Why do we listen to dark pop songs? There’s no one single reason but we’ll give you about 13 here. You’ll find that each song on this post adheres to moody music. This can mean pop melodies that evoke a sense of melancholy or straight-up eerieness.
Dark pop can also overlap with other genres like gothic pop, synth-pop, and alternative pop, depending on the specific elements present in the music. As a flexible genre, you’ll find new fresh, and disturbing artists that’ll make this Friday 13th worthwhile.
Dark Pop Songs 2023
Get ready for 13 emotionally charged lyrics by artists or bands having a vocal delivery we can only label as ethereal or intense. This is why you’ll find internationally renowned artists such as Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and Halsey on this dark pop song’s 2023 playlist.
“Heartless” by The Weekend
In case you don’t know who The Weeknd is (…), aka Abel Tesfaye, this Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer released this song in 2019. Very much in his element, it’s a blend of R&B and hip-hop that sets the beat to the theme of hedonism, partying, and maintaining a love/life-of-excess balance:
‘Cause I’m heartless
And I’m back to my ways ’cause I’m heartless
All this money and this pain got me heartless
Low life for life ’cause I’m heartless
A unique and distinctive voice that continues to make hits in the music industry, each pertaining to a different genre. This track is an example of how to blend a dark and eerie production with emotionally charged lyrics.
“Assassin” by Au/Ra
Au/Ra, aka Jamie Lou Stenzel, is a singer and songwriter known for her work in pop and alternative music. Native to Ibiza, where she quickly became popular for her unique sound, which combines pop, electronic, and alternative music elements.
She released this song in 2018 and automatically became popular as it can be used as a healing method for anyone suffering from anxiety or self-doubt:
My phone has no signal
It’s making my skin crawl
The silence is so loud
The lights spark and flicker
With monsters much bigger
Than I can control now
And that’s amazing. The more light we shed on these monsters, the less scary they’ll be.
“everybody hates me” by GAYLE
GAYLE, an American singer and songwriter, released this dark op track in 2020. Why did it get so much attention? Check out these catchy and relatable lyrics:
Life’s a bitch and I’m not surprised
If you read my mind, you’d probably cry
I do it myself all the time
Life’s a bitch and she’s cool with me
I’ll let it be, hard world to please
I live my life like everybody hates me
She’s known for her indie pop style and this is probably the track that best encapsulates her style and vocal talent. It also explores feelings of insecurity and self-doubt, and it resonated with many young listeners for the underlying honesty and vulnerability.
“GET ME OUTTA HERE” by G Flip
Georgia Flipo, aka G Flip, is an Australian singer, songwriter, and producer known for her energetic and catchy pop and indie rock music. She released this track in 2019 and it’s known for how vibrant and lively it is. An upbeat tempo and lyrics that convey a sense of yearning and restlessness:
Get me outta here
Running outta air, running outta
Get me outta here, I got no fucks to give
Get me outta here, running outta air
Running outta, get me outta here
I got no fucks to give
Her distinctive voice and engaging performances continue to make her fans obsessed as she perfects her style. G will keep on flipping.
“PARAMOUR (feat AURORA)” by Sub Urban
Danny Maisonneuve, aka Sub Urban, is an American singer, songwriter, and producer also known for his pop, electronic, and alternative music mix. This disturbing track featuring another dark artist, AURORA, is known for its dark, edgy, and atmospheric sound with lyrics that follow suit:
This is how it goes
Watching it unfold (watching it unfold)
Playing my own role (runaway on ’em)
Dum-dum-ditty-dum-dum-ditty, daddy, don’t
Make me leave this home
He’s also gained major recognition for his creative music videos and this one is no exception:
“cinderella’s dead” by EMELINE
EMELINE is a singer and songwriter known for her indie and alternative pop style. She released this deadly track in 2021 and quickly captivated listeners with a visceral and emotional sound.
Maybe more in line with Peter Pan than Cinderella, she likes to sing about the idea of growing up or moving beyond childhood fantasies:
I forgot I was a bad bitch, tragic
Breaking all the rules ’cause they were only habits
Cinderella’s dead now, casket
You thought the shoe fit but I
(Da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da-da)
“Problems” by DeathbyRomy
American singer-songwriter DeathbyRomy released this song in 2019 that blends dark pop and alternative R&B elements, her signature style.
Another vulnerable artist who likes sharing her personal experience on relationships or life struggles. So, very similar, yep:
I like Coke, but only if you’re mixing it with Jack
Then it’s dope
Put it in my cup then hand me the smoke
I ain’t tryna think about the world
I got too many problems
“bury a friend” by Billie Eilish
This artist is usually associated with a dark and eerie sound, so she’s a perfect fit here; she’s also known for pouring her heart out through lyrics, and this dark pop song explores more of those inner demons and the fear of the unknown:
What do you want from me?
Why don’t you run from me?
What are you wondering?
What do you know?
Why aren’t you scared of me?
Why do you care for me?
When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
“Lantern Room” by Torii Wolf
Torii Wolf is an American singer, songwriter, and visual artist known for her work in various music genres, including alternative and electronic music.
She released this song as a single in 2021 and continues to haunt listeners with her visceral and raw lyrics:
Protect me from you, my thief
It’s getting later and it’s harder to leave
I’m trying to heal, I’m trying to mend
Someone, please come to my defense
“I’m Trash” by Sandra Iris
The verses of the song lean towards a Lo-Fi style, but the chorus is strongly infused with indie pop elements. One of the most captivating things about this song is the clarity and harmony in her vocals.
As for songwriting, the lyrics and melodies are just as hypnotizing. In her own words, “…you reach a cathartic point where you don’t give a fuck and you write this song making fun of you for being dramatic about this. It’s not the end of the world”:
If I could tell you we have telepathy
You wouldn’t believe me
Cause you’re out of my league
If I could tell you that we could share this joy
You wouldn’t believe me cause you’re someone else’s boy
“Helen” by Oliver Malcolm
Oliver Malcolm is a British-Swedish artist and producer known for his work in various music genres, including hip-hop and alternative, of course. He released this track in 2020 and was quickly spotted for its blend of dark and moody production, as well as his now signature vocal style.
Another artist that sings from the heart, but this time more than a beating heart we get the impression it’s a bomb about to explode:
They keep me up at night
She slit her wrists
Wonders if she’ll be missed
She wonders if she’ll see the sunrise
“Runaway” by AURORA
This Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA, whose full name is AURORA Aksnes, released this track in 2016. It was a significant early success for her that established her as a unique and talented artist. We can only describe her and her vocals as otherworldly:
And I was runnin’ far away
Would I run off the world someday?
Nobody knows, nobody knows
And I was dancing in the rain
I felt alive and I can’t complain
“Nightmares” by Ellise
To end on a good night’s sleep, Ellise, an American singer-songwriter, released this track in 2021. A blend of pop and electronic elements and her captivating vocals.
Like many of her releases, the catchy melodies and relatable lyrics engage her fanbase. She talks about relationships and the one thing that we can all agree on: they are tormenting.
Sinking, so sick of thinking
Of all the things you need from me
Who you think that I should be?
Itching to feel you with me
But I can do that to myself
Touch so soft but words that kill