Kenya Grace’s Haunting ‘It’s Not Fair’ and 5 More Cool New Pop Songs This Week

Looking for some motivation to help power you through the start of another work week? We feel you, and with some stellar new pop tunes, we’ve got you covered.

These tracks from artists including Lizzy McAlpine, jxdn, Lava La Rue and more will get you energized to take on the week. Pop any of these gems into your personal playlists — or scroll to the end of the post for a custom playlist.

Coolest Pop Song of the Week: Kenya Grace, “It’s Not Fair

Kenya Grace stumbled into a crackerjack formula with her breakthrough hit “Strangers” last fall, harnessing a thriving U.K. dance scene, dabbling in drum’n’bass and steeping its TikTok-friendly pop hook in the ethereal dejection natural to the South African-born British polymath’s gentle, forgiving voice. “Strangers” made chart history after going viral — when it reached No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, the single became the first track solely written, produced and sung by a woman to reach the top of the chart. Yet Grace hasn’t rested on her laurels while her breakout song continued in the chart’s top 10 for months, as she’s released single after single ahead of a new project, The After Taste, due out this Friday (Mar. 22).

“It’s Not Fair,” released one week ahead of that project, is the strongest of those new tracks. Like she does on “Strangers,” Grace operates over shuffling beats and ruminates on romantic mistrials (this time focusing on a breakup that even her mom and friends take as hard as she does), but the drum-n-bass influence lilts at the spots it effervesced on “Strangers,” as woodblock percussion and syncopated strings accentuate the sadness in Grace’s voice. The soft contours still define Grace’s vocal approach, but on “It’s Not Fair,” her storytelling rises above the whisper: “So tell me, truly, do you think about me? Are you happy with some other girl?” she asks on the bridge, the instrumentation dropping away so that her confrontation can fully resonate.

At nine tracks long, The After Taste gives “Strangers” a project to call home while also expanding Grace’s pop repertoire: “Someone Else” snaps onto a propulsive beat while spinning a tale of club betrayal, while “Hey, Hi, How Are You” spins forward with the dizziness of a late night call. Grace’s hit single may highlight the project, but a track like “It’s Not Fair” shows that she knows how to iterate on its sound in compelling new ways.

Here are some new pop songs worth checking out this week…

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