As Halloween slowly approaches and summer is feeling like it’s almost officially over, the pop girlies and guys are dropping the best new pop bangers before the season completely changes. One of the artists on this list has a song that recognizes just how fast this month flew by, while another band covers a song that mourns a certain summer month by a famous pop artist. (Take a wild guess to both.) The rest have music that will have you dancing and, possibly, crying in the street, a car, a train, or wherever you usually jam out.
Continue scrolling to see everything pop-focused that Uproxx loved this week. Here’s the best new pop music this week.
Muna — “August (Cover)”
Muna carefully crafted a cover of Taylor Swift’s Folklore track “August” during their time at NYC’s Electric Lady Studios. The result, featured among live versions of “Silk Chiffon” on their new Live At Electric Lady album, is a track that takes on a soft and calming presence, as the band opted to slow things down from Swift’s original version. Did we mention Muna made it their track five?
Tove Lo — “Grapefruit”
Opening with a captivating synth instrumental that carries “Grapefruit,” it also has a powerful message for those who choose to emphasize lyrics. Tove Lo discusses her struggle with body image that might get missed for those expecting a strictly-dance track. “What I see is not me,” she repeats throughout as a mantra to try to regain a sense of control.
Lolo Zouaï– “Free Trial”
Zouai dropped her sophomore album, Playgirl, last week. While it was actually quite hard to pick a favorite, between the immensely catchy namesake track or early single “VHS,” my personal standout is “Free Trial,” which closes out the record. She details how she finds herself testing the waters with a lover, but only for a brief moment. It’s a song about making the moments count, because you don’t know how long it’ll last, adding to the creativity of the temporary tech title.
Louis Tomlinson — “Out Of My System”
On Tomlinson’s new single, “Out Of My System,” he infuses alt-rock influences through using fast-paced drums and an occasional guitar riff. While the first verse feels almost reminiscent of One Direction’s early days, the instrumental takes over the rest of the song. It definitely serves its job as a catchy single.
Zella Day — “I Don’t Know How To End”
Zella Day stans have waited seven years for a new album, which she returned with today, in the form of the sophomore LP, Sunday In Heaven. Day shines on “I Don’t Know How To End,” an incredibly calming piano ballad that would fit perfectly in a movie soundtrack. And then, when you feel comfortable as a listener, she switches to an acoustic guitar — in a way that still feels as seamless and soaring as the entire song. A track truly worth the wait.
Lexi Jayde — “What’s The Matter With You”
Although Jayde already put out a standout EP with Closer To Closure earlier this year, it seems she isn’t slowing down any time soon. Just a few months later, her new song “What’s The Matter With You” is a love song about trying to not be in love — even if they’re literally perfect. In contrast to her heartbreaking past songs about reeling from a bad breakup, this one builds upon the hope seemingly presented in Jayde’s past song “Gentle.” Jayde hasn’t put out a miss yet, but, in fact, just keeps getting better.
Girl In Red — “October Passed Me By”
A reference to Girl In Red’s breakout hit “We Fell In Love In October,” she dropped a part two to the sonical story with “October Passed Me By” — just a more heartbreaking version. “You know this song is about you / Who else could it be?” the Norwegian singer makes it clear to the unnamed subject, who might be out there listening. We know we will be.
Joshua Bassett — “She Said He Said She Said”
In contrast to his drop from last week, Bassett shines even brighter on “She Said He Said She Said” by utilizing disco-inspired synths in a track that radiates hazy club energy. Lyrically, he’s also coming for blood, as he notes someone should “burn your bridge.” If this isn’t a glimpse of the direction he’s going on a future project, he should definitely reconsider because the dance-anthem-meets-shady-chaos style suits him so, so well.
Alexander 23 — “Ill”
A collaboration between Alexander 23 and Kenny Beats, including on the production, “Ill” is about straight-up reminiscing. “I guess it’s your right to do so, and it’s mine to feel like sh*t,” he sings on the track, which infuses R&B with an entire guitar solo towards the track’s end. Despite all the genres present, it still proves itself to work.
Raye — “Escapism”
Another team effort on this list, Raye’s “Escapism” is a heavy-hitting hedonistic pop song that features vocals from 070 Shake on the third verse. Detailing an entire chaotic party experience, followed by the hangover aftermath, the song is truly a rollercoaster ride — propelled by the beat changes. There’s also a line that feels like a (potential) Red Hot Chili Peppers reference. Those who hear it, get it.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.