The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
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.
Here are the five best songs of the week. Hopefully Elton John thinks they’re real songs.
At what point did you realize “This Feeling Is Disgusting” rules? For me it was when Jazz Rodríguez Bueno interrupts the anguished drawn-out refrain that gives the song its title to delicately declare, “It… sucks!” Maybe you were converted by the joyous power-chord bash-out that follows, or by the unhinged angle at which Rodriguez Bueno’s melody shoots skyward when she sings, “The future is uncertain!” Or perhaps you were swayed by Mourn’s “Oh yeah!” gang vocals that hit like exclamation points as the track reaches its peak. When all those details start to pile up, you get a song that engages unflinchingly with the anxious dread that underlies most people’s lives today and wins the staring contest. The feeling is exhilarating. –Chris
“Y’all know what this is,” says Jermaine Dupri. He’s right. It’s the voice of Jermaine Dupri, on a Mariah Carey song. We have heard this before. We will probably hear it again. And it sounds good.
The pleasures of “Save The Day” are all profoundly familiar. There’s the sample — Lauryn Hill’s voice floating through the Fugees’ version of “Killing Me Softly.” (On both “Killing Me Softly” and “Save The Day,” the climax, the “whooooaaa la-laaaaaaa” bit, is the same.) There’s the way Carey’s voice blissfully wafts and wobbles and bands. There’s the sheer display of technical superiority, of melisma and whistle register, that still impresses even if it sounds less organic these days. There’s the sheer daffy meaninglessness of the lyrics. It’s all cotton-candy fluff, and it rules. Y’all know: Cotton-candy fluff is delicious. –Tom
Each song we’ve heard from Ziemba’s True Romantic does something a little different. The airy sheen and balladry of “If I’m Being Honest” already contrasted with the album’s title track, which almost felt like a galloping country song flecked with grimy neon. Now there’s “Harbor Me,” the best and most alluring of the bunch so far — and the most enigmatic.
Ziemba mastermind René Kladzyk wrote it on the S.S. Vallejo, a supposedly haunted houseboat in the Bay Area that serves as an artist residence; she said she didn’t know where the song came from, almost as if it was just in the atmosphere of that place. Fittingly, there’s an eerie quality to Kladzyk’s vocals as they swoop up and descend around the song’s insistent, sputtering machine of a pulse. “Harbor Me” sounds like a frayed synthetic siren song, a banger for a slightly unnerving club, and a digitized conjuring all at once — but ultimately all that matters is it’s impossible to shake once you’ve heard it. –Ryan
Ela Minus’ “el cielo no es de nadie” is about “all the love I see in small, everyday acts,” says Gabriela Jimeno, the Colombian-born musician behind this exciting new project. Like the two previous singles from her debut album acts of rebellion, “el cielo no es de nadie” hits hard and deep. Her little acts of love sound anything but kind. Instead, they feel a little threatening, like all of those tiny gestures of goodness can add up to something huge. That’s the point. “el cielo no es de nadie” is about getting swept up in something larger than yourself. With strobing surety and demonic chirps, it’s dark and defiant, a pulsing club jam that makes you feel invincible. –James
Clipping’s music has always sort of worked as horror. It’s stark, confrontational, and self-aware, knowingly playing with tropes and cliches. Daveed Diggs raps visceral imagery with the methodical precision of a cold-blooded killer, and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson’s sudden blasts of noise leap out of their ominous soundscapes like jump scares. But on last year’s There Existed An Addiction To Blood and its upcoming sister LP Visions Of Bodies Being Burned, they make that connection explicit, drawing on decades of horror movies and the ’90s horrorcore hip-hop they inspired to craft a new musical entry into the Black horror canon.
“Say The Name,” Visions Of Bodies Being Burned’s lead single, is built around a sample of Geto Boys’ 1991 track “Mind Playing Tricks On Me”: “Candlesticks in the dark, visions of bodies being burned.” That’s the main hook. But the other hook in the song is a much more literal one — the weapon of choice of the Candyman, the vengeful spirit of a Black man lynched for a forbidden interracial love affair that haunts the classic 1992 slasher film and Jordan Peele’s forthcoming sequel. Clipping mash Candyman, Rosemary’s Baby, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Big Pun up into into a dark, industrial ghetto-house pulse that climaxes with a spine-tingling instrumental outro. Much like the Candyman, once Clipping get their hooks into you, you’re done for. –Peter