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.
OK, last week’s 5 Best intro was also about vaccines but just look at this fucking tweet.
The five best songs of the week are below.
Although Helena Deland and Ourielle Auvé named their collaborative project after Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century German Benedictine abbess who composed monophonic chants embodying good Christian values like faith and forgiveness, the nocturnal electronic music that they make under the name is decidedly less holy. “Jour 1,” the first song that the two Montreal-based musicians recorded together, sounds like a floor-filler for the world’s most haunted nightclub, Deland’s soft yet sinister vocals offset by Ouri’s bass-heavy thump and strobing synth sirens. It’s eerie and seductive and strange in the best way, a tantalizing taste of Deland and Auvé’s unique musical alchemy. —Peter
Up until this point, the Irish poet/songwriter Sinead O’Brien has made her name on a very specific blend: sing-speak vocals over tangled-then-unspooling guitar music that could, maybe, be grouped under the broad post-punk umbrella. When “Kid Stuff” starts up, it seems like O’Brien is going deeper into her established sound, teasing out syllables, just waiting for the guitars to kick in. But the song quickly announces itself as something very different, with a slippery and propulsive groove, guitars now turned to something more precise and percussive. It’a a subtle overhaul and transformation. With a dancier background, O’Brien’s vocal approach also becomes catchier. As she wraps her way back to “That which I ignore,” she’s creating a mantra, as she has in past work. But this time around, she’s also crafting a monster hook. —Ryan
Between “We Paid” and “Rockstar” and “Ballin'” and “The Box,” 42 Dugg and Roddy Ricch were all over the radio last summer. If the conglomerates that run the industry have any sense, “4 Da Gang” will be similarly inescapable this year. Lacing a lively Scorpions sample with bouncy drum programming that could pass for late ’90s Mannie Fresh, TayTayMadeIt essentially manifests a pool party for these guys to rock. Roddy’s rich, almost gospel-esque delivery complements Dugg’s weaselly high-pitched bleat surprisingly well, and both of them infuse every bar with an easy melodicism that essentially blurs the line between verse and chorus. Still, “4 Da Gang” peaks whenever they return to the refrain. Trading bars about their luxury cars — frog eyes, peanut butter seats, and all — they sound as giddily triumphant as two ascendant rap stars should. —Chris
“Posing In Bondage” shows all the signs of Japanese Breakfast: the music is atmospheric, Michelle Zauner’s vocals are glowing and clean, and the whole thing is swarming with a painful sense of longing. The line between pleasure and pain is blurred when she lulls, “Waiting for your affection/ Waiting for you/ Done up and drunk/ Done up and fixed on.” This is a ballad for masochists who will never be properly fulfilled, and the images Zauner presents are fittingly visceral — posing alone for hours, feeling paralyzed by love, begging someone to “come home soon.” It’s far darker than her last single, “Be Sweet,” which gravitated towards buoyant disco. Her voice on “Posing In Bondage” swells with lust; her pleas are earnest and heartrending. It’s an urgent song that leaves the listener in a state of limbo, burning with the same cravings. —Danielle
The artwork for Pinkshift’s new Saccharine EP, which collects the five rip-roaring tracks the Baltimore band has put out over the last year in one convenient place, is a perfect representation of their sound: knife stabbed through a lollipop, blood splatter everywhere. Pinkshift exude sweetness and violence at every turn. “Mars,” their latest, feels like it could blast off to space through sheer momentum. It’s visceral and propulsive and does not let up. With chainsaw guitars and furious drumming, Ashrita Kumar delivers an olive branch wrapped with barbed wire: “I’m not sure how long you’ll last up here/ Pretty boy, oh, what will we do with you,” she wails during the chorus. “Tell me what you want from here/ And I’ll bring it for you.” The whole song is pounded out with the urgency of a ticking bomb, counting down to an explosion that’s already here. —James