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Mid-Year 2016

16 Amazing 2016 Pop Songs You Might Be Sleeping On

This year has included some incredible pop gems from Dua Lipa, Fitz and The Tantrums, M83, White Sea and many others. Listen to the 16 best that you might have missed!

1 / 16

Dua Lipa, “Hotter Than Hell”

The U.K. singer-songwriter is already a critical darling ahead of her debut album, and it’s precisely because of whip-smart mammoth choruses on tracks like “Hotter Than Hell.”

2 / 16

MØ, “Final Song”

MØ never needed Major Lazer to soar: On “Final Song,” the “Lean On” singer proves that that international smash will hardly be her last track to enchant pop fans.

3 / 16

M83 feat. Mai Lan, “Go!”

This Junk highlight has a hook so good that its pre-chorus is composed of a countdown to it, and you’re still not ready for its full effect.

4 / 16

Shura, “What’s It Gonna Be?”

Deeply likable if '80s pop is your thing, this spectacularly produced workout soundtracks the moment in an imaginary John Hughes film in which the two protagonists share their true feelings.

5 / 16

Tegan and Sara, “U-turn”

Positioned as the ninth track on Tegan and Sara’s sugary new album Love You to Death, the delectable “U-turn” has the potential to be overlooked—but deserves to be highlighted as the standout of a strong LP.

6 / 16

Holychild feat. Kate Nash, “Rotten Teeth”

Our favorite rambunctious brat-poppers returned with a chiming, colorful collaboration with the great Kate Nash. “I want to know the feeling of bliss,” Liz Nistico sings at the top of the song; it might just be listening to this.

7 / 16

Fitz and The Tantrums, “HandClap”

A rising hit on Modern Rock radio, Fitz and The Tantrums’ latest is unadulterated pop joy with a hook that you never need to overthink—just clap along!

8 / 16

Ingrid Michaelson, “Hell No”

A spiritual cousin to her hit “Girls Chase Boys,” “Hell No” deserves to be a sneaky-big radio hit just like its equally charming predecessor.

9 / 16

Chelsea Lankes, “Bullet”

Chelsea Lankes’ self-titled debut EP is a must-hear for pop fans, and after last year’s “Secret” piqued our interest, “Bullet” punctured our hearts with this smart chorus construction.

10 / 16

White Sea, “Bloodline”

Frequent M83 collaboration Morgan Kibby has forged her own path as White Sea, and after 2014’s stirring In Cold Blood LP, “Bloodline” previews what is hopefully a masterful follow-up.

11 / 16

Vérité, “Underdressed”

Can Vérité become a star soon? Songs like “Underdressed,” with its slinky verses opening up into a pleading chorus, demand to be heard in huge venues.

12 / 16

Skizzy Mars feat. JoJo, “Recognize”

First of all: kudos to JoJo for getting into that feature game! “Recognize” boasts some respectable rhymes from Mr. Mars, but Jo smashes the opportunity to steal the song.

13 / 16

Allie X, “Old Habits Die Hard”

Fans of “Catch” and “Prime” will savor the slinky electro-pop on display in Allie X’s latest opus; after some strong songwriting work, this artist deserves her solo breakout, and soon.

14 / 16

Erik Hassle, “If Your Man Only Knew”

Erik Hassle remains woefully underrated by the U.S. mainstream, and after last year’s fantastic “No Words,” the Swedish songwriter continues his winning streak with this more heartfelt ballad.

15 / 16

Niki & The Dove, “So Much It Hurts”

Dreamy, emotional and bass-heavy: What else could you possibly want from this desperate plea for closure?

16 / 16

Katy B feat. Chris Lorenzo, “I Wanna Be”

Katy B has too many slept-on singles to count, but here she comes again with the gem of her Honey album, a minimalist dance epic that simmers without ever exploding.

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