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.

Happy Destroyer week to all the Stereogum commenters who celebrate. The five best songs of the past week are below.

05

“Everyone I know is lost.” That’s a striking statement from Nika Roza Danilova — even more so when affixed to a vocal melody that splits the difference between anthem and incantation. The hook alone is enough to qualify “Lost” as a stunning introduction to the next Zola Jesus album, but the sounds Danilova conjures around it amplify the searching power in the refrain. Working with heavy music mastermind Randall Dunn and drummer extraordinaire Matt Chamberlain, she establishes both brisk momentum and an epic scope. The result sounds at once like a pop song and a movie score, channeling deeply modern anxieties about the state of the world through a cavernous grandeur that feels ancient. —Chris

04

“So when nothing goes quite like you planned it/ Write 12 songs, swing like you can’t miss.” And hey, look at that: Sore Thumb, Oso Oso’s excellent new album, has exactly 12 songs and none of them miss. Its opening track lays out the album’s unambitious ambition, solidified by some tragic circumstances that could have not gone less according to plan. “Computer Exploder” is an itchy knot of tangled acoustic guitar and snaking bass — it breaks out into a Bright Eyes-ian temper tantrum at one point, bashes up to a soaring saccharine post-chorus in another. It’s both all over the place and tightly streamlined, an apt introduction to the album that follows. —James

03

When Carlyn Bezic released her new Jane Inc song “2120” earlier this week, she said it was about “the relentless passage of time” — perhaps the way years tumble by faster as you age, but also the way time seems to be hurtling towards the destruction of our planet. “I can feel the second hand/ Like some vicious marching band that stomps inside my head/ What am I to do/ When the days rush past,” she sings in its opening lines, before concluding she’ll pour her grief into “this plastic crucible.” So then we get “2120,” an emphatic and unwavering dancefloor earworm laced with anxiety. You could miss a lot of that if you don’t know Bezic’s explanation or if you don’t pay attention to the lyrics: The song is extremely addicting. But lest you forget Bezic’s associations with heady projects like Bernice and U.S. Girls, “2120” is a Trojan Horse of a song. It barges into your head with hook after hook, and by the end you get caught up in that same current, carried through that relentless passage of time on throbbing beats and propulsive synths. —Ryan

02

Remember last year when Fontaines D.C. said there were “definitely a couple disco tracks” on their then-mysterious forthcoming third album? We probably all should’ve known that was about as much of a feint as the idea that the heaving, darkened A Hero’s Death was dominated by Beach Boys-isms. But it wasn’t a complete lie. Even as each preview of Skinty Fia has found the band doing something entirely different, its title track is a head-spinner. Suddenly here are Fontaines, over a programmed beat and warped sound effects, brooding and snarling their way through the night once more but moving in a completely different way than we’ve ever heard them.

It’s hard to say what “Skinty Fia” even reminds me of — it’s sort of reminiscent of that late ’90s moment when some Britpop bands were starting to mess around with electronica a bit. It finds Grian Chatten striking a balance between droning zone-out and laconic cool, the same way the song itself blends a slithering swagger with shadowy emotional textures. Across three albums, Fontaines have already pushed their sound in plenty of different directions, and Skinty Fia may boast more experiments than either of its predecessors. Who knows if they’d push further in this direction over the years, but for now — holy shit. It’s one of those “Where did this come from!?” tracks that quickly starts to feel like an essential entry in a band’s discography. —Ryan

01

If you’ve seen Soccer Mommy live anytime recently, then you already know that Sophie Allison’s band knows how to groove. On a song like “Shotgun,” that’s crucial. With the first single from her upcoming LP, Soccer Mommy recaptures some of the bleary grace of certain mid-’90s alt-rock-radio outliers, and “Shotgun” has a head-nod beat that gives me flashbacks to Folk Implosion’s “Natural One.” Once you have that beat, you can do a lot of things. You can add in slithery riffs and surging choruses and spiralling keyboards. You can tell a story.

“Shotgun” tells a story. Allison inhabits the perspective of someone who’s comfortable in a relationship where all that anyone does is pop pills, drink beer, and eat ice cream. That kind of living can lead to terrible things, and you can hear distant echoes of those terrible things in the melancholy twinge of Allison’s voice. But that kind of living is also fun, and there’s some dizzy romanticism in the way the song explodes, again and again. —Tom

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