The 20 best pop songs right now

July’s best pop songs, including tracks by Charli XCX, Noah Cyrus, Rosalía, and Rico Nasty.

July 31, 2019
The 20 best pop songs right now Charli / Rosalía via PR; Rico Nasty by Katie McCurdy for The FADER

Every month The FADER brings you the best pop songs in the world. Subscribe to the updating playlist on Apple Music.

ADVERTISEMENT


1

Charli XCX and Christine & The Queens — “Gone"

Hearing Charli XCX — who, despite the anarchic streak to her music, has never been very emotionally open on record — sing “I feel so unstable, fucking hate these people / How they making me feel baby / They making me weird baby” is an absolute gut-punch. “Gone” isn’t Charli’s best song but it feels like the one that will cement her as one of her generation’s most talented stars.

2

Taylor Swift — “The Archer”

For every contrivance like “ME!,” Taylor has a song like “The Archer,” which carries all the same clarity and vulnerability as career highlights “All Too Well” and “Clean.”

3

Rosalía — “Milionària”

All four of Rosalía’s 2019 singles have been completely different, and incredibly good; “Milionària” ties with “Con Altura,” “Aute Cuture,” and “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero” for best-in-show.

4

Rico Nasty — “Time Flies”

Rico Nasty’s music is consistently turbocharged, so it’s almost shocking that “Time Flies” is her first song that you could theoretically describe as “rave-adjacent.”

5

ADVERTISEMENT
Clairo — “Sofia”

“I just wanna say/ How I love you with your hair down” is an incredibly mundane lyric that sounds like the most romantic phrase in the world when Clairo sings it.

6

Angel Olsen — “All Mirrors”

Indelible lyrics have been a key part of Angel Olsen’s art since the very beginning, and the haunting, decadent “All Mirrors” contains some of her best lines yet. The refrain “All mirrors are erasing,” sung by Olsen as if she’s summoning some kind of fiendish spirit, isn’t easily forgotten.

7

Beyoncé — “BIGGER”

Atmosphere and scale have become more and more important within Beyoncé’s work since Lemonade; “BIGGER,” which feels absolutely monumental even at its most quiet, displays just how much she can do when she’s actually not doing much at all.

8

Dominic Fike — “Phone Numbers”

Dominic Fike singing “Why you switch phooooone numbers like clooooothes” is an incredible hook made even better by the fact that it brings to mind Katy Perry singing “You change your mind / Like a girl changes clothes” on “Hot ’N’ Cold.”

9

HTRK — “You Know How To Make Me Happy”

HTRK, for whatever reason, tend to be polarising, but it’s hard to argue with a song as casually catchy as “You Know How to Make Me Happy.”

10

Jaden Smith & Tyler, The Creator — “NOIZE”

Imagine that Drake meme where Drake likes one thing and dislikes another thing: in this case, the thing he likes is Jaden singing catchy hooks, and the thing he dislikes is Jaden rapping. (Bonus: a third box in this imagined meme where Drake absolutely loves Tyler’s verse, which references his fake relationship with Jaden as well as the best White Stripes album, Icky Thump.)

11

ADVERTISEMENT
Post Malone & Young Thug — “Goodbyes”

I love beerbongs & bentleys (sue me!), and this distorted, freaky One Direction-lite track manages to recapture everything I like about that album without sounding like a retread.

12

Caroline Polachek — “Ocean of Tears”

The evil twin of Polachek’s single from last month, the heavenly “Door.”

13

Yuna & Jay Park — “Does She”

Finally: a song about how cooked it is when you see your ex dating someone who looks exactly like you.

14

Noah Cyrus — “July”

Miley Cyrus can only really pull off "going country" when it involves Bangerz-style weirdness — her Future duet “My Darlin’,” for example — but younger sister Noah’s new single “July,” with its delicate harmonies and stripped-back production, strikes somewhere between Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” and the indie-country of Kacey Musgraves. This song is, most likely, about Noah’s split from human meme Lil Xan, and yet her delivery of the line “I’ve been holding back tears while you’re throwing back beers” makes my heart ache.

15

Blood Orange & Justine Skye — “Good For You”

Dev Hynes, always the good collaborator, smartly cedes the spotlight to Justine Skye on this track by letting her show off for a few minutes.

16

Lykke Li, Lil Baby, & snowsa — “sex money feelings die REMIX”

The uniquely absurd refrain of “Ladies on my right / Sex, money, feelings, die / Baby, don’t you cry / Sex, money, feelings, die” is still the best thing about this song, even though it now has to compete for space with Lil Baby and snowsa.

17

ADVERTISEMENT
Whitney — “Valleys (My Love)”

Whitney’s Julien Ehrlich typically writes vocal lines that are fascinatingly knotty and rhythmic, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that while encountering the truly effortless-sounding “Valleys.”

18

070 Shake & Jessie Reyez — “SCAR”

It’s kinda unbelievable that a song this fucking haunted would exist on, of all places, a Disney soundtrack — but that’s life these days. Jessie Reyez’s demonic verse starts at 1:05; if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably find yourself skipping straight to it.

19

Skrillex & Alvin Risk — “Fuji Opener”

It’s a little surprising that Skrillex still makes music that sounds like this, but I’m not at all upset about it.

20

Jenny Hval — “Ashes To Ashes”

Jenny Hval is getting into trop-house a little later than everyone else, but that’s easily forgiven.

The 20 best pop songs right now