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.

Here are the five best songs of the week, just in time for you to dig in over the long weekend.

05

“Your body knows me baby/ Just let me show you, baby/ You know it comes naturally.” Tinashe is singing about sex, but “your body” may as well refer to the ears of anyone who’s fallen under her spell. At this point, two albums into her independent renaissance, the pop-R&B singer can be counted on for excellence in many forms. In this case it’s a loosely haunted lite-funk loop in which melody, rhythm, and texture are warring for supremacy yet somehow effortlessly in sync, shot through with the casually commanding personality of an artist who makes this stuff look easy. —Chris

04

“Famously Alive” is Guerilla Toss in all their glory, their maximalist pop instincts and their weirdo punk sensibilities both turned up to 11. It’s pop in the sense that it bursts through your speakers like neon bubblegum filled with big open guitar chords and it’s weird in the sense that it’s got extreme metal vocals growling along to the anthemic sugar-rush chorus, Peter Negroponte’s furiously bashed-out drums holding it all together for a desperate two-and-a-half-minute sprint to the finish line. “Your famous doctor/ She prescribed/ Stay famous/ Famously alive,” Kassie Carlson sings, her voice multiplied into digitally harmonized bliss. It doesn’t get much more alive than this. —Peter

03

Throughout the music they’ve released so far, Fontaines D.C. have meditated on their Irishness, place, and how their identity has shifted. First it was watching the old Dublin fade away on Dogrel, then it was the dislocation and disorientation that came from rampant touring on A Hero’s Death. Now on Skinty Fia, they look back at their homeland with the viewpoints of expats relocated to London. “I Love You” might look like a love song on its surface, and in some ways it is, but it’s a complicated and frustrated love song addressed to the home left behind.

That, on at least some levels, means that “I Love You” is instantly a key song in Fontaines’ discography — billed as their most explicitly political song to date, it collides much of their past themes with relation to place. Fittingly, “I Love You” is instantly feels like a quintessential Fontaines song musically. The grey, reflective moods of A Hero’s Death remains, the song carried along by aqueous guitars. But there’s a rawness and intensity more akin to Dogrel coming back into play, too, the song gradually simmering and weaving until Grian Chatten’s intense final outburst. “I Love You” finds Fontaines at the peak of their powers, the gradual rising drama expertly deployed by a band dialed in and sounding better than ever; Chatten’s performance, in particular, is one of his best, wild-eyed and fraught but still controlled and precise in its inflections. “I Love You” is the kind of song that feels like everything this band has learned and experienced filtered into it, the kind of song you might’ve always been waiting for them to make. —Ryan

02

I’m a longtime Kurt Vile fan, but even I have to admit that I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Philly psych-folk star’s last album, 2018’s Bottle It In, which was a bit too jammy and unfocused even by KV standards. So it’s nice to hear “Like Exploding Stones” — the first cut from Vile’s forthcoming Verve debut — re-introduce the hooks (which he has historically done so well!) and go a little long.

Across seven full minutes, “Like Exploding Stones” is a journey unto itself, with twanging guitar, soft backing synths, and a clomping percussion. The easy-does-it rhythm belies KV’s anxiety, as he woos, yeahs, and murmurs about “a time when everything rhymed and I was cool, calm and collected/ And all my heroes dropped by just to hear me play.” In one breath he likens his mind to a “horror drive-in movie marathon,” then backpedals, claiming to be “just kiddin.'” Even if he’s not entirely serious, I’m definitely sticking around for KV’s double creature feature. —Rachel

01

The songs on Tomberlin’s debut album At Weddings were skeletal and hypnotic, but “happy accident” — which arrives alongside the announcement of her sophomore album i don’t know who needs to hear this… — is muscular and live-wired. Tomberlin fills out her sound with more instruments (needling guitar from Cass McCombs, shambling drums from Told Slant’s Felix Walworth), but even more palpable than the additional layers is the newfound confidence that Tomberlin has in her voice and presence.

The song is about the stumbling awkwardness of undefined relationships, but she revels in the ineptitude rather than shy away from it. “But you get so close/ I almost don’t bite my lip/ Happy accident,” she sings in the chorus. Toward the end of the song, she switches the lyrics up slightly: “And I wanna die/ When you say don’t cry/ I won’t quit/ I’m no accident.” There’s a determination to “happy accident” that’s hard to shake off, and why would you want to? Though it ends on a note of unsurety, Tomberlin has never sounded more sure of herself. —James

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