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.
I, for one, welcome our new BTS overlords. The five best songs of the week are below.
New York’s indie singer/songwriter Samia has been releasing a lot of material lately, including a reimagining of her first album The Baby that featured artists like Palehound, Field Medic, and Christian Lee Hutson. “Show Up” marks a new era; it’s anthemic and accepting as she moves forward in her career and in life. It’s bittersweet, but, more than anything, it’s victorious because she’s made it this far. “Nothing could ever stop my ass from showing up/ To sing another song for the people I love,” she repeats, and it’s a mantra of persistence. —Danielle
Martha Skye Murphy builds tension in slow, sweeping gestures. Her new single “Found Out” is made up of little parts that coalesce into a haunting whole. Its stateliness recalls the baroqueness of FKA Twigs’ MAGDALENE but Murphy is less focused on grandeur and more on grotesquerie. Coming off the chilling screaming match that is her guest appearance on Squid’s “Narrator,” “Found Out” is comparatively restrained but perhaps even more impactful because of it. “Is that what you need? To be found out?” she croaks out on it, landing somewhere between a threat and an offer of redemption. It’s drippy and alluring and unnerving in the best way. —James
“You should try it sometime/ It’s not that difficult/ You just open your mouth and say something,” Eden Samara says on Loraine James’ “Running Like That.” James has always had a strong metaphorical voice, but on her new album Reflection, the North London IDM producer brings real human vocals — including her own — into her glitchy electronic compositions more than ever before. “Running Like That,” which fuses Samara’s silken R&B singing to James’ deconstructed dance music, is the sound of James trying to outrun the voices of doubt in her own head. It’s a jittery and anxious dramatization of the swirl of intrusive thoughts, but ironically, it also shows James at her strongest and most confident. —Peter
Nicolas Jaar has said that, for him and bandmate Dave Harrington, Darkside is “our jam band.” “Lawmaker,” the reunited duo’s latest, doesn’t sound too much like what most of us imagine when we hear the term “jam band,” but it’s definitely on some deep prog shit. “Lawmaker” is a six-minute excursion with sleepy vocals and weird off-kilter pings, and its lyrics lay out a parable about a malevolent prophet. It its clangs and its whirrs and its endless, gentle riffage, “Lawmaker” pulls you in and zones you out. If you’re in the right frame of mind, you might find your brain fluid sloshing around in time with that soft, percolating beat. Someone needs to book Darkside to play a field in Vermont; this jam-band thing is working. —Tom
King Woman, one of Kristina Esfandiari’s many projects, have been quiet for a couple of years. Of course their return is incredibly dramatic and colossal with this new track. “Morning Star” broods and builds into a doomy, post-punk whirlwind that has the essence of a Satanic ritual, one of the first lyrics being: “My name is Lucifer/ Pleased to meet you.” Esfandiari’s voice is haunting and the sonic landscape is dynamic throughout. As she holds syllables for way longer than necessary (“Luu-cii-feer,” she croons), the song descends into an airy, hypnotic chant, and it has the intensity of the end of a horror movie. —Danielle