10 Cool New Pop Songs to Get You Through the Week: Lizzy McAlpine, Caroline Polachek & More

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 Lizzy McAlpine, Caroline Polachek, Emei 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.

Lizzy McAlpine, “Hold On”

For the theme song to the new Apple series Dear Edward, quick-rising singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine teamed with Oscar-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land) and created a graceful, metaphor-heavy folk-pop meditation. “Hold On” plays out like a Boygenius song written for Broadway, and that’s a great thing, as McAlpine’s gentle pleas are translated into a universal product. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

Young Fathers, “Sink or Swim”

The entirety of Young Fathers’ just-released album Heavy Heavy is a brain-busting triumph, and “Sink or Swim” demonstrates precisely how the Scottish trio excels with loud, shambolic gestures that ultimately result in pop hooks. On “Sink or Swim,” the soulful vocal melodies slice through the cacophony and pick up the frenzied tempo — you can’t help but clap along, even as sounds keep shattering. – J. Lipshutz

Emei, “Scatterbrain”

“Scatterbrain,” alt-pop artist Emei’s ode to her ADHD, moves swiftly: breakdowns are abrupt, harmonies appear and disappear, and the chorus carries an ephemeral thrill. Emei brilliantly portrays her subject matter, but even if “Scatterbrain” was untangled from its topic, the track exudes gleeful pop craft and hints at an extremely bright future. – J. Lipshutz

Cody・Lee(李), “1096”

Japanese band CodyLee has a wide range of styles that it excels in — synth-driven, upbeat alternative and guitar-driven rock with hint of psychedelia are just among the few. But on new track “1096,” the band opts for a something more vulnerable and intimate, trading its usual sound for sentimental piano instrumentation that feels plucked from a Studio Ghibli film, as vocalist Hibiki Takahashi discusses anxiety and the passage of time. Elements of grunge sneak into the track through guitar solos, adding a nice contrast to an otherwise soft song. — STARR BOWENBANK

No Vacation, “I Will Always”

Shoegaze lives on with No Vacation’s new track “I Will Always.” Vocalist Sab Mai’s hazy and subdued vocals effortlessly blending into the fuzzy instrumentation, guitar effects and drum beats barely distinguishable from each other, as she sings of letting go of someone close in order for them to reach their full potential: “And now, it’s all the same to me/ So be whatever you want to be/ And go wherever you need to go,” she says, before assuring the loved one they’ll “always” have her support. — S.B.

Faye Fantarrow, “AWOL” 

Driven by fervent acoustic strumming and a pulsing rhythm, Faye Fantarrow’s “AWOL” demonstrates the U.K. singer-songwriter’s impressive alt-soul phrasing, which brings to mind Alessia Cara in its distinctiveness, and even Adele as well at points. The release date of her debut EP (on Bay Street Records, the label from Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart) was moved up to Feb. 10 after the 20-year-old — who beat leukemia twice as a kid — was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor; regardless, “AWOL” crackles with vitality. – JOE LYNCH

Lyn Lapid feat. Ruth B, “Do You Really?” 

After gaining fame from viral covers on TikTok (how else?), Lyn Lapid is proving her mettle as an artist in her own right with songs like this collab with singer-songwriter (and Vine survivor!) Ruth B. “Do You Really?” asks a paramour a variation on pop music’s eternal “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” question, over a winning folk-pop shuffle that would fit nicely on radio. – J. Lynch

Caroline Polacheck, “Blood and Butter”

Ahead of the Valentine’s Day release of Desire, I Want To Turn Into You, Caroline Polacheck has released a string of singles, showing off just how experimental and enticing her new album will be. “Blood and Butter” is no exception, featuring layers of different sounds and instruments — even including a set of bagpipes. The song is proof there’s nothing Polacheck can’t pull off, yet thankfully for fans, she’s not afraid to continue searching. — LYNDSEY HAVENS

Caylee Hammack, “All or Nothing”

Country-pop singer-songwriter Caylee Hammack’s latest delivers on its title of “All or Nothing,” as she gives the take all she has, delivering both syrupy sweet and raspy rock vocals — plus an epic wail near the end. The artist says in a statement that “All or Nothing” is a “fitting” introduction to her second album, out later this year. “Everybody loves a good old war cry for good love sometimes,” she adds. — L.H.

Jake Shears, “Too Much Music”

Legendary Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears is gearing up the release of a new solo album, Last Man Dancing, coming in June. The first sonic sampling is “Too Much Music,” a glimmering dance-pop track about how there’s simply no such thing as too much music. Equal parts disco, funk and glam, the song sets the stage — or rather the dancefloor — for Shears to take over this summer. — L.H.

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