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). We’ve kicked off a partnership with TIDAL, the global music streaming service that offers the highest sound quality and Fan-Centered Royalties. You’ll find our new Favorite New Music playlist updated weekly here on TIDAL.

TIDAL’s HiFi tiers offer over 80M+ songs and 350k+ videos in HD, an ad-free experience, and offline listening with unlimited skips. The HiFi Plus plan includes Innovative Audio Formats up to 9216 kbps (Master Quality audio, Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, HiFi) and Fan-Centered Royalties where the artists you stream get paid based on your streaming habits.

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Birds In Row come from the world of screamo, a hardcore subgenre ruled by frantic coiled tension and skyscraper-demolition explosiveness. On the lead single from their new album, they start off spitting that kind of fire, reminding us what we’ve been missing in the four years since they last graced us with new music. But “Water Wings” is an adventurous track, one that morphs into a different kind of epic halfway through. The second half remains raw and visceral and filled with angst-ridden shouting, but it’s crisp and sparkling too. It would kill on the radio if radio would ever dare play something so intense. “Being ourselves means struggling against these dreams that have been forced onto us,” the band’s statement reads. It also apparently means pushing back against preconceived notions of what a Birds In Row song can be. —Chris


Do you ever feel slightly suspicious of something that’s a little bit too far up your own personal alley? Like the universe is just grabbing shit directly out of your brain and then selling it back to you? I felt that way when the Mountain Goats made a whole album about the idea of professional wrestling, and I feel even more that way when the Mountain Goats get together with Bully’s Alicia Bognanno to make a whole album inspired by the action movies of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. But if I was resisting this particular ultra-niche fastball, then that resistance lasted all of 36 seconds, right up until the moment when John Darnielle brayed that he’s doing this for revenge. The Mountain Goats’ most charged-up rockers have always been their best songs, and if these guys are really making a whole record about GTO chases and karate wars, then maybe we all just deserved something nice in our lives. —Tom


Six years after her last album, Beth Orton is back with a new era — and if Weather Alive’s title track is anything to go by, holy shit are we in for something. “Weather Alive” is an airy seven-minute meditation, a hazy psych-folk sprawl. In it, Orton sings about the weather, and love, and things passing by. The song itself fades in and out of view, percussion driving then disappearing, burbling piano met with vaporous guitar, all of it suggesting the impermanence of the song’s subjects. Musically, the song feels like a whole new world opening up, or one of those harmonious moments where you see every detail of the world around you in new, vivid detail that completely but fleetingly reorients your perception. The beauty of how “Weather Alive” works as a song is that, in its most tangible moments, it sounds like Orton and her collaborators taking those ephemeral reveries and revelations and making them, if only temporarily, sharply in focus. —Ryan


I’ll admit it — I really miss Paramore! At least, I get easily nostalgic for ’00s Warped Tour Paramore. Baltimore’s pop-punk provocateurs Pinkshift might feel the same way, based on their absolutely ripping “nothing (in my head),” which sure doesn’t sound like nothing. “I feel so goddamn numb,” Ashrita Kumar howls over thundering drums and face-melting (but really, really catchy) guitar. Given its gut-punching, burned-out lyrics, “nothing (in my head)” ends up being a rallying cry song for the inner despair millions of people deal with every day, and it definitely speaks to our present-day hellscape of a news cycle. “This song is like a hand reaching out,” the band has said of their Hopeless Records debut. That goal has been achieved, and then some. —Rachel


What does a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song sound like in 2022? That’s quite the interesting question. Now we finally have our answer. There’s a whole lot of nostalgia for their scrappy come-up, but it’s been 13 years since we had an album from them worth acknowledging. (Sorry, Mosquito.)

“Spitting Off The Edge Of The World” comes with a lot of expectations, but it sounds more than ready to live up to them. The song is filled with massive synths and big, booming drums that congeal into a slather of sound. Karen O barely sounds like she’s able to get out from under it — but, of course, as one of our best rock leaders, she does. (She’s assisted by Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas, who purrs like a lion throughout.) Karen O is singing about how the next generation is absolutely fucked, which, yes, true, but she sounds invigorating doing so. The song doesn’t offer up any solutions, but it does commiserate in that helpless feeling and manages to provide some relief. —James

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