The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

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.

It’s a big new music Friday and Bandcamp Friday. What are you all listening to today? Here are the five best songs of the week.

05

On the 2020 album DISCO4 :: PART I, HEALTH drew in collaborators far and wide, and they showed the magical power to make all of those collaborators — JPEGMAFIA, Full Of Hell, Soccer Mommy — sound like they were in dank decommissioned churches that had been reopened as goth clubs. For Nine Inch Nails, that setting is home — or, at least, it once was. On “Isn’t Everyone,” HEALTH draw Trent Reznor off of the Oscars stage and back into the sort of flickering rager that would once have its video burned from MTV. Once again, Reznor is howling about little piggies and getting what you deserve over brittle electro-throb beats and processed-to-death guitar judders. Once again, all is right with the world. —Tom

04

With last year’s Drop 6 EP, Little Simz was leaning into a hard, direct, infectious sound. But now she’s gearing up for Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, the followup to her acclaimed 2019 debut Grey Area. Accordingly, this new material is not quite as succinct and streamlined as Drop 6, but rather boasts a whole lot of widescreen ambition. Following the stormy, cinematic “Introvert,” Little Simz is back with “Woman.” In a sense, this is more of a laidback groove than its predecessor, but the song still sounds like a million bucks. Over a classic boom-bap beat, warm atmospherics, and Cleo Sol’s chorus, Simz raps a celebration of female power and success. It’s a soulful embrace of a track, and Simz moves effortlessly, glamorously above it. “Woman” is already quite a different vibe than “Introvert” — who knows what Simz has up her sleeve next. —Ryan

03

Laura Marling’s project with Mike Lindsay is a far cry from the exquisitely graceful folk-rock captured on releases like last year’s Song For Our Daughter. For Marling, LUMP represents the chance to slip into a “superhero costume” and escape a well-defined public persona, so it follows that “Animal” is practically unrecognizable as the same artist. The song finds Marling singing in dead-eyed monotone over an itchy electronic pulse. Her lyrics are creepy but alluring: “Hair on the pillow/ Blood on the shirt/ Pieces of love/ Traces of dirt.” She switches back into singsong mode for the chorus, but the haunted quality remains: “Dance dance/ This is your last chance/ To break a glass heart/ Just like you wanted.” It’s not entirely clear what’s happening within the song’s narrative, but in the broader context of Marling’s career, it’s the sound of her breaking free of her girl-with-acoustic-guitar image once and for all. —Chris

02

Despite reinventing themselves with practically every release, Liars always manage to sound like Liars. Since the departure of Aaron Hemphill in 2017, Liars have essentially been Angus Andrew’s solo project, but their upcoming album The Apple Drop finds him collaborating with avant-garde jazz drummer Laurence Pike, multi-instrumentalist Cameron Deyell, and High Places lyricist Mary Pearson Andrew. Together, they take the shadowy, brooding electronic rock thread of latter-day Liars and make it sound fresh and weird all over again. On “Sekwar,” Andrew mutters like a doomsday prophet, the disorientingly lurching drumbeat preventing him from ever quite finding his balance over an ocean of ominous synth pulses and atmospheric guitar tingles. It sounds very much like Liars, and that’s a good thing. —Peter

01

The energy of “‘Quotations,'” the lead single off Water From Your Eyes’ new album Structure, ebbs and flows from anxiety-inducing to comforting, all while the same exact loop plays in the background. It’s a marvel to listen to how well the Brooklyn duo, made up of Nate Amos and Rachel Brown, are able to modulate the sounds on this song between wild extremes with very little movement. The resulting track feels epic in scope and also impossibly simple and small. It’s absolutely entrancing and speaks well to the kind of nontraditional songwriting they engage in on Structure — “‘Quotations'” itself is a sort of remix of another song off their upcoming album, a reinterpretation that sands down the original’s rougher edges but adds different dimensions that prove just how multifaceted and full of potential this band’s songwriting can be. —James

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