Our weekly track countdown is still a toddler when it comes to Stereogum franchises, but it’s already teeming with vets. And a couple of repeat performers have made the list this week, one with a previously-unheard cut (following the recent debut of their acclaimed full-length) and another with a song that’s been floating around in different manifestations before it finally dropped as a single this week. Who are they? Find out below.
Way back in 2008, we were bemoaning the lack of recognition for Philadelphia’s Pattern Is Movement, and to this day they’re still one of the more under-appreciated talents rocking the underground. If lead single “Suckling” is any indication, maybe they’ll finally get their due with this new album set to drop in January. The song sounds like what might happen if Justin Vernon went into the studio with Spoon — sharp and propulsive yet airy and steeped in white noise, its effortless falsetto croons riding to glory atop a drifting keyboard figure that elicits callbacks to “Super Rich Kids” and “Bennie And The Jets.” – Chris
The lyrics to “She’s Gone” are actually pretty sad. The verses play like one side of a really unpleasant fight (“you’d be better off and you know it” particularly stings), while the titular chorus reflects on the end result of it all. But you wouldn’t notice it in the way the music comforts and soothes. Each element here — from the bouncy bass to hyper-melodic guitar riffs to Ali Koehler’s sweet voice — ideally balances the lyrical bite. It’s a perfect single, the one that you hear (perhaps unintentionally at first) and immediately think, “I want this album.” I saw Koehler years ago drumming for Vivian Girls who was opening for Deerhunter; she was a hell of a drummer, but I’m really glad she’s started speaking up. Listen to this song and you will be too. – Miles
Days Are Gone shimmered and twinkled like the best dream-pop, but it’s also a remarkable sharp and compact pop album, an album that leaves you wanting more. So it makes sense that an amazing song or two would end up being cut and relegated to foreign-release bonus-track status. Twin Shadow’s George Lewis, Jr. has a co-writing credit on this one, but you’ll have to listen hard to hear anything from him. The harmonic interplay, the mathematically precise guitar-lines, and the endorphin-rush Phil Collins drums are all, after one album, trademarks for this band. God only knows what else we haven’t heard yet. – Tom
David Bowie and James Murphy already contributed to one gargantuan art-banger this fall, but this one inhabits a different plane than the one their buddies Arcade Fire roam with stadium-crushing splendor. Murphy’s Reich-repping 10-minute remix of Bowie’s The Next Day track “Love Is Lost” is sprawling and cerebral without ever disappearing up its own ass. Once you ford the first half’s stream of displaced bleeps, bloops, and handclaps, the second half blooms into warm mid-tempo disco that might have you nodding so vigilantly that you shake the tears out of your eyes. Applause in, applause out. – Chris
“Dope Song,” you’ve been in our lives since week one of Coachella but we didn’t know your brilliance until Old was streamable and we got to hear a studio recording for the first time. But seriously, who sees a cut by Danny Brown called “Dope Song” and doesn’t immediately think it’s one with “Blunt After Blunt” or “Blueberry (Pills And Cocaine)”? Here Brown slays into our notion of him as king of party rap, reminding that he’s comes from a similar narrative to a lot of his contemporaries — most of whom can’t lay a hand on him when it comes to his carefully considered lyrical precision — but because he’s not slinging to help his family (and, really, to bolster his wardrobe) anymore, he’s not going to rap about it. Someone had to make this song. Jay Z teetered on the precipice of calling out rap trope idiocy with “Somewhereinamerica” but Brown is the guy to take it a step further. So it’s not just the fairly tale video game sonics or caustic, driving synth percussion that sold it to us as a live song, it’s the full package. And that’s exactly what Danny continues to prove himself to be. – Claire