Rex Orange County, Tove Lo, Coi Leray – Billboard


Searching for some inspiration to help you take on another work week? We got you covered with this week’s 10 Cool New Pop Songs playlist, which features new tracks from artists like Rex Orange County, Tove Lo, Coi Leray and more.

Slide any of these gems into your personal playlist to get energized to take on the week — or scroll to the end of the post for a custom playlist of all 10.


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Rex Orange County, “Keep It Up”

Rex Orange County’s forthcoming album Who Cares? is described in a press release as “a playful record by an artist in a playful mood”; it’s also a project created in close collaboration with his “Loving Is Easy” cohort Benny Sings. Indeed, lead single “Keep It Up” plays out like a tasty bit of happy-go-lucky pop-rock that’s more whimsical than nonchalant, and an encouraging sign for the next project from the gifted singer-songwriter. – Jason Lipshutz

Coi Leray, “Anxiety”

Coi Leray established herself in 2021 as a skilled, mainstream-ready rhyme spitter, but listeners paying close attention also recognized her knack for harvesting and polishing pop melodies. New track “Anxiety” places that talent in the foreground while Leray opens up about her struggles with stress and depression, pivoting from a hummable refrain to unshrinking bars about her personal ordeals. – J. Lipshutz

Renforshort, “Moshpit”

Lauren Isenberg, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter who performs as Renforshort, has previewed her debut album with a hook that compares emotional warfare to the physical toll of moshing, and a lyric, “I’m not saying I’m a saint, but you’re hell,” among the young year’s most delicious. Enjoyable details aside, Renforshort delivers alt-rock power on “Moshpit,” a song that, coincidentally, should absolutely slay in concert. – J. Lipshutz

August Royals, “Kiss My Scars”

August Royals possesses a soft, soothing tone, the type of pillowy delivery that aims to calm even when discussing devastation. New single “Kiss My Scars” exists as a no-holds-barred commitment to the power of love, and Royals’ voice sells the message: the listener gets lost in the romance, whether he’s operating in relatively unadorned verses or synth-backed falsetto during the chorus. – J. Lipshutz

AJ Smith, “Grammy” 

The 2022 Grammy Award broadcast was kicked down the road from its original Jan. 31 date thanks to the ongoing pandemic, but Colorado-born singer-songwriter AJ Smith is here with a different type of grammy homage to pick up some of the slack. “Grammy” — an amiable pop song in the vein of early Bruno Mars with horns, organ and whistlin’ aplenty — is a tribute to his number one fan, his grandmother, who “knows all the words” to his songs, “even the ones she thinks are trouble.” – Joe Lynch

HOAX, “Soju”

Plagued with questions about the meaning of life and the temporary nature of one’s surroundings, singer Mike Raj unravels these worries with paradoxical, upbeat instrumentation to push through the pain, showing that there is sometimes growth in discomfort and providing a thoughtful reminder to cherish your loved ones. – Starr Bowenbank

Bülow, “Don’t Break His Heart”

Alt-pop singer Bülow explores a more sparse, crunchier rock-inspired sound on “Don’t Break His Heart,” complete with engineered cymbal clashes and a warm riff that helps the singer’s vocal runs sit at the forefront of her latest. And while she weaves in and out of a slower, hushed tone, the layered, emphatic chorus adds a bite that helps separate this release from fellow whisper-pop hits. – Lyndsey Havens

Tove Lo, “How Long”

The creeping backbeat of Tove Lo’s latest quickly pulls listeners into the dark and enticing world of Euphoria, the show for which this original song was created. “How Long” allows Tove Lo to dip into her falsetto while questioning “how long” has something been going on, while twinkling electronic keys and pulsating synths fuse to create a universe of sound around her — becoming a welcome distraction for an answer that never comes. – L. Havens

Chelsea Cutler, “The Lifeboat’s Empty!”

As far as breakup songs go, Chelsea Cutler’s “The Lifeboat’s Empty” works as a love letter to those who tried their best. Against the backdrop of dreamy guitar riffs and melodic drumbeats, Cutler gets deep and reflective, using avoidable deaths on a sinking ship as a metaphor for a dying relationship. – Ammal Hassan

Lola Young, “So Sorry”

The 21-year-old East London native Lola Young tackles vulnerability and toxicity in her latest single, “So Sorry.” Though significantly more upbeat than her previous music, the soulful roots of her sound remain ever-present as she expresses remorse in the face of her own mistakes. – A. Hassan

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