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.
With his brisk, breathless “Day ‘N’ Nite” beat, Dot Da Genius helped Kid Cudi become one of the more influential figures blurring the lines between rapping and singing. Fourteen years later, Cudi’s impact on modern hip-hop is so prevalent, and his own music is so consistently genre-flouting, that it now feels radical to hear him simply rap. But that’s what he does (and does well) on “Talk About Me,” the new posse cut Dot’s using to elevate himself into the producer-as-lead-artist tier. Maybe Cudi felt inspired by the presence of Denzel Curry and J.I.D., two emcees from the generation behind him who’ve cut against the sing-songy current in favor of rhymes as sharp and flashy as those points in Curry’s hair. Or maybe it’s just his way of posing the same rhetorical question Curry puts in explicit terms: “What the fuck do these people know about me?” —Chris
When it comes to Western beauty standards, there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, we grew up with after-school specials telling us how we’re great exactly as we are, blah blah etc. Cut to commercial break, though, and we’re pelted with advertising peddling precisely the opposite mentality. As Sudan Archives (real name Brittney Parks) describes it, the uphill battle towards bodily self-acceptance can be even steeper when you’re a Black woman. Teaming with co-writers and co-producers Simon On The Moon, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Ben Dickey, Parks tackles her own insecurities head on with “NBPQ (Topless).” Over a clapping “Milkshake” beat, she tinkers with traditional pop song structure by chanting about the things that make her extraordinary before segueing into a cello-laced instrumental outro. “I just wanna have my titties out,” Parks ends in a tone that is both tongue-in-cheek and a little solemn. Give this Natural Brown Prom Queen her crown already. —Rachel
Hudson Mohawke is back. Well, the Scottish producer never really went anywhere between his TNGHT revival and a steady drip of mixtapes, but Cry Sugar is his first full-length album statement in five years and (spoiler alert) it’s a doozy, which you might be able to surmise based on the anarchic five-minute megamix he released alongside “Bicstan.” “Bicstan” is as good a jumping off place for the album as any — a mix of chiptune’s sugary highs and the rave pyrotechnics that Mohawke made his name on. It’s propulsive, a track that gets progressively more unbalanced as it goes along and teeters on the edge of complete chaos. —James
So many apt comparisons come to mind when hitting play on PONY’s exquisite bubble-grunge gem. As Tom pointed out, it’s a little bit Letters To Cleo, and a little bit Bettie Serveert, but I’m also getting major Dressy Bessy, Tullycraft, and Charly Bliss vibes here. Structurally, PONY’s “Did It Again” is tight, compact, and downright crazy-catchy. This is meant to be a one-off as Toronto’s Sam Bielanski heads out on tour with Fucked Up, but I’m hoping there’s more where this came from. This sugar is really addictive. —Rachel
“I am so tired! Of everyone that’s breathing down my neck!” That’s Stefanie Mannaerts, drummer and lead bellower of the phenomenal Belgian power trio Brutus, on “Dust.” But Mannaerts doesn’t sound tired. Pissed off definitely, frustrated probably, anxious maybe. But tired? No. She she screams like a bulldozer crashing through a wall, and that’s also how she plays drums. “Dust” is a song about the friends who demand too much of our time and energy, and you have to respect anyone who feels strongly enough about those buttheads to bash and howl as hard as she does.
Brutus exist at the intersection of a few different genres — black metal, shoegaze, post-hardcore. Right now, that intersection is a crowded space, with tons of different bands trying to put their own spins on similar combinations. But Brutus still stand out because their sound is so grand and majestic, astral and physical at the same time. “Dust” flares and soars and whirls, and the song’s six minutes rush past in the blink of an eye. Stefanie Mannaerts may or may not be so tired, but “Dust” invigorates. —Tom