READY TO POP | Nic Pool, Jorja Smith & More Grieve For Lost Souls

Falcon Jane, Yukon Blonde & Pat Sicotte Muse on Death and Recovery.

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Come to terms with these essential new cuts.

Ready to Pop is carrying a bit of heaviness this week. When tragedy strikes, there's no way you can ever be ready for it. It's downright terrifying, and so, armed with some of the best new pop songs right now, we pour over grief and loss, brooding over the many feelings that come with devastation. Below, check out our latest obsessions, rated on a (slay) scale of "Super Chill" to "Shook" to "Wig Snatched."

Nic Pool - "The Falls"

Nic Pool

As Nic Pool tells it, loss comes over you like a waterfall, drowning you and suffocating your bones. "Tucson, Arizona, I'm hoping you'll be there / Where the lights are golden, nobody's scared / Folded up the boxes, hit the road / In your busted Toyota, your little girl ," he weeps, underneath a steady flow trickling percussion and scratchy instrumentation. His voice is vulnerable and blistered, hinting that his recovery will promise to be long and winding.

Slay Scale: Shook

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Falcon Jane - "The News"

Falcon Jane/Facebook

"Did you leave me because you didn't feel good enough?" Falcon Jane inquires with gentle caresses. There remains a remarkable sorrow to her voice, carrying around quite a demon that won't let her go. "I'm afraid of being lonely," she also confesses, exposing her broken edges amidst coming to terms with death, which came like a ghost in the night, literally and metaphorically. The performance will assuredly get under your skin.

Slay Scale: Wig Snatched

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Jorja Smith - "Goodbyes"

Jorja Smith

Losing someone is like a piece of your soul floating up to the heavens. You'll never be the same, and through Jorja Smith's sterling "Goodbyes," an acoustic-rendered ballad that's pluckiness serves to lighten the mood and celebrate a lost one's life, the listener is comforted. Smith's voice is smooth, especially as she glides up into her head voice with such precision. "How could we know that there wouldn't be tomorrow?" she proposes at the outset. She then explores what that means, and while the answer isn't so easy to define, her heart is closer to being completely healed.

Slay Scale: Shook

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Yukon Blonde - "Cry"

Yukon Blonde

Trapped in a constant state of dream-like synths and chewy disco beats, Yukon Blonde comes to terms with a tremendous loss. "Cry" sees the five-piece vowing to not shed any more tears, or at the very least, try to stop the flood gates from gushing any longer. "I never thought we'd run out of time, no," they heave, sighing in between licks of guitar and the rubble of tired-eye synths. It's a somber performance, but the arrangement makes a bid to soothe the wounds.

Slay Scale: Super Chill

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Pat Sicotte - "Last Goodbye"

Pat Sicotte/Twitter

Pat Sicotte steps into the narrator role to tell a story of an older gentlemen on his deathbed. Through a folk-strewn lens, he sings a sweet lullaby to the man's wife, who enjoys the last fleeting moments together before the sun sets on his life. "As I stare at you one last time, I wipe the tear from your eye / And I say, 'It's been a helluva ride,'" Sicotte sings, rather bittersweetly. The performance is quite marvelous and displays Sicotte's knack for gutting storytelling. Birds chirp in the background, and you are left weeping in your chair (well, we are at least...)

Slay Scale: Wig Snatched

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Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.

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