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Bella Poarch, Santigold, Joshua Bassett & More – Billboard

Written by on 15/08/2022


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 Santigold, Bella Poarch, Nicole Han, PinkPantheress, Joshua Bassett 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.

Santigold, “Shake”

Hot off her shout-out from Beyonce on “Break My Soul (Queens Remix),” which finds Queen Bey redoing the rap on Madonna’s “Vogue” but replacing old Hollywood stars with Black women in music who inspired her, Santigold is back with her first album in six years, Spirituals (Sept. 9). With a nimble, funky bass line and syncopated rhythms, “Shake” is a tantalizing tease of what’s to come, demonstrating that Santi’s off-kilter cool and confidence remains unperturbed: “I won’t ever follow / if I know the way.” – Joe Lynch

Quinn Christopherson, “Celine”

For any karaoke enthusiast who also happens to be a Celine Dion fan, the experience of belting out “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” “That’s The Way It Is” or “Because You Loved Me” at a dive bar — and having your onlookers tell you that sounded “just like Celine” — remains a dream scenario. Quinn Christopherson captures that hyper-specific joy on the riveting “Celine,” creating his own sing-along while describing someone who gets to feel seen while singing the pop masterpieces of others. – Jason Lipshutz

Nicole Han, “Blush!”

A lot of rising pop artists naturally cite Taylor Swift as a songwriting influence these days, yet “Blush!,” the new single from 20-year-old newcomer Nicole Han, contains a downright Swiftian mix of ingredients — the lyrical detail of a late-night car encounter, the mid-line echoing words, the racing narrative leading up to the soaring hook. Han is telling her own story of yearning on “Blush!,” but she’s already recalling one of the greats. – J. Lipshutz

Jena Rose, “Being Good is Boring”

The first two images onscreen in the music video for Jena Rose’s “Being Good is Boring” are a drum being thwacked and an extreme close-up of Rose, the Texas native steely-eyed and ready to command. The rest of “Being Good is Boring” takes its lead from those two elements of the visual, as Rose exudes bubblegum confidence while following the snap of the percussion, which gains even more steam when the funk guitar pushes forward in the mix. – J. Lipshutz

Poppy Ajudha, “NO!”

Co-written and produced by Jungle, “NO!” finds St. Lucian-British singer/producer Poppy Ajudha combining rallying-cry pop audacity with acid-tinged psych reminiscent of the Chemical Brothers, and summarily dazzling for two-and-a-half minutes. “NO!” is all about protecting personal autonomy, and Ajudha finds a singular way to deliver that message. – J. Lipshutz

Bella Poarch, “Living Hell”

Bella Poarch’s recently released debut EP Dolls presents an artist determined to challenge the contours of pop music; Grimes, who’s featured on the song “No Man’s Land,” clearly serves as an artistic inspiration based on how Poarch approaches melody and production. The sparse, twitchy “Living Hell” not only demonstrates Poarch’s musical ambition but is perhaps her most impressive vocal showcase thus far, each word given careful consideration and power. – J. Lipshutz

PinkPantheress, Sam Gellaitry, “Picture in my Mind”

After months of teasing the track through TikTok, PinkPantheress’ highly awaited collaboration with dance artist Sam Gellaitry on “Picture in my Mind” finally arrived, much to the delight of fans. While Pink’s jungle, dnb and house sample roots are exchanged for Gellaitry’s bouncier production style, the lyrical content of still fits square into the singer’s discography as she muses on discomfort in a relationship — not because of a lack of mutual attraction or unreciprocated longing (as seen on solo tracks “All My Friends Know” or “Break It Off”), but as a result of too many similarities that fail to provide nuance and excitement. – Starr Bowenbank

The Garden, “Chainsaw the Door”

The Garden — art punk duo consisting of twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears — continue down their experimental path on new track “Chainsaw the Door” while managing to simultaneously remain as unfussy as possible on the lyrics. As instrumentals for the track fluctuate between elements of ’80s new wave, punk-inspired guitar and twinkling synth moments, Wyatt gleefully – and purposefully — sings about what the title of the song suggests: “When I see that closed door, I’m gonna chainsaw through it.” – S. Bowenbank

Joshua Bassett, “Smoke Slow”

 

Despite opening the music video for his latest single with a warning that Bassett himself does not endorse smoking, the pop singer managers to capture the fleeting feeling of sharing a smoke at a crowded party quite well, singing “she asks for a light / as our secrets spill on the windowsill.” Throughout the acoustic track — which could just as easily fit on an Ed Sheeran album — Bassett yearns for more time with his new love interest, quietly begging her to “take your time while you’re mine, and smoke slow.” – Lyndsey Havens

Jessie Reyez, “Mutual Friend”

 

The plucky and menacing “Mutual Friend” arrived as the lead single off Jessie Reyez’ upcoming album YESSIE and quickly made clear the artist remains BS intolerant. As she chronicles the familiar situation of a mutual friend attempting to play peacekeeper in a relationship gone wrong — while simultaneously delivering one of her most memorable and sweeping vocal performances to date — Reyez admits her “heartbreak morphed into hate.” From not caring if her ex died to asserting that they should be grateful she didn’t hurt them back, Reyez confesses: “Don’t care if it sounds cold, it is what it is.” – L. Havens





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