By the time this week’s Best New Pop roundup drops, the nominations for the 2023 Grammys will finally be out in the world. While the eligibility period for submissions ended months ago, a bunch of major pop stars returned with new songs this week — which could easily be strong contenders for 2024. Although that feels wildly far away, you can get a headstart early by being a fan of the following tracks below. (You know, so you can say you listened before it was cool.)
From another soundtrack release from RiRi to a current TV star making waves with her new EP, here is Uproxx’s roundup of the best new pop songs you don’t want to miss this week.
Rihanna – “Born Again”
The second Rihanna release from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, “Born Again” is a powerful ballad that’s arguably even stronger than the previously-released “Lift Me Up.” Here, her voice (and the production on it) is crystal clear as it takes center stage in the song. By the bridge, the added harmonies and instrumental change emphasize the scene that the movie’s viewers have described as emotional.
Ava Max – “Weapons”
Ava Max’s “Weapons” immediately commands attention as she directs listeners to “Stop!” in the opening line. And it works brilliantly. While this eventually gets re-introduced in the song’s chorus, listeners can’t help but continue to hear what comes next — a synth-driven that encourages living in the moment.
Reneé Rapp – “Too Well”
While fans might recognize Reneé Rapp from her role on HBO Max’s The Sex Lives Of College Girls, she is also shining in the music industry this year. With a single from her new debut EP, Everything To Everyone, “Too Well” opens with a twinkling, lullaby-like instrumental before Rapp begins detailing the somber aspects of a relationship. With so many great singles this year, she truly is a rising pop presence to watch.
Kim Petras – “If Jesus Was A Rockstar”
Petras’ “If Jesus Was A Rockstar” is primed to be a major hit, following in the footsteps of her chart-topping collab with Sam Smith. On the surface, the radio-ready release finds Petras shifting away from her hyper-pop sound that was prevalent in previous records. However, this was intentional, as she also used the song as a way of examining her own relationship with religion.
Louis Tomlinson – “Silver Tongues”
Louis Tomlinson just dropped his new album, Faith In The Future, one that is rumored to be his first solo No. 1 debut in the UK. “Silver Tongues” opens with a piano for the first verse, before exploding into a carefree anthem with a guitar solo. It’s a song that he just truly seemed to enjoy creating. “It’s not trying to be anything that it’s not,” Tomlinson told Euphoria. “We were not trying to write a single, and there’s just a certain level of energy to it.”
Christine And The Queens – “Ma bién aimée bye bye”
The opening track from Redcar’s new album under the Christine And The Queens project, “Ma bién aimée bye bye” explores themes of grief and loss over a dreamy, retro pop instrumental — which tied into his personal life and experiences while writing.
Zolita – “Ruin My Life”
“I was holding my breath under shades of blue / Right there that was the moment I knew,” Zolita sings. Throughout the runtime, “Ruin My Life” weaves in details about an all-consuming, so-bad-its-good relationship through a sharp, synth-pop instrumental. This one easily got added to my favorite songs of the year playlist.
Joe Jonas, Khalid – “Not Alone”
Joe Jonas and Khalid teamed up to record “Not Alone” for the soundtrack of the upcoming film, Devotion, where Jonas also appears. This duo works incredibly well together, as each of their solo verses never wavers in terms of vocal ability.
Julia Michaels – “Sorry To Me Too”
“Sorry To Me Too” is Julia Michaels’ powerful way of grappling with anger in the wake of a breakup. “You’ll hear me working out what happened, where it went wrong, trying not to blame myself, and getting back to life without this person who I thought would be in it for a really long time,” Michaels said.
Saiah – “Blue”
Saiah’s “Blue” is a captivating track that is carried by the guitars and electronic production, with an even more emotional message embedded in the lyrics. “‘Blue’ is about me wanting to choose happiness,” they said. “And finding closure and resolutions and ultimately about moving forward through life choosing happiness and love.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.