The Best #DaleyPOP Songs of 2023

Dale Melita December 31, 2023

2023 was a yummy year for pop music! Miley Cyrus smashed records left right and center with Flowers which was number 1 for 10 whole weeks and has become the longest-running number 1 single by a female solo artist of this decade so far, as well as tied for second overall.

Kylie Minogue stepped into her renaissance era with Padam Padam which entered the top 10 UK official charts, her highest UK chart position in more than 10 years! noonoouri, the first ever AI popstar “with a human soul” signed a major record deal with Warner Music GroupLoreen made Eurovision history by becoming the first woman to win the contest TWICE and Kesha is free from Dr Luke‘s clutches I mean label! It was so hard to pick my favourite songs this year but here we go….

Music has been embedded in my life ever since I was in the womb, my Mum and Dad basically raised me on music, especially POP music! I grew up listening to Madonna, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Spice Girls, Britney Spears….even AQUA! I love sharing my favourite songs and album every month with the world from Scene HQ! Feel free to check out my socials here 🙂


Paloma Faith – How You Leave A Man

BRIT-Award-winning Paloma Faith’s new era arrived and How You Leave A Man was the first single from her upcoming sixth studio album The Glorification of Sadness (out next month woo).

This song is confident, cinematic, empowering and compelling from beginning to end, all powered by the kind of anthems that transformed her into an icon. The single is about finding the confidence to walk away from a relationship and being empowered with your own happiness.

It’s limitless expression of pop allows it to sit comfortably next to Paloma’s many chart successors and then some. Breakups are the worst and if you’re going through one right now then blast Paloma and you’ll be healed.

Oh and and and also Paloma is going on a huge UK tour and one of the stops will be at the Brighton Centre-click HERE for tickets!

Troye Sivan – Rush 

YouTuber-turned pop star Troye Sivan was like so in his horny era when he dropped Rush and I have to admit he made us thirsty at Scene HQ. Rush was the lead single from his third studio album, Something To Give Each Other. Troye said ‘Rush is the feeling of kissing a sweaty stranger on a dancefloor, a two-hour date that turned into a weekend, a crush, a winter, a summer.

‘Party after party, after party after party. All of my experiences from a chapter where I feel confident, free, and liberated. Oh my, my, my! (IYKYK). Rush is so STUD 2.0, again, if you know you know.

Mae Muller – I Wrote A Song 

OMG so the United Kingdom’s Eurovision entry 2023 didn’t do as good as we hoped but I still love it and our Mae! Up and coming singer-songwriter Mae Muller released this Eurotrashy bop and it even debuted in the UK Official Charts at number 30, the first UK Eurovision entry to debut in the Top 40 in over a decade! HERSTORY has been made.

I predicted we’d at least be in the top 5 but we were actually second from last eeeep so don’t ever ask me for the lottery numbers and Mae, we’re still be proud of you and I’m sure Sam Ryder is too and Olly Alexander must be too (our official 2024 Eurovision entry, already announced! Click HERE for more info about that).


Fun fact: Mae was the little girl in the green dress in the music video for Grace Kelly by Mika, who presented and performed at Eurovision 2022. So cool!

Kylie Minogue – Padam Padam

Just in time for pride month (she knew what she was doing), Aussie pop princess Kylie fed us with a new era! Padam Padam rejuvenated, refreshed and resurrected me if I’m 100% honest with you huns.

Kylie tweeted “My new album TENSION is available to pre-order now! This album is a blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic highs! I felt so much freedom when I recorded it and hope you love it!” omgomgomg and we did and still do we do, in fact it was my album of the month in September. (Read about that HERE).

Lana Del Rey – A&W 

I’m a Lana Del Rey stan and I’ve had this one on repeat since it was released! Trap Lana is secretly my fave Lana and it’s seven minutes long! What. A. Treat.

The track is split into two parts, Part I: American Whore and Part II: Jimmy and the title A&W refers to both a roadside chain restaurant in America (a bit like Little Chef I guess – wait are they still around?) and American Whore.

Taken from Lana’s ninth album, Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, (which ended up being my album of the month in April obvs hehehe check out my review HERE). Lana is an icon; she’s a legend and she is the moment.


Pop prince Bentley Robles dropped another bop that slaps, How To Ruin Everything is too good and he dropped his debut EP Ugly Crier too so make sure you check that out!

