Best Songs We Heard This Week: Lana Del Rey, Jess Glynne, DNCE and More
It's that time again: #NewMusicFriday! Thanks to the new, internationally agreed-upon global release date, all the biggest releases drop at the very end of the week. And, to help sort the good from the truly great, we're spotlighting the eight tracks that the PopCrush Staff has had on repeat all day.
Check out this week's round-up from our editors (in no particular order), and add your favorites to your weekend playlist. And speaking of playlists, Apple Music users now have another way to connect with PopCrush — you can stay up to date with all of our mixes here.
And now, on to your new favorite songs…
James Morrison, “Demons”
Fan of James Bay or Sam Smith? You have Morrison, a founding father of contemporary soul-pop, to thank, and his latest, “Demons,” proves his voice is still sharp enough to sever a diamond. Where his previous work winked at Motown, the 31-year-old’s wisely experimenting with more current production techniques, and the track’s high-pitched “I’ve got demons” loop might just be a tease to a potentially radical fourth album. - Matthew Donnelly
DNCE, “Cake By The Ocean"
Joe Jonas has successfully cut ties with his bubble-gum JoBros roots in the form of his new ‘70s-influenced band DNCE. With a funk-heavy bass line and groovy falsetto, their first single “Cake by the Ocean” is way smarter than its title suggests — it’s a seriously catchy ear worm, tailor-made for repeat radio rotation. Jonas even drops a few f-bombs in there, fully obliterating his purity-ring-wearing Disney days. There’s nothing but love between them, we’re sure, but DNCE could provide some serious competition to chart-topping little bro Nick. - Ali Szubiak
Kelela shared the neon-lit video for her latest single this week, igniting increased interest in the electronica-leaning singer-songwriter. “Rewind” is from her Hallucinogen EP due out October 9, and its success lies in the combination of her voice with a beat inspired by Miami bass, that magical genre that brought us mid-90s hits like “My Boo” “Whoomp! (There It is)” and 69 Boyz’ “Tootsee Roll.” Sultry and amped-up at once, this one’s perfect for the dance party and the, uh, two-person private party. - Samantha Vincenty
Ellie Goulding, "On My Mind"
With a riff reminiscent of The Police’s "Message in a Bottle," Ellie Goulding’s “On My Mind” is a vaguely reggae-inspired, R&B-leaning track that is definitely not a response to Ed Sheeran, so “Don’t” get it twisted. But whatever, right? Goulding’s rapid-fire verses and staccato-like delivery of the chorus’ repeat phrase, “Why I got you on my mind” interspersed with “You think you know somebody" lend to the track’s subtle ire. Never has a non-response song with such sweet vocals sounded so aggressive. - Ali Szubiak
Meg Myers, “Motel”
Myers previously made my Best Songs list with “Lemon Eyes,” and today (September 18) she released Sorry, a strong collection of brutally honest, rock-tinged pop songs. She kicks off the full-length with “Motel,” a stirring, steely and unapologetically emo number that serves as a fitting taste of what’s to come from the remainder of the (again, very good) album. - Samantha Vincenty
Kylie Minogue and Sam Sparro, "If I Can't Have You"
Two hearts are beating together, as a fabulous Aussie legend once sang. Swerving slightly left with her second Fernando Garibay co-crafted EP (Kylie + Garibay), Kylie delivers a bit of tropical House and finger-snapping, voice-morphing modern pop that touches on the sound Justin Bieber's going for lately. Together, Sam and Kylie take turns making pleas — but they won't have to wait for long: This one's irresistible. Truly! Here's hoping Kylie continues down this road with her upcoming material. - Bradley Stern
Jess Glynne, “Take Me Home”
Replete with fuzzy, feel-good anthems, Glynne’s disco-pop debut album might reasonably be confused for a trip to Disneyland. Still, “Take me Home,” a noticeably moodier, slower track, is potentially the Grammy-winner’s most convincing effort. The song offers grit, rasp and textures you won’t hear otherwise on I Cry When I Laugh, and it’s her live set’s show-stopper. - Matthew Donnelly
Lana Del Rey, "God Knows I Tried"
Whereas last year's Ultraviolence was Lana's dark, deeply sarcastic storm of a response to the naysayers, Honeymoon is the stuff of sleepy dreams — but it's still hugely depressing, of course! That's just the Lana "Sad Girl" way. "God Knows I Tried" is one of the most gorgeous, personal songs from the record — and also one of the saddest. "I've got nothing much left to live for ever since I found my fame," she bleakly croons, touching on her complicated relationship with fame several times throughout the LP and dancing to "Hotel California" all alone. The weariness is haunting. - Bradley Stern
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