10. Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
Harry Styles came through late this year with a series of bops that showed a strong evolution.
I think the most fun and infectious was Watermelon Sugar. It showcases his evocative songwriting, which shines throughout Fine Line – one of the best albums of the year.
9. Molly Hammar – Words
Swedish superteam Benjamin Ingrosso, Hampus Lindvall, and Molly Hammar got together to craft this beautiful pop song. It’s so incredibly clean and elegant.
8. Daya – Insomnia
Daya’s output this year has been criminally underrated. On both Left Me Yet and Insomnia she showcases her impeccable pop prowess. We should all be stanning.
7. Katy Perry – Never Really Over
Ever since the PRISM era, fans of Katy Perry had been clamoring for a Zedd collab and it had been often teased. This year they finally arrived in the form of (the great) 365 and Never Really Over.
As the music industry fell victim to men with face tattoos, and women who emit their vocals via whispers this year, the song represented hope for pop music, and the chorus, of course, features the most fun sing-along moment of the year.
6. Lauv & Anne-Marie – fuck, i’m lonely
Lauv is one of the best chorus creators in the world. The combination of a song about loneliness with that bubbly production and fun beat? That’s prefect pop music right there.
5. PRETTYMUCH – Phases
I really don’t a whole lot about the U.S. boyband PRETTYMUCH and what they’ve been up to since they were launched by Simon Cowell in 2017, but it looks like this new strategy of giving a boyband some creative freedom in working out well. This song features what is absolutely one of my favourite choruses of the year.
4. Sam Smith – How Do You Sleep?
This song is so perfect, so shiny, so glittery. The ability of the Max Martin team to create music that is at there level of pop brilliance while maintaining each individual artist’s identity is unparalleled. To give Sam Smith a post-chorus with a trap beat should sound like madness, but instead it’s perfect!
3. Normani – Motivation
Normani’s Motivation was the most exciting pop moment of the year. It was an explosive breakout popstar single delivered with such attitude and confidence. I hope 2020 is her year.
2. Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying
Don’t Feel Like Crying is two-and-a-half minutes of glorious string stabs and soaring vocals from Norway’s Sigrid. It’s a tight song with excitement at every turn but Sigrid’s vocals on the chorus are just wonderful.
1. Lauv & Troye Sivan – i’m so tired
Expertly produced by Lauv and Swedish mastermind Oscar Gorres, i’m so tired is an 11/10 pop song. The repetition on the chorus combined with the immaculate production (e.g. the distorted vocal stabs in the background on the chorus) make it endlessly listenable.