The time has come to cry glitter tears, Ugly Crier is a bold and unapologetic anthem of liberation after heartbreak, encapsulating the full spectrum of emotions that come with love and loss. Bentley pairs upbeat pop melodies with lyrics that don’t shy away from the raw, honest, and sometime depressing realities of relationships.

Opening with GOD IS A F*CKBOY, the EP starts off with an equally bold and upbeat anthem detailing the ways that Robles has suffered at the hands of F*ckboys, with lyrics so cutting yet a sound so addictive you won’t realise you’re singing along to an anti-f*ckboy anthem. Bentley Robles’ debut captures a euphoric sonic blend of forward-thinking electronic production with lyrically hard-hitting pop music. UGLY CRIER is a journey from the heartbroken to the villain.

Bentley said “I was born and raised on main pop girls and ‘UGLY CRIER’ is my application to be the next big one.”

Tove Lo – I like u

Sweden’s darkest pop export singer and songwriter Tove Lo consistently drops decent pop music, albums annnnnd singles but the Dirt Femme era has been my fave (after Lady Wood).

Tove said “I wanted to make another dance song that sonically felt like a nod to 90’s and Y2K dance music. I wrote this song with Timfromthehouse, we worked on it for months in between tours to figure the perfect arrangement. It’s not the usual pop structure but it’s perfect for this song, I think. Lyrically I’m telling the story of my thoughts the first time I saw the love of my life. They’re not clean but at least I never said any of them out loud.”

I saw a tweet saying “what gay cat nip did you put in this song” and it’s SO TRUE, it’s just so addictive and eurodancey. Naww and Tove will be donating a portion of her streaming proceeds from ‘I like u’ to The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention org for LGBTQ young people.

Kenya Grace – Strangers

Omg I was obsessed with this song for months (still am) and Kenya Grace has made history with her debut single Strangers reaching number one on the official UK singles chart making her the second British female artist to reach number 1 with a track performed, written and produced entirely solo after Kate Bush‘s Running Up That Hill, how sick?!

Born in South Africa but raised in Southampton oh and she attended Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford (above a Wetherspoons I used to always go to when I lived in Guildford-fun fact). Kenya began releasing music independently in 2019 and then Strangers basically went viral on TikTok and now everyone knows it-uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh.

Miley Cyrus – Flowers

YAY, Miley was back after teasing us Flowers on social media and during the Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party live special, which she co-hosted with country music legend and her actual real-life godmother, Dolly Parton, in case you didn’t know.

Taken from her upcoming eighth studio album Endless Summer Vacation (fab album), the track became the most streamed track on Spotify in one week with 96,032,624 plays for the week ending 19 January 2023 (OMG!) – over seven million more streams than the previous record holder, Adele, with Easy On Me and also, is number 1 in 12 countries around the world! What a fab start to the year for Miley.

Miley released the track on her ex-hubby’s (Liam Hemsworth) birthday btw (13th January) and makes direct references to their relationship in the lyrics. She was also basically replying to Bruno Mars’ lyrics in When I Was Your Man which Liam once dedicated to Miley (allegedly). I’m living for the pettiness of it all and it’s simply a BOP.

Sugababes – When The Rain Comes 

The award winning, multi-Platinum selling music trio Sugababes are officially back like really back, after what feels like 84 years, and they dropped a new single!

MutyaKeisha and Siobhan (aka the sacred three) released When The Rain Comes via BMG. They dropped the single to coincide the same day as their sold out show at London’s O2 Arena (their biggest show yet). I was there and took my boyfriend for his birthday and the atmosphere was unreal!

When The Rain Comes, is a slice of effortlessly stylish British pop from the band and a special release to say thank you to their loyal fans naww I feel seen. The track, written with George Moore (StormzyNaoYebba), who also produced the track with the group’s live band, and Iain James (Little MixAnne-Marie), is the first taken from super highly anticipated upcoming album coming in 2024 omgomgomg.

The girls said “We loved being back in the studio and writing this song this summer, and it feels like the perfect song to release to coincide with our biggest headline show to date. This song is a celebration of the people in our lives who stand by us and lift us up through the good and bad times. The three of us have been that for each other over the years, and we felt there was no better way to mark this moment in our journey than with this song.”

In the last two years, if you’ve been living under a rock, Sugababes have been everywhere, headlining festivals including a field-closing Glastonbury performance and have appeared on numerous magazine covers. They have performed live to over half a million fans this year alone including the very successful recording for their Boiler Room online set which became the platforms most subscribed event in its history and is due to air in October. The girls performed When The Rain Comes on The Graham Norton Show too on the 13th October! (watch below :)).

