Top Songs of 2014 (So Far)
Believe it or not, we’re almost halfway through 2014 — which means we’ve already heard some awesome pop tracks from some of our favorite artists this year.
From the infectious sounds of One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer, to the more moody, emotional songs by artists like Sam Smith and Lana Del Rey, to everything in between, check out 14 of the best pop songs of 2014 (so far!) as picked by the editors here at PopCrush.
Lana Del Rey, 'West Coast'
Lana Del Rey is back with another of her signature moody tracks. 'West Coast' gives off some serious '70s vibes, but sticks to Lana's tried and true formula of seductive crooning and ominous melodies. We're totally ready to put 'Summertime Sadness' on pause in favor of the singer's latest offering. -- Maggie, Senior Editor
Rita Ora, 'I Will Never Let You Down'
British pop star Rita Ora is set to release her sophomore album later this year, with the Calvin Harris-produced ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ paving the way for her new era. The feel-good love song is like a shot of pure pop happiness straight to the heart. Rita sings, “When you’re feeling low on love / I’ll be what you’re dreaming of / Oh, oh / I will never let you down.” We expect to hear this cheery number loads as we head into the summer. -- Mandi, Associate Editor
Foxes, 'Let Go For Tonight'
Foxes became a household name as the powerhouse vocalist on Zedd's 'Clarity,' but she's garnering a reputation as a solo artist to watch as well. 'Let Go For Tonight,' a piano-driven prelude to her debut album, is an anthemic track that showcases Foxes' -- real name Louisa Rose Allen -- incredible voice. We're more than willing to let Louisa coax us into seizing the moment in this larger-than-life hit. -- Maggie, Senior Editor
OneRepublic, 'Love Runs Out'
OneRepublic's 'Love Runs Out' was originally supposed to be the single off of their latest album, 'Native' -- only Ryan Tedder couldn't get the chorus quite right in time and the song didn't appear on the record. Fortunately, he eventually nailed it, and we're super happy he did. We can't get enough of the tune's upbeat, rock vibe or its catchy, pumped-up chorus. Needless to say, we're pretty obsessed with this one. -- Michelle, Associate Editor
Us the Duo, 'No Matter Where You Are'
This husband and wife team have cornered the market on folk-pop perfection. ‘No Matter Where You Are’ is their sophomore album and same-titled lead single, an upbeat, lighthearted tune that couldn’t be better suited for a summer soundtrack. The pair originally made waves with their six-second long Vine medleys of pop hits, earning them a social media following that eventually led to a record deal. To top off this fairytale, ‘No Matter’ isn’t just any old song — it was the couple’s wedding vows! -- Mandi, Associate Editor
The Vamps, 'Last Night'
The Vamps are easily one of our newest favorite bands, and we're totally hooked on their lead single 'Last Night.' The track perfectly embodies the upbeat happiness of pop music, but the band adds a catchy rock vibe with the heavy drum and guitar background. Plus, the guys are totally adorable, and we would totally be down to spend our 'Last Night' with them! -- Michelle, Associate Editor
Sam Smith, 'Stay With Me'
It's not just British crooner Sam Smith's silky, booming voice that makes 'Stay With Me' earn a spot on our Best Songs of 2014 list -- it's the raw emotion that he pours into the heartbreaking song, which had us getting a little bit emotional ourselves. But that's exactly what great music is supposed to do: make you feel something real. -- Michelle, Associate Editor
Cody Simpson, 'Surfboard'
Cody Simpson mixes retro and heavy beats in 'Surfboard,' his most mature track to date. The Aussie singer cranks up the heat -- something we're sure his fans don't mind one bit! Despite being a major departure from the acoustic vibes for which Cody is known, we can't resist how ridiculously catchy the song is. If this is an indication of what we can expect from his upcoming album, we can't wait! -- Maggie, Senior Editor
Lady Gaga, 'G.U.Y.'
Lady Gaga takes the EDM route with ‘G.U.Y.,’ which isn’t too surprising with Zedd at the helm as producer. The ‘ARTPOP’ star has a solid dance hit on her hands; the almost techno-style feel and clap-led chorus are practically begging to find a home in dark clubs and on crowded dance floors. Part of what earned ‘G.U.Y.’ its spot on our list is Gaga’s bold use of intriguing lyrics and imagery to play around with gender roles and sexuality. Club number it might be, but the song is anything but boring. -- Mandi, Associate Editor
Shakira feat. Rihanna, 'Can't Remember to Forget You'
Two of our favorite international ladies came together for the ‘Can’t Remember to Forget You’ collab featured on Shakira’s self-titled album. The pop-rock song is made memorable by the Colombian singer’s signature Latin influences meshed interestingly with some of RiRi’s own specific sounds, such as brief bursts of reggae guitar riffs. Despite differences in personal sound and their unique vocals, the combination gels seamlessly, making this one of the best artist collaborations of the year so far. -- Mandi, Associate Editor
Katy Perry, 'Birthday'
Katy Perry blends the perfect mix of sugary sweetness and risqué sauciness into her latest single, 'Birthday.' The fun, summery track is classic Katy Perry, infusing her killer vocals into the fun, poppy beat of the song. And if you love the colorful track as much as we do, just wait until you see the music video -- it's outrageous! -- Michelle, Associate Editor
5 Seconds of Summer, 'She Looks So Perfect'
5 Seconds of Summer charged onto radio waves with 'She Looks So Perfect,' an ultry-catchy song that celebrates being young and in love. Not only are the band members super-talented and charismatic, in one fall swoop they made American Apparel underwear synonymous with kismet. -- Maggie, Senior Editor
One Direction, 'You & I'
It’s a nice change of pace to see the usually playful boy band slow it down for ‘You & I,’ the latest single from their third album, ‘Midnight Memories.’ The ballad is a chance for the boys to demonstrate their vocal abilities, proving they aren’t solely a group of pretty faces — that’s just an added bonus. 1D takes turns crooning grand statements of love, claiming, “Not even the Gods above can separate the two of us.” Pretty romantic, don't you think? Our knees are weak just thinking about it! -- Mandi, Associate Editor
Ed Sheeran, 'Sing'
Ed Sheeran's latest single, 'Sing' (off of his upcoming sophomore album, 'X') is an entirely different sound than anything we've heard from the redheaded Brit, and we can't get enough of it. Sheeran worked with Pharrell on the track, and the 'Happy' singer's influence is plastered all over the tune. The catchy, eclectic single demonstrates Sheeran's multi-faceted musicianship as he sings the chorus in a JT-like falsetto, raps several verses with impressive speed and backs the whole track with the fast-paced strumming of his trademark acoustic guitar. -- Michelle, Associate Editor