Best Songs We Heard This Week: Selena Gomez, Rebecca & Fiona, Jon McLaughlin & More
Happy #NewMusicFriday! As always, thanks to the new internationally-agreed-upon global release date, there's plenty of new tunes to love today. And to help you sort through it all, the PopCrush Staff has selected their personal faves from the past week.
Dig into this week’s round-up from our editors (in no particular order), and add your favorites to your weekend playlist. 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...
Selena Gomez, “Sober”
Selena Gomez has yet to truly find her identity or her sound as a pop star, but she’s one step closer to it with her latest album Revival, and the infectious “Sober” is a pretty good place to start. With its insistent drums, some light ‘80s influenced synth and a deceptively upbeat sound, “Sober” is proper ear-worm territory for Selena. Her vocals really shine, for once: She emotes with newfound ease, and there’s a vulnerability that comes through on “Sober” that makes it hard to believe the track is about nothing more than an awkward morning after. — Ali Szubiak
Donna Missal, “Keep Lying”
Swimmers are advised to paddle with the current—instead of against an undertow—to escape the pull of a riptide. Well, they’d be wise to steer clear of Donna Missal’s Atlantic, because the Brooklyn-based artist is the vocal equivalent to a series of unyielding crosscurrents: if you so much as dip your foot into the surf, you’ll immediately be swept out to sea. “Keep Lying,” an impassioned appeal to remain oblivious to a lover’s straying eye, first burns like a permit-granted campfire, but quickly makes way for a species-eliminating asteroid shower. And then come the next three minutes… — Matthew Donnelly
Rebecca & Fiona, "Sayonara"
Swedish oddballs Rebecca & Fiona blur the lines between moody alternative pop, dance and — hmm, something decidedly quirkier. Written and produced alongside Tove Lo's "Habits" penner Daniel Ledinsky and Andy Price (who's also worked with Erik Hassle and Elliphant), “Sayonara” is one hell of an introduction after signing to RCA Records. "F--k the world," they declare off the top of their mesmerizing, too-cool-for-school marching midtempo ode to living in the moment. Say hello...and goodbye. — Bradley Stern
The 1975, "Love Me"
No one can accuse The 1975 of playing it safe. Their brand new single, “Love Me,” comes on the heels of a complete image makeover, when the band’s social media accounts went dark for a full 24 hours before reemerging in a flurry of pink hues — a total departure from their sullen black-and-white of the past few years. And their new single reflects all that newfound color — channeling ‘80s-era David Bowie, “Love Me” is a power-pop burst of brightness, with biting, Prince-like guitars, strutting vocals and a winding guitar solo that sounds suspiciously like a musical saw. Frontman Matt Healy said the track is about narcissism, and considering how good this one sounds, we wouldn't blame him if it were self-referential. — Ali Szubiak
Jon McLaughlin, “Down in History”
Where piano-pop artists once had box seats reserved in the pop arena, they’d be lucky in 2015 find a scalper with a nosebleed-connection. Still, that’s no problem for Jon McLaughlin—he’s content with his view from the bleachers. “Down In History,” a seemingly uncooperative dichotomy of subdued One Republic ballad and jazzy wine club ensemble, somehow makes for a pleasing effect that lifts it above the cliché of either. I know it’s no threat to pop radio, you know it’s no threat to pop radio and Jon McLaughlin knows it’s no threat to pop radio—it’s all the more charming for it. — Matthew Donnelly
Selena Gomez, "Hands To Myself"
Selena Gomez and Prince: The musical pairing we've all been anticipating. Well, not quite, but according to the singer, the Revival standout was inspired by an offhanded hook that sounded "Prince-like," written in the studio by banging a cup on a desk. Swedish mastermind Max Martin provided the finishing touches on the production, and the rest is punctuated, breathy history. She described "Hands To Myself" as probably the best song" on Revival, which means we're all more or less on the same page. — Bradley Stern
Kurt Cobain, “And I Love Her”
No legacy can ever truly go untouched, and so it is that the long-dead, reluctant voice of Generation X, Kurt Cobain, is set to release a solo album later this year. It’s not actually as bad as it sounds — director Brett Morgan came across a wealth of Cobain demos while researching his excellent documentary, Montage of Heck, so he’s releasing a compilation of some of the better ones. Cobain was a huge Beatles fan, and his cover of “And I Love Her” is the type of reimagining you’d expect from someone who wrote the cheekily titled track, “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.” His rendition of the ballad turns it on its head: Bereft of the original's simple, earnest romance, Cobain’s version is haunting, slow and chilling — three things he never got wrong. — Ali Szubiak
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