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.
“Terminal” is Marci’s new word for “Dead,” which is better summed up by people using skull face and coffin emojis to say that something is cool. (Meanwhile, it would seem that I have officially died of old age.) The TOPS keyboardist has a real bop on her hands though, and a satisfyingly lo-fi, Sally Shapiro-disco one at that. Over a DIY beat, “Terminal” quickly clicks into gear with gauzy synths, funk-filled bass, and Marci’s own gossamer vocals. The video is totally tongue-in-cheek, too, with Marci swanning around the cemetery in a flowy green gown. I’m sure glad disco never actually died, otherwise we’d really be missing out. —Rachel
Shygirl and Arca have teamed up twice in the past, once for a certified banger and once for an icy slab of abstract minimalism. Their new collaboration “Come For Me” lands somewhere in the middle of those. It sounds like a deconstructed club track, a remix of a pop song that doesn’t exist yet. It opens and closes and opens back up again over its runtime, as Shygirl’s beckons to follow along with her are twisted and fractured by Arca into a series of thumping beats and glitches. It’s a bit hard to grab onto, but in an enticing way — a welcome indicator that Shygirl’s upcoming debut Nymph will certainly be challenging, especially after its first single “Firefly” was so eager to please. Shygirl and Arca strike again. —James
“Mellow” is not a word that anyone has ever associated with Chicago hardcore wreckers Life’s Question, so it’s a little weird that their latest ripper has a title that looks like it belongs on a Jack Johnson song. When you listen, though, “Mellow My Mind” turns out to be an inspirational tract about the importance of dying without regret — the only way to truly mellow your mind. On the song, Life’s Question sound like they’re galloping into death with arms stretched wide. The song is fast and hard, but it’s also dramatic, with guitars shredding and barked-out vocals giving way to sudden surges of melody. Energy bursts out of the song like lightning. There will be time for minds to mellow when it’s all over. For now, there’s thrashing to be done. —Tom
Dust Star, the new band made up of Justin Jurgens and Cameron Wisch, was formed after a LSD-fueled revelation in Joshua Tree. While that origin story might suggest something psychedelic and out there, “Nothing In My Head” suggests that, instead, Jurgens’ and Wisch’s hallucinogenic bond gave them a clarity of mind. The song surges forward like a ragged train, all tight focus rhythmically and melodically, but with just enough dirt and grain left on the surface. It’s power-pop, but not too polished, maintaining a sweaty frenzy and lived-in charm. It’s a hell of an opening salvo; hopefully the duo has more where this came from. —Ryan
Bonny Light Horseman call “California” their first West Coast song, and damn, they nailed the vibe. There are many different versions of California in the collective imagination, of course — that multiplicity, the swirl of endless promise and creeping doom and natural beauty and rotting artifice, is key to the romance associated with the state — but here the trio has honed in on an especially pleasing permutation of the myth. The soft sounds of Laurel Canyon are woven throughout this track, from the subtle hints of twang in that sublime lead guitar line to the wistful tenderness in Eric D. Johnson’s voice as he sings about leaving this land behind: “Goodbye to California/ Seems like we hardly knew ya.” Johnson says it’s the rare instance of characters walking into the sunrise rather than the sunset, and it works wonders as the song that signifies a new day rising for Johnson, Josh Kaufman, and Anaïs Mitchell’s folk supergroup. —Chris