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Best Songs We Heard This Week: Britney Spears, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bridgit Mendler + More

Carly Rae Jepsen Britney Spears Bridgit Mendler
Interscope / RCA / Black Box

Happy Saturday, PopCrush readers.

Just as we do every week, the PopCrush editors have selected their favorite new songs on this #NewMusicFriday for your listening pleasure, ranging from up-and-comers to tried-and-true superstars.

We hope that you all have a happy and safe weekend! And for more playlists, be sure to follow us on Apple Music.

Britney Spears, “If I’m Dancing”

To be asked to choose one song from Glory is, of course, Sophie’s Choice (Godney’s Choice). Therefore, I shall leave the decision to the general public. And if memes are currency (and they are), then “If I’m Dancing” wins. The sputtering, Diplo-meets-Nicola Roberts twerk-fest is one of the most excitingly cutting-edge productions on The Holy Spearit’s ninth LP, and has inspired many a silly dancing video. The lyrics, as well, as entirely batty. Butterfly from the bottom of the ocean? We don’t deserve something this glorious. — Bradley Stern

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Ingrid Michaelson, “Light Me Up”

Michaelson’s hands aren’t just built for holding dippy ukuleles; her frame isn’t suited exclusively for woolen sweaters; her tongue can taste more than chamomile tea. “Light Me Up,” the introduction to Michaelson’s seventh LP, is loud, relentless and issues the type of chill she last delivered on her “Winter Song” duet with Sara Bareilles. And it’s not an anomaly — the track’s layered bass, sullen tones and heavy-handed drumming are a consistent, pleasant departure featured across It Doesn’t Make Sense. — Matthew Donnelly

Frank Ocean, “Pink + White”

Over the past year, a Twitter-vocal section of Frank Ocean’s fandom felt personally tested by the artist after a couple of vague possible release dates for his Channel Orange followup came and went. Honestly, four years isn’t THAT insane of a gap between releases [waves to D’Angelo], and while Ocean thanked fans for urging him on, we’re all lucky he was so un-pressed by the pressure. There’s no better proof than the achingly beautiful “Pink + White,” impeccably produced by Pharrell and featuring low-key backing vocals from Beyonce. It’s a visceral ballad that reflects on a former love with a memoirist’s eye for detail, and moreover, it’s the product of unhurried brilliance. – Samantha Vincenty

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PARRI$, “Nasty”

She choreographed the clips for Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and CL’s “Hello Bitches,” so PARRI$ (a.k.a. Parris Goebel) knows a thing or two about making a memorable music video. Now a rapper in her own right, the New Zealand born Samoan artist dropped her new single, “Nasty,” this week, along with a high octane dance performance video where she twitches, twerks and grinds her way around a stomping electronic hip-hop beat. “This is my intro / This is my intro,” PARRI$ announces on the aggressive banger. And with her debut EP just around the bend, indeed it is. – Erica Russell

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De La Soul, “Lord Intended”

It’s become uncool to lionize ‘90s rap lately, and that’s okay; as valuable as the classics are, insisting they’re superior has never birthed anything fresh and new either. Hip-hop veterans De La Soul seem to agree: Their exploratory, Kickstarter-funded new album and the Anonymous Nobody… is anything but a Stakes Is High retread. “Lord Intended,” featuring The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins and his falsetto shriek, is both the longest and least expected feature (others include David Byrne and Little Dragon). It’s not De La’s first rock collaboration, but it’s the one I’d like to most see performed live, and the gorgeous 70s-style composition that begins midway should blast away any “gimmick!” accusations. – Samantha Vincenty

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Higher”

If you shriek at the mere suggestion of Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own” firing-squad bassline, prepare your yowling-muscles. “Higher,” a standout from Jepsen’s exceptional E•MO•TION Side B, builds like Ellie Goulding’s “Something in the Way You Move” on performance-enhancing bulking supplements. Gloria Estefan-style inflections on the pre-chorus offer earmark Carly Rae fun; two seconds later, production is completely airborne. — Matthew Donnelly

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Bridgit Mendler, “Atlantis (feat. Kaiydo)”

Be not fooled by any Selena Gomez, Zendaya or Miley Cyrus: The path from bubblegum Disney Channel princess status to “cool” pop stardom is no easy feat. Bridgit Mendler, however, seems to be on the fast track to the latter with her latest musical offering, “Atlantis.” The Good Luck Charlie star has traded in the rollicking, jazzy electro pop of 2012’s “Ready or Not” for vibey, chilly electronica on the hazy new tune, sounding somewhat like a cross between Imogen Heap, KT Tunstall and Tinashe. Folk-R&B, perhaps? As Britney would say: It’s a little melodic and a little more not-so-poppy… but damn if it doesn’t make me oooh. – Erica Russell

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Next: Best Songs We Heard This Week: Mollie King, Petite Meller + More

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