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. You can hear this week’s picks below and on Stereogum’s Favorite New Music Spotify playlist, which is updated weekly.

05

The 1975 - "Happiness"

Matty Healy recently said “Happiness” was the result of a studio jam session. Because the band didn’t overthink anything, I’m loath to deconstruct their latest Being Funny In A Foreign Language single too much. I’m already having trouble, as the UK pop-rockers have over the years built a polarizing reputation for their irreverence, elaborate album concepts, and music that surfs an eclectic range of genres. They are inherently not an easy group to capture, even when they’re being breezy. Still, as Healy recently told Zane Lowe, “Happiness” is just a portrait of a band having a good time. And they sure sound like they are. Leaning into their most lighthearted new-wave impulses, “Happiness” is a dance-rock gem with prominent sax solos and just enough ’80s cheese to be giving “(Now I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” / end of Dirty Dancing vibes. —Rachel

04

The Comet Is Coming - "CODE"

The syncopation is out of control on this one. More accurately, it’s perfectly, exquisitely, meticulously locked-in. The way those stuttering horn leads interact with the watertight beat defies belief, and it’s far from the only example of the dynamism at work here. “CODE” is a masterful exercise in tension with only the slightest of release, and it suggests The Comet Is Coming’s new Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam will be an absolute monster. —Chris

03

Guerilla Toss - "Zum Herz"

“I like to think that the US / UK created rock music, but the Germans made it forever weird.” That’s what Guerilla Toss wrote in the statement accompanying their new song “Zum Herz,” a song inspired by the krautrock legends NEU! that’s included in an upcoming box set celebrating the band. Guerilla Toss have spent their decade-plus together as a band pushing their music in more out-there directions while simultaneously coming around to pop accessibility — they struck a perfect balance on their excellent new album from earlier this year. “Zum Herz” boasts all the insistent, organic precision of their inspiration, and in Kassie Carlson’s hands, she turns that gliding momentum into a chorus that sounds worth rallying around. —James

02

Will Sheff - "Estrangement Zone"

Okkervil River’s Will Sheff has been at this music thing for a while now (the Austin-based indie outfit released their debut album, Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See in 2002). So I’m genuinely surprised it’s taken two decades for Sheff to announce a debut solo album, Nothing Special. The lead single — whose title could be riffing on a certain Kenny Loggins classic (or it could just be a coincidence) — is nearly six minutes long but doesn’t overstay. “Estrangement Zone” is an anxious parable about society’s decline and somehow manages to sound futuristic and ramshackle all at once. Over trudging percussion, guitar riffs, and eerie synth-work, Sheff chants in an ominous, layered falsetto that recalls fellow ’00s indie experimenters TV On The Radio. As times get progressively more dystopian, are we about to see a freak-folk resurgence? Well, I wouldn’t say no to that. —Rachel

01

Ela Minus & DJ Python - "Pájaros En Verano"

Ela Minus and DJ Python’s new EP is titled with a heart icon, pronounced corazón. It’s a project steeped in love and tenderness, and those sensations come through clearly on “Pájaros En Verano,” which translates to “Birds In Summer.” Over Python’s slinky, minimal production, Minus softly and sweetly recites a list of things she’s grateful for, directly addressing the pandemic isolation that cancelled so many plans over the past couple years. “After all the days that never happened/ And the nights that didn’t exist,” she sings. “I can’t complain, ’cause I got you/ Now I don’t want to live a life without you.” Confronted with such plainspoken beauty, you’ll probably be adding it to your own list of blessings before it’s even over. —Chris

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