Music

Illuminati Hotties’ Restless ‘Can’t Be Still’ and 4 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 Gracie Abrams, Amy Allen, NIKI 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: Illuminati Hotties, “Can’t Be Still”

Sarah Tudzin boasts the resumé of an elite studio tactician: her engineering work on Boygenius’ The Record recently earned her a Grammy, but Tudzin has also contributed to excellent indie albums by Cloud Nothings, Weyes Blood, Speedy Ortiz and Pom Pom Squad, as well as to more mainstream projects by Coldplay and Logic. For those paying attention to the liner notes of blog-approved full-lengths, Tudzin’s presence often denotes cohesion and teeth, a sound that may snarl but always congeals into a proper statement; if a pop star became interested in shaking things up behind the boards, Tudzin’s name should be at the top of any list.

In addition to being an ace collaborator, though, Tudzin’s solo project Illuminati Hotties keeps evolving with each release: 2021’s Let Me Do One More sprawled forward with outsized personality, and now, new single “Can’t Be Still” delivers clipped, immediately appealing pop-rock. Mirroring the song’s theme of constant movement to avoid being alone with one’s thoughts, Tudzin keeps tossing out new hooks — a whistle line here, an “ah, ah, AH!” there — and refusing to sink into a traditional pop template. And Tudzin’s voice scratches at her anxiety with both honesty and playfulness, dropping a line like “I’m a ball / Can hardly keep my laughter contained!” with a smile and a glint of sweat.

Tudzin has long been showcasing her many talents in front of the microphone and behind the scenes, but “Can’t Be Still” is the first Illuminati Hotties single that deserves consistent alt-rock radio play and some crossover pop playlisting. Who knows? Maybe we get a bugged-out, ultra-frazzled TikTok trend out of it, too.

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

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