” finds the U.K. star rolling through propulsive verses and arriving at a joyful hook, canned horns blaring as she wraps her arms around the track’s central groove.
Kississippi, “Big Dipper”
On “Big Dipper,” Philadelphia singer-songwriter Zoe Reynolds surrounds a belt-along chorus — similar to the one she delivered on last year’s “Around Your Room” — with moments of quiet reflection, the percussion settling underneath her voice as she works out complicated feelings about an ex. Reynolds’ Kississippi project continues to impress ahead of a new album, Mood Ring, this August.
Gavn!, “Destroy Me”
Gavn!’s voice sounds like it’s perpetually about to split in half, each syllable imbued with a fragility that makes his music impossibly emotional. The effect works well on “Destroy Me,” an atmospheric, piano-led anthem in which the newcomer pleads, “Let me go before you destroy me,” while sounding downright close to collapse.
Shannon & The Clams, “Midnight Wine”
The Oakland-based quartet — which is signed to Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label and fronted by vintage-inspired powerhouse, Shannon Shaw — often finds a balance between indie-rock and garage-psych, evidenced by its latest single “Midnight Wine” off its upcoming sixth album, Year Of the Spider.
Noah Kahan, “Part of Me”
Noah Kahan, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter, released his debut album in 2019 to much acclaim, and is planning to release its full-length follow-up this year. He co-wrote his latest single, “Part of Me” — which at times nods to the instrumentation of a high-energy Mumford & Sons hit — with Joel Little, a long-time collaborator of Taylor Swift and Lorde.
Jelani Aryeh, “From These Heights”
21-year-old Filipino-African-American Jelani Aryeh is breaking out by fusing alternative-rock with folksy-R&B. He wrote this song around the time George Floyd was murdered, saying “It was a chaotic time and everything felt like it was in flux. I think that made me want to escape reality a bit.” The single will be included on his album out this summer, I’ve Got Some Living to Do.
Elena Rose, “Pimienta”
Elena Rose is a 26-year-old Venezuelan singer-songwriter who recently scored career-changing co-writes for Selena Gomez — contributing to much of the singer’s first Spanish project, Revelación — as well as Jennifer Lopez with Maluma on the pair’s “Pa’ Ti.” Rose’s latest single, the more pop-leaning and edgier “Pimienta,” will be included on her upcoming solo project.
Elton John with Years & Years, “It’s a Sin”
Sir Elton John and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander casually stole the show at the 2021 Brit Awards last week with a gospel/dance take on Pet Shop Boys’ 1987 classic “It’s a Sin,” and we were blessed with a studio version of their indelible cover shortly thereafter; John’s bass-heavy croon and Alexander’s gritty, anguished vocals pair together perfectly on this liberating exploration of queer self-shame.
Cavetown, “Ur Gonna Wish U Believed Me”
A nearly-five-minute acoustic strummer shouldn’t be this compulsively listenable, but like the best of Feist or Belle & Sebastian, Cavetown’s gentle, atmospheric indie pop lodges itself in your brain thanks to strong (but oh-so-soft) hooks delivered with straightforward sincerity.
T-Pain with Kehlani, “I Like Dat”
T-Pain reworks his 2007 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Buy U a Drank” for 2021 as “I Like Dat.” The Masked Singer champ’s signature Auto-Tune and robust crooning skills are in fine form, but featured guest Kehlani steals the show with a cool, casual confidence that’s absolutely irresistible.