Every week the Stereogum staff chooses the five best new songs of the week (the eligibility period begins and ends Thursdays right before midnight). This week’s countdown is below, and you can listen to a playlist of all our 5 Best Songs on Spotify.
Well, it has certainly been another fun and normal week in America. The five best songs of the week are below.
Most of Just Mustard’s songs have a queasy unrest to them, insistent yet discomfiting rhythms pulling you towards something you’re not supposed to approach. But few of their songs thus far have manifested it quite as profoundly as “Seven.” Much of the track rides along a hypnotic groove that speaks more to Just Mustard’s electronic influences — but then there’s that guitar. Altered beyond recognition, the band’s guitar work here ranges from mechanistic howls to a lead part that feels like an electric wave overtaking you every time you hear it. “Seven” is one of the best songs Just Mustard has released so far, and it showcases a core aspect of their music: their ability to smear the surface, to create something pretty and bleary that seems to hide something much more horrific underneath. –Ryan
Howvvy’s gauzy slowcore has always been the sonic equivalent of a warm blanket, so it naturally follows that they’ve now given us an indie rock lullaby. Yet for all the comfort inherent in its music’s gentle sway, “So Brite” is anxious at its core. “What if I start to lose my mind?” goes the song’s refrain. “What if I start to lose my shine?” These are realistic concerns — we’re all gonna end up washed someday, if death doesn’t come first — but if Hovvdy stopped to listen to their own music for a moment they’d realize their shine is only getting brighter. — Chris
Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox are a match made in heaven, evidenced by Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, this year’s Deerhunter album that the Welsh musician co-produced, and by “Secretary,” the first song we’re hearing from Le Bon and Cox’s Marfa Myths collaboration. This series of collaborations, now in its fourth iteration, always finds two artsy weirdos seamlessly blending in with each other, and “Secretary” is no exception.
Le Bon dominates on this track in particular, the same sort of clanging wonder that’s present on her own great album from this year, Reward, but it’s Cox’s spoken word outro that sticks in your throat: “All of the phone calls you made disconnected,” he intones. “And without the search there would be no I.” It sounds like a response to Le Bon’s own queries: “Can I take some time?/ Can you stay on hold? Take a holiday/ Make amendments,” a series of missed appointments and connections while we’re constantly running out of time. –James
“Space Time Motion” is ridiculous in the best way possible. “Space is a position of bodies/ Time is an accident of motion/ Motion is a consequence of all activity/ Space time motion,” Becca Kauffman, the former Ava Luna member and performance artist who goes by the equally ridiculous-in-the-best-way-possible name Jennifer Vanilla, intones again and again. Repeated ad infinitum and set to an irresistible disco-house groove, her marveling at the randomness at the universe burrows into your skull and becomes a kind of unlikely dancefloor mantra. Jennifer Vanilla is here to get your body moving through space and time, and that’s no accident. –Peter
You’ve got to trust your instincts and let go of regret. You’ve got to bet on yourself now, star, because that’s your best bet. Watch them now, with a wicked and wild. And I said: They come now with the funky style that gets them known for the show. And they’ll mix up the 311 and the vaporwave if they say it is so. And fuck the naysayers because they don’t mean a thing. This is what style they bring.
All mixed up? Don’t know what to do? Next thing, you turn around and find the person is you. Thought a freak might be the thing, but the first could be the last. So just get off of your ass. –Tom