FYI besties, Sugababes formed in 1998 while members Mutya BuenaKeisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy were in their early teens. The trio exploded onto the UK music scene with their critically acclaimed debut single Overload and their debut album One Touch which followed. One of the most successful British girl bands, the girls have scored six Number One singles, multiple Multi-Platinum albums, and countless award nominations and wins-and they’re ready to celebrate some more.

Bebe Rexha – Call On Me 

Bebe Rexha released her best and most beautiful album yet Rexhars! The self titled album is very 70’s disco-influenced and bop after bop and I’m simply here. for. it.

This is a no skip album I re visit over and over especially when I’m feeling meh, it always put’s me in a good mood! Call On Me is Sacrifice’s sister and fun fact: Bebe Rexha is listed as the only executive producer of the album.

Also….again….has anyone ever seen Bebe Rexha and Alyssa Barmonde from Married at First Sight Australia in the same room before?

noonoouri and Alle Farben – Dominoes 

Omg so if you didn’t see my article about noonoouri check it out right here because erm….she’s the first ever AI popstar “with a human soul” to sign a major record deal which is kind of a big deal and her debut single is way too catchy….honestly!

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology was used to create the singing voice of noonoouri, which has been based on a real singer’s voice but altered so she has her own distinct sound. The songwriters and musicians on the track will receive royalties and publishing splits just like any traditional song, the PA news agency understands but yeah it’s an undeniable bop and I hope we get an album too.


We’re getting new music, noonoouri confirmed to me on Insta!

Gwen Stefani – True Babe 

The one and the only, global icon, Gwen Stefani finally came back doing what she does best and releasing music! True Babe takes me back to the noughties in the best way-as a millennial THIS is the most delightful blend of simpler early 2010’s pop pureness! I did like Slow Clap with Saweetie in 2021 but True Babe hits differently so I’m manifesting this is the start of a new era and a new album pretty please Gwen if you read this!

Gwen is back on The Voice for Season 24 though, along with coaches Niall Horan (omg), Reba McEntire and John Legend so we might have to wait….but hopefully not too long because it’s already been 84 years since Gwen’s last album This Is What The Truth Feels Like (2015).

Slayyyter – STARFUCKER (the whole album, I couldn’t just pick one song) 

Slayyyter will surely be one of the main pop girlies with her sophomore album-she deserves to be mainstream after this masterpiece, STARFUCKER (what an album title btw ha) is literally bop after bop and she doesn’t hold back like at all and in her Fame era and I’m here for it.

I guess it’s a concept album because she’s delving deeper into her pop stardom with an extravagant Los Angeles starlet persona. The 12-track album centers around themes of fame, sex, femme fatales, and celebrity obsession in Hollywood. Slayyyter said “This album is meant to feel like a pop dream sequence about losing love and chasing fame.” well it definitely does ooze that huns.

Kim Petras and Nicki Minaj – Alone (2.0) 

It’s Barbie and Kim Petras bitch!

German princess of pop Kim Petras is such a barb and was fangirling about duetting with Nicki Minaj: “It doesn’t feel real still,” and “Her singing, ‘It’s Barbie and it’s Kim Petras,’ I cried, I was on the floor, and then she calls me Kim Petty in it, which all my friends are like, ‘How did we not come up with that our entire lives?’ So she just changed my life in so many ways with that verse, and that verse rips. I love her and I’m so inspired by her always, it’s crazy to me. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s just the greatest ever.” naww you’re the greatest ever too you know Kim! And this song SLAPS.

Peggy Gou – (It Goes Like) Nanana 

THIS. IS. EVERYTHING! South Korean DJ (and record producer) Kim Min-ji aka Peggy Gou dropped this absolute banger and ear worm which features her own vocals and super inspired by ’90s and early 2000s dance anthems blended with vintage house and pop sound of Ibiza-although whenever I hear this song now it personally reminds me of the last bank holiday weekend we just had being at Glamorous (a new bar in Kemptown). It’s a bit like Ibiza in there ha!

Peggy said “There’s a feeling we all know but is hard to describe, that feeling of love, warmth, and excitement when you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones and the energy speaks for itself,” and “It’s difficult to put into words but to me it goes ‘nanana!’ I want this song to evoke that nanana feeling!”

Kesha – Eat The Acid

Singer-songwriter Kesha has evolved so much as an artist since her TiK ToK days and Eat The Acid is taken from her fifth studio album Gag Order. The album and this track are so refreshingly honest and raw which Kesha described as “post-pop” and the lyrics are super obviously about her situation with Dr. Luke, Kesha’s free from Dr. Luke’s label now though!

