5 Musicians That Will Revive Your Faith in Pop Music

It’s no secret that the style of bubblegum pop is no longer the zeitgeist of mainstream music in 2018. While “trap” style hip-hop and alternative r&b have taken the top spots on the charts, there’s been an interesting development for pop music. It’s moved underground. There is a trend of cutting-edge, largely independent pop divas taking streaming services and college radio stations by storm. These artists are making waves by mixing the early 2000s sounds we reminisce over with interesting new production styles. Be sure to give these pop newcomers a listen.

 

1. Hatchie

This Australian synth and dream-pop singer/songwriter only just released her debut EP Sugar and Spice this past May, but since then, she has quickly risen to critical success. Hatchie seamlessly bridges the spacy genre of shoegaze with catchy pop sensibilities in a way Noisey.com called, “Somewhere between Cocteau Twins and Sky Ferreira.” A great track by Hatchie is “Sugar & Spice.” This song is an earworm that perfectly captures the melancholy of looking back on a past relationship and wondering if it could still work. She sings, “The brightest stars burn out the fastest, but maybe we could still have lost it all, or we could outlast it all.”

 

 

2. SOPHIE

SOPHIE’s subversive take on pop music is trippy, left-field and deeply emotional. While her futuristic sound may be unexpected by the typical pop listener, she is worth a listen. SOPHIE’s song “It’s Okay To Cry” is a beautiful ballad on the importance of realizing your emotions and showing vulnerability, “Was that a teardrop in your eye? I never thought I'd see you cry. Just know whatever hurts, it's all mine. It's okay to cry.” SOPHIE’s major success is in bridging these important issues with cutting-edge beats that push the boundaries of pop. Through her music, she’s constantly questioning what the genre can be, and it’s always exciting.  

 

 

 

3. Rina Sawayama

Rina Sawayama is making glittery pop music for the internet generation, and it’s all too relatable. Backed by killer production by Clarence Clarity, Rina’s self-titled debut album is packed with jams that sounds straight out of an early 2000s Britney Spears record. These songs largely discuss the pressures of social media and always being connected to a phone. “Cyber Stockholm Syndrome,” tells the story of a girl going out to a party and feeling so anxious she escapes into the world of her phone to distract herself. The lines, “Fiction/fact boundaries collide, find me in my palm so bright, cyber Stockholm syndrome,” show how, for socially anxious people like Rina, our digital lives can sometimes be easier to manage. She’s a great listen for any girl who can relate to that digital anxiety.

 

 

 

4. Let’s Eat Grandma

Let’s Eat Grandma is a teenage duo that’s been making waves in the pop scene. Despite their age, Lets Eat Grandma have production and mixing skills way beyond their years, crafting trippy yet melodic pop bangers and ballads. Their witchy, endearing stage presence and emotional songwriting would be enjoyed by any Lorde fan. Since they only just released their second album, I’m All Ears, to large critical success, it’ll be exciting to see where these young musicians go next.

 

 

5. Kali Uchis

The Columbian pop songstress, Kali Uchis, has been taking the world by storm. Her success started by landing major features on hits like Tyler the Creator’s “See You Again” and Daniel Caesar’s “Get You.” These tastes of Kali’s beautiful voice and unique harmonizing made the release of her second record Isolation in 2018 that much sweeter. Isolation blends elements of alternative r&b and Kali’s Columbian flare into fifteen sexy, danceable tracks. Kali Uchis has a considerable talent it’s mixed with a unique, glamorous style (she was quoted by Vogue saying, “Do you. Wear what you want to wear. Be an individual.”) She’s a pop diva to watch.