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. Here is this week’s list.

05

Working Men's Club - "Cut"

Pulling from a tradition that includes the likes of New Order and Hot Chip, the Yorkshire band Working Men’s Club turn indie rock into pulsing club music. “Cut,” from their new album Fear Fear, is a prime example of the band’s craft. Synthesizers dominate the frame, squelching in the foundation and soaring atop the groove. But guitars are every bit as important, first fleshing out the texture and then going absolutely nuts in a show of flash and technique that feels revelatory in this context. “All the time it’s just running around my soul,” Sydney Minsky-Sargeant repeats, as if describing the swirl of sound his band is conjuring. —Chris

04

Titus Andronicus - "(I'm) Screwed"

Not to box Patrick Stickles into a corner, but the true test of a great Titus Andronicus track is this: How hard can you rage to it at a Titus Andronicus show? By that standard “(I’m) Screwed” is an instant classic. The song finds Stickles growling like a grizzled punk elder, backed by a group at the peak of its powers in swaggering bar-band mode. The un-ironic pick slide; the rollicking Rolling Stones piano; the strikingly harmonious “How you gonna turn the screws on me?!” backing vocals; the slicing, dicing, ever-compounding Thin Lizzy guitar action — it’s all so incredibly rad. Epic betrayal has never sounded so fun. —Chris

03

Flo Milli - "On My Nerves"

There are no bad songs on You Still Here, Ho?, the mercilessly mean new album from the young Alabama rap queen Flo Milli. Every track has a simple, sticky beat and a nasty hook, and every track has Flo Milli discussing all the ways that the people in her life do not match her expectations. Flo Milli is a rapper who understands how to use her voice, and she knows that she sounds amazing when she’s brutally clowning anyone foolish enough to come around her with some wack shit. “On My Nerves,” a takedown of a clingy dude who won’t accept the idea that he needs to leave, is a perfect example of everything that she does right. The beat is springy and minimal, and it takes little bits and pieces from a few early-’00s rap chestnuts — the descending bass tones from the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait,” the little mouth-clicks from Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” the little aww noise from Nelly’s “Dilemma.” That’s all that Flo Milli needs to discuss everything this boy is doing wrong: “He ain’t get the memo when I told him ‘swerve’/ Damn, you getting on my nerves.” —Tom

02

Julia Jacklin - "Love, Try Not To Let Go"

There’s a particular sort of pain that sets in when you know you’ve arrived at a place where you have a lot of love to give but the timing isn’t right, and there’s no good outlet in sight. It’s a condition Melbourne singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin sounds familiar with on the piano-led “Love, Try Not To Let Go,” which has mega Mitski “I just need someone to kiss/ Give me one good honest kiss” vibes. Jacklin’s voice, too, is strong and clear like Mitski’s, though it also has pitchy Vashti Bunyan tones. Overlaid with piano and uptempo drumming, “Love, Try Not To Let Go” is both ebullient and aching, proud and vulnerable, strong yet delicate. Its easy versatility portends great things for Jacklin. —Rachel

01

Jessie Ware - "Free Yourself"

The era of the diva is far behind us, but Jessie Ware keeps the dream alive. We’re coming up on a decade worth of the UK songwriter’s nostalgic hits, and she shows no signs of slowing down. “Free Yourself,” the first single from her fifth album, is an effervescent recall of the last days of disco, filled with stabbing keys and sky-reaching melodies and a groovy bass line that cascades out onto the dance floor. Ware is concentrated on losing yourself in the sensuality of that beat: “Free yourself,” she sings. “Keep on moving up that mountain top/ Why don’t you please yourself?/ If it feels so good, then don’t you stop.” It’s impossible to deny, a liberating anthem that really does encourage one to keep on pushing. —James

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