Ever have trouble expressing honest feelings towards a crush or even significant other? Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us but today’s biggest pop stars are here to provide the right words to all those bottled-up feelings. Carly Rae Jepsen is serving up music to soften the blow of a breakup, Niall Horan expresses the feelings of budding love, and Khalid looks to strengthen his relationship with the most important person — himself.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new releases. Listen up.
Carly Rae Jepsen — “Let’s Be Friends”
Fans have been begging pop’s non-problematic favorite, Carly Rae Jepsen, for some Dedicated b-sides ever since the record’s 2019 release. But the singer waited until the new year to deliver. With “Let’s Be Friends,” bright, buoyant synths arrive at the chorus to provide focus to the track’s message. “‘Let’s Be Friends’ is about the little lie we all share to soften the blow of a breakup,” Jepsen said in a statement. “This Valentine’s Day I’d prefer to just rip off the band-aid. See you never!”
Justin Bieber — “Intentions” Feat. Quavo
Justin Bieber’s Changes arrives in time for Valentine’s Day. But just ahead of the record’s release, the singer debuted an R&B-inspired collaboration with Quavo. On the charming track, Bieber’s tenor breaks through above the steady, rolling beat while Quavo’s verse adds a smooth layer to the mesmerizing number.
Niall Horan — “No Judgement”
After gaining recognition for his debut solo record Flicker, ex-One Direction member Niall Horan announced his sophomore record, Heartbreak Weather, with “No Judgement.” The track’s punchy beat continues Horan’s strong solo efforts. Horan said about the track, “When you’re with me, there’s no judgement. There’s enough people judging, so you don’t need to be judged by me.”
Khalid — “Know Your Worth” Feat. Disclosure
Khalid and Disclosure joined forces earlier this year for the Grammy-nominated smash hit “Talk.” Following the success of the single, the crooner and the electronic duo teamed up once again for “Know Your Worth.” Disclosure’s instrumentals provide a dynamic and bouncy backdrop to Khalid’s swelling and tender voice, which sings to the importance of putting oneself first in a relationship.
Tove Lo — “Calling On Me” Feat. Sean Paul
Sean Paul has come a long way since “Temperature.” Now, he’s teaming up with Tove Lo for a single following her recently-released record Sunshine Kitty. In the unlikely collaboration, the Swedish pop singer’s mixed vocals cut through an irresistibly catchy, Latin-infused beat garnished with distinctly lush production.
Joji — “Run”
Joji’s resonating voice surrounds a rolling, lo-fi backbeat on his first release since debut album Ballads 1. At the climax, a cool-toned electric guitar cuts through the haze, emphasizing Joji’s emotive, crooning vocals. For the expansive single, Joji worked with Justin Parker, who’s produced music for the likes of Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, and Ellie Goulding.
Halsey — “Experiment On Me”
Halsey recently dropped her highly-anticipated record Manic, which takes a page out of her personal struggle with mental health and toxic relationships. Halsey translated her experiences with toxic relationships into inspiration for “Experiment On Me,” the noisy, incendiary song featured on DC’s Birds Of Prey soundtrack. Halsey screeches alongside a jarring beat produced by Bring Me The Horizon.
Marina — “About Love”
Written for the soundtrack to Netflix’s film To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Marina’s fluttering track “About Love” chronicles all that she’s learned about relationships. The track’s revved-up beat pauses during the chorus, highlighting Marina’s earnest musings while building anticipation for its inevitable drop.
Anne-Marie — “Birthday”
In her first-released song in over a year, Anne-Marie takes time to focus on herself with “Birthday.” The empowering pop number teems with Anne-Marie’s mischievous personality, using her larger-than-life vocals to narrate over a wonky, popping beat.
Griff — “Good Stuff”
After dropping the EP The Mirror Talk in 2019, Griff returns with the patient number “Good Stuff.” The stripped-back ballad captivates with Griff’s R&B vocal delivery. But as some may think, the reflective song isn’t about a breakup, but rather a different kind of separation. “So my family foster children in care, and we’ve had kids come and live with us for as long as four years, but they always end up moving on to a more permanent situation,” Griff said in a statement. “Every time they do, as a family we always only ever remember ‘the good stuff’ – even though fostering can be super difficult and hard.”
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.