Last Updated: July 31st
It’s really not hard to seek out pop music — the genre derives from the word “popular,” after all — but it proves much more difficult to find new and quality artists in a world saturated with Ed Sheerans and Taylor Swifts. That’s where Spotify comes in.
Spotify is a goldmine for digging deeper into the pop genre and unearthing some treasures that haven’t made it to star status (and maybe never will). This list is just one step in the discovery process, featuring some killer playlists in bedroom pop, dream pop and just straight-up pop. That being said, it’s also a means to get you back into some nostalgic tracks from pop’s Golden Age (aka the early aughts) and feature the females leading the way for future stars in the genre. These are all the best pop playlists on Spotify right now.
Charli XCX’s The Motherf*cking Future Playlist
Recently collaborating with 100 Gecs and Rico Nasty, Charli XCX has had an ear out for the stars that might be coming up behind them. Though she’s certainly busy opening up the all-female arena show, releasing new music, and traveling all around the world, she’s still managed to find time to update this extraordinary playlist, playfully dubbed “the motherf*cking future,” which features mostly women who are currently on top of their game, or artists from the past who were way ahead of their time. If there’s a great new pop song building momentum, it’s probably on here. And Charli doesn’t discriminate between indie, trendy, popular, or commercially successful — if it’s good pop music that sounds like the future, it’s here.
Insecure’s Soundtrack Playlist
Insecure‘s fourth season is here, which means there’s never been a better time to get familiar with the show’s picks. Considering Issa and her crew had the help of Solange, it’s no wonder the show quickly became known for breaking out new artists and scooping up exclusives, like “In My Room” by Frank Ocean, which debuted with some speculation about an impending album. There’s plenty of soothing R&B, mood-building rap, and more left of center sounds that are perfect for when you’re tired of your old favorites and ready for something new. Plus, the Insecure crew will update this throughout future season roll outs, even more reason to keep an eye out. It’s not quite pop, but it’s popular and mainstream enough to fit in just fine.
Pop Flash by Topsify
Of course, one of the best ways to discover new pop music is through Uproxx’s weekly Best New Pop roundup. Combing through the vast array of new releases can be daunting, so we’ve got that covered for you. All the best weekly releases and more are featured on Topsify’s Pop Flash playlist, which pinpoints the most important moments in music and offers a guiding light for pop fans who can’t find their tribe anywhere else.
US Top 40 Hits
Look, there’s no better place to shop for pop than the top of the charts — it’s just a fact. Whatever is popping off on the Billboard Hot 100 is probably going to be something that you’ll want to know about, if not put on loop and memorize the words to. This year DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat have all taken their turn in the top slot, but who knows what else will be in store as 2020 goes on. Luckily, this playlist is updated every week, so you’ll be up to date, too.
Pop Rising by Spotify
If your idea of discovery is seeking out the newest hits the pop world has to offer, then Spotify’s Pop Rising playlist is the one for you. This regularly updated collection refers to itself as the hits of tomorrow, today, and showcases the singles that you’re sure to be hearing on the radio in no time. Although a lot of the artists on this playlists are big hitters like Taylor Swift, J Balvin, Cardi B, and Dua Lipa, its cover artist is usually a promising up-and-comer, like Jeremy Zucker.
With over half a million followers on Twitter, Pop Crave stands out as a reliable source for the most breaking news in pop music in culture. The Pop Crave team has cooked up a weekly updated playlist showcasing the best new music from established and up-and-coming artists. Whether they’re spotlighting the best songs from Taylor Swift’s new album or featuring breakout artists like Pink Sweat$, Pop Crave has their finger on the pulse of the latest releases.
Bedroom Pop by Spotify
This playlist is pretty straightforward — it’s more than six hours of relaxing, lo-fi bedroom pop. If you’re a diehard fan of the genre, the artists here may be familiar to you, but for the rest of us this regularly updated, 100+ track collection is chock full of hazy gems that have come out this year and includes up-and-comers like the soulful MorMor and Gus Dapperton, who recently announced his sophomore album.
#NowWatching by Ones to Watch
Ones to Watch is another music blog that’s all about discovery in the R&B/indie/pop realm. Its #NowWatching playlist is a seasonal smorgasbord of, well, the artists you should have your eye on. Each iteration of the playlist is updated throughout its featured season, with the current rotation including some names in pop you may have heard, like Billie Eilish and Oliver Tree, as well as notable newcomers Cub Sport and Charlotte Lawrence.
r/PopHeads Weekly Hot 50
Any music-obsessed individual knows that one of the best places to find breaking news about your favorite artists is in one of the many music-centered subreddits on Reddit. More infamously, there’s r/PopHeads which dissects the most up-to-date information on pop’s biggest stars like Billie Eilish and Camila Cabello. Thankfully, to keep track of all the new music, members of the group formed the r/PopHeads playlist on Spotify which rounds up 50 songs recently released by today’s pop icons.
Fresh Finds: Pop
Though pop music generally evokes some of today’s top-selling artists, many musicians who dip into the genre aren’t signed to major labels. That’s where Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Pop playlist comes in. The playlist rounds up recent releases from pop-leaning artists who either independently release their music, or are on indie labels. Spotify updates the playlist weekly, so there’s an endless flow of undiscovered talent to tap into.
Women of Pop by Spotify
Like Beyonce famously asked, “Who run the world?” The answer, of course, is girls, and this Spotify-curated playlist is all about female empowerment. The expansive collection showcases all the badass women in pop music, from idols like Camila Cabello and Kehlani to icons like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and J-Lo. It also does an excellent job of balancing new hits with classics like Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
Dreampop by Spotify
Also pretty self-explanatory — the 49-track collection offers nearly three hours of ethereal dream pop jams. The playlist does feature some pretty big names in the indie-sphere like Beach House and Tame Impala; however, it’s also a great tool for discovering up-and-comers in the genre, like the delightfully lo-fi Men I Trust and DIY-bred Kevin Krauter.
Some of the artists mentioned here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.