Pop’s popular for a reason, and while we’re all for promoting bands we love that might not be plastered on billboards in Times Square or on Billboard’s pages, I (personally, I can’t speak for everyone here lol), am obsessed with it. I made a pop was never trash playlist for my own personal happiness a while back, but there have been some massive updates since then so here we go with an abbreviated pt II.
Pop’s funny because it’s a genre to describe the sound, but it also describes the fact that it is popular amongst a more massive audience. Some of the artists on this playlist fall more onto one side of that Fine Line… than others.
Harry Styles’ Fine Line has been out since the very end of last year but it seems like people are only now catching onto it. Adore you is such a fucking jam. Harry is an angel in lace and he’s here to save us all, I really don’t think I need to say anything more except maybe please watch this video of his love story with a fish:
My perception of Dua Lipa and her place in the pop stratosphere may be skewed because ever since the New Rules video came out she’s been my true pop queen. That video was s o c o o l I couldn’t stand it – everything about it was so calculated but also effortless. That’s her whole thing. She hardly has to move to do everything she needs to do. “Cool” is also very cool, co-written by Tove Lo and just packed with that delicate energy. Her new album Future Nostalgia, which was released early due to a leak, is so much fun and incredibly aptly names. My only gripe would be the last song “Boys Will Be Boys,” which really just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the record which is groove after groove.
Harry and Dua have both played to arenas, but Max Leone is just starting off, as in just earlier this year. His pop’s got a bedroom feeling to it, but he’s also instantly cool somehow. Time will tell if it sticks and he gets to the arena, but I’m out here rooting for him and I think he has some pretty good chances and people on his side (ie Interscope). Plus, very strong aesthetic vibes and not too bad to look at either.
If you’re living in America you most likely haven’t heard of Maria Escarmiento, who has signed to Universal Music Spain after having been a contestant on OT, Spain’s version of American Idol meets Real World, but over there she’s really doing the thing. The arena thing, the red carpet thing. Her music matches her whole mood, her voice is distinctly and seductively hers. Castigo (which translates to punishment) is a sad/mad song about a girl, but in the video she’s backed up by her badass girl gang, which, fun fact, includes Ade from Hinds as the two are BFFs from way back.
Does Yaeji even count as pop? Doja Cat and “Supalonely” are all over TikTok, but Yaeji’s got a massive following, maybe more on the indie side. Yves Tumor appeals to indie industry folks while Bieber is still Bieber even though he’s moved from pop to hip hop. Whatever, I’m including all of it because they’re all supafun and seem like bops we’d all be playing on Bluetooth in the springtime if we were allowed to be outside. Yikes.
Please just enjoy everything as much as you can. Pop is fun, pop is good. Pop is sincere and often poignant in its predictability one moment, and surprising you with another reinvention the very next. Pop was never trash!!