LAUV, Casey Bishop, Princess Nokia & More – Billboard
Written by GRB on 08/08/2022
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 LAUV, Casey Bishop, Teen Blush, Princess Nokia 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.
Lauv, “Summer Nights”
A standout track from Lauv’s second album All 4 Nothing, “Summer Nights” pulls a sonic 180, opening as a gorgeous ballad before blossoming into a frenetic, dancefloor-ready hit. Upon finishing the track, Lauv said he thought of Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris’ “We Found Love” for the way in which it balances the highs and lows of falling for someone, a feeling “Summer Nights” similarly taps into as Lauv sings about enjoying time together “before you and I hurt each other.” — Lyndsey Havens
Delaney Bailey, “Love Letter From the Sea to the Shore”
The latest one-off from Delaney Bailey, an emerging singer-songwriter from Indiana, is a stripped-bare beauty that recalls an artist like Sufjan Stevens. Her delicate vocals and intimate-sounding arrangements allow her emotive storytelling to shine through, particularly on lines like: “I would die a thousand times just to see you in another life.” — L.H.
Cariss Auburn, “50%”
Looking for a song with a foundation in early 2000s R&B but with hyperpop running through its veins? Cariss Auburn, fresh off of winning tracks like “Fantasy” and “Milestones,” has you covered here: “50%” mashes up the two styles admirably, as the emerging UK artist squeezes melody into every syllable and declares that, even though she is single, 50 percent of herself is not missing — she’s a whole presence all on her own. — Jason Lipshutz
Casey Bishop, “Don’t Talk”
17-year-old sing-songwriter Casey Bishop wasn’t around for the TRL music video boom during the turn of the century, but the visual for delightful new single “Don’t Talk” certainly harkens back to the late ‘90s, right down to the fish-eye lens. The American Idol alum, who scored a writing credit from Willow on the track, infuses every frame with energy whether she’s chatting with her friends or head-banging with her band, and finds a home in the spunky pop-rock arrangement here. — J. Lipshutz
Guerilla Toss, “Zum Herz”
After releasing a great new album, Famously Alive, earlier this year, Guerilla Toss continue their hot streak with “Zum Herz,” which is included in an upcoming box set celebrating krautrock all-timers NEU! and honors the group while still thriving on its own terms. The beat and guitar work recall the classic NEU! sound, but Kassie Carlson’s voice transcends the homage, sounding just as vital and locked-in as it did on Famously Alive. — J. Lipshutz
Jax, “Victoria’s Secret”
Jax was a babysitter who wanted to make her preteen charge feel better after a girl told her she was fat, so she wrote her a song; several million YouTube and TikTok streams later, “Victoria’s Secret” is rising on the charts and turning Jax into a star. At the heart of the viral success is a fun girl-power theme for dancing in your comfortable underwear — you can’t help but sing along, and feel good. — Crystal B. Shepeard
Teen Blush, “Car Crash”
Teen Blush, the project of Chicago’s Ken Foss, specializes in a slightly sinister breed of new wave, similar to what acts like Ultravox and the Human League made early in their careers before shifting toward mainstream pop. On “Car Crash,” a dark little gem from his It’s a Pleasure to Be Here EP, he moans, “I’m just happy that we made it this far” over an insistent bass line and motorik beat, while a likably discordant synth squeals hypnotically throughout. – Joe Lynch
“Slow” is a fitting topic for an artist who goes by the moniker Lazylazy, but Avinoam Henig’s jangly jam is less about slothful indolence and more about laid-back cool on this Strokes-y treat that’s perfect for the dog days of summer. – J. Lynch
Princess Nokia feat. Emilia “Diva”
Emilia Mernes has joined forces with Princess Nokia for the remix of the NYC-bred rapper’s self-empowering rap anthem “Diva,” on which she shouts out several pop music queens including Beyoncé, Shakira, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera while acknowledging how her own career has skyrocketed since her humble beginnings. Emilia swoops in on the second verse, providing an assist in Spanish and speaking of her own goddess-like qualities, a perfect complement to the track’s big band trumpet moments. – Starr Bowenbank
On HOAX’s new track, “Drew” — the latest offering from the indie pop duo’s forthcoming album, b? — the band does what it does best: ruminate on the human condition, the fragility of emotions and the human longing for connection. Vocalist Mike Raj delivers the lyrics with a pointed look at his subject, who tries fleeing when the path is too difficult to proceed (“But it’s no easier to be alone/ I want you here, I needed you to know/ No it don’t go the way that we planned it”). Meanwhile, upbeat instrumentation and lightweight guitarwork brings a refreshing feel to the otherwise analytical track, providing a vibe akin to Harry Styles’ Hot 100 smash, “As It Was.” – S.B.