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Kesha accused the producer (Dr. Luke) of emotional abuse eeep which he denied and his defamation suit against Kesha went to trial last year. Kesha hadn’t been able to speak about the trial openly and said “I feel as if there has been an implied gag order for a very long time now. With my ongoing litigation hanging over my head, I have not been able to speak freely because I know everything I say is scrutinized.” so releasing this track and Gag Order into the world must’ve felt like a weight lifted of her shoulders I reckon!


Brighton born and bred electro-pop duo LADSCLUB are Greg and Ed and they’ve both loved pop music all their lives (snap) and despite meeting over 17 years ago, only started making sweet music together in January of this year what the hell (apparently not a mid-life crisis btw ha).

Greg said “People will hear the name LADSCLUB and think it’s a boys only space – but they would be wrong, it’s quite the opposite – everyone can join LADSCLUB. Being a “LAD” isn’t gender specific, it’s an attitude, it’s a state of mind. Everyone is welcome to join the party!” can I get an amen up in here?! Ed said “Brighton is such an epicentre of music, but I can’t name a single big pop act that comes from around here – so our mission statement is to put Brighton on the pop-music map, at long last!” With 2 singles under their belt already, the strings-laden bop DISCOPRANCING and the new all-out-rave-banger LOVEBOMBED, the duo are now focusing on finishing their debut album due for release this year. I❤️FINEWINE btw.

Mika – C’est la Vie 

Pop icon MIKA dropped C’est la vie taken from his first fully French album via Island Def Jam France (out now and it’s so good). MIKA speaks French, English, Italian and some Arabic and Mandarin Chinese btw woah, I need to step up my game with Duolingo!

MIKA said “I have an identity that has always evolved and changed. The French-speaking part of my life really took its place and I wanted to dedicate an album to that. I had two rules: I didn’t want to pretend to be French. So I kept all my particularities, my accent, my mistakes, everything! And secondly, I didn’t want to go ‘shopping’, asking everyone to send me songs. That’s not pop music. Alt pop, you have to write it.”

Oh and MIKA will be bringing his Apocalypse Calypso Tour to Brighton in the spring, he’ll be at the Brighton Centre on the 4th April, grab your tickets here.

Bonnie McKee – SLAY 

Bonnie McKee was supposed to drop this empowering bop a whole decade ago but her record label at the time stopped it from happening for some reason!

Bonnie tweaked the production a tiny bit and modernised it but don’t worry besties it’s still super nostalgic but fresh sounding at the same time. Fun fact: Bonnie wrote massive songs for Katy Perry in the past oh and for BritneyXtinaKeshaAvril LavigneAdam LambertRita Ora and even Cheryl too so she basically invented the 2010’s era and sound.

As the songs she wrote with Katy Perry reached number 1 all over the world, Bonnie wrote and recorded her own album that she says Epic Records decided to chuck in the bin in 2013 because the “CEO didn’t think the next single was a hit,” even though SLAY is a obviously a slay (they obviously had no idea). Since then, that music has been sitting in a vault-until now that is!

At the start of the official video Bonnie’s taking SLAY out of the vaults literally, oh and she said “I’m putting all of the money that I’ve made back into my art because no one else will invest in me,” she says. “When the whole world has told you to sit down and shut up, and you’re like, ‘Fuck you. I’m about to slay,’ there’s something inspiring about that. That’s why I’m doing it.”

Before the pandemic drama, Bonnie reached out to her former label to get back her masters. After going through layers of what she calls “bureaucratic bullshit” for months, she decided she was going to rerecord the songs completely. “I guess I gotta pull a Taylor Swift and just rerecord this shit,” she says, later adding: “I gotta stop waiting for permission. I gotta stop waiting for someone to ask, and just fucking do it.” never a truer word has been spoken.

Loreen – Tattoo

Eurovision royalty Lorine Talhaoui aka Loreen (who previously won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with her anthem Euphoria) was back with another anthem, Tattoo.

She performed at Sweden’s Melodifestivalen and omg… she ate and left no crumbs even after having to start her performance again after a stage invader!

Sweden overtook Ukraine as the favourite to win Eurovision thanks to Loreen and Loreen of course officially represented Sweden and won for the second time! Loreen is now the first ever woman to win Eurovision twice and so this is Sweden’s seventh win bringing them level with Ireland’s record.