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. (An expanded playlist of our new music picks is available to members on Spotify and Apple Music, updated throughout the week.)

05

Ted Leo - "Too Bright Window"

Ted Leo’s new surprise EP For Colt And Killie kicks off with a throwback to the Pharmacists’ glory days. Leo’s newer work is sometimes stripped-down and chilled-out, but “Too Bright Window” races along with so much nervous energy that it feels like it might burst into flames at any moment. His knack for impeccable melody remains intact, as does his ability to escalate those hooks into rousing falsetto wails. “Some folks see how easy living should be/ I can’t see, I can’t see,” he sings when all that potential energy goes kinetic. “Some folks see how to make a living easy/ Not me; it’s not me.” It’s a lament about the broken systems facing working people — maybe working musicians in particular — and it basically proves its own point by existence in such a state of excellence without much prospect of a living wage in return. —Chris

04

Lil Yachty - "Poland"

Lil Yachty took the wock to Poland. —Tom

03

Gladie - "Nothing"

Once we get something we want, why do we just want more? That’s the central question in Gladie’s bombastic guitar-pop gem “Nothing.” In singer Augusta Koch’s song description, she talks about wanting to know what it feels like to “want nothing,” unpacking society’s programming to always be expanding our personal empire. Is it possible to unlearn that tendency, and if so, how could we possibly achieve it? In this economy? Over distortion-happy guitar chugs and crashing cymbals, Koch laments in a bouncy cadence, “I keep seeking advice/ That I must’ve forgotten.” My Visa bill can relate. —Rachel

02

Westerman - "Idol; RE-run"

This is quite a reintroduction from Westerman. On his first new song in more than two years, the singular singer-songwriter translates the meditative splendor of his new wave art-pop into a folk-rock context with help from Big Thief drummer James Krivchenia. “Idol; RE-run” is lush and airy and gorgeously graceful, laced with blustery drum work, brass that can be both jazzy and regal, and vocal outbursts worthy of Peter Gabriel. “Like mother’s love, it’s all gone now,” Westerman sings on the verse. “He’s out there running scared like any other motherfucker.” And then the chorus kicks in, and that last word turns into a mighty unlikely refrain for a Westerman song: “Mother! Fucker!” sung like it’s the most delicate, dignified phrase imaginable. You might find yourself muttering the same thing back at Westerman in delighted disbelief. —Chris

01

MSPAINT - "Acid"

MSPAINT make a dizzyingly satisfying combination of hardcore and dance music. The Hattiesburg, Mississippi band records with no guitar, just bass and drums and a whole lot of synths, resulting in clean lines that still manage to barrel you over with an unstoppable forward momentum. “Acid,” their new single, exhibits the intensity of a scuzzy live performance but contains enough calculated throbs and whirrs that make you glad it was captured in a studio. “Selfish fascination, got to let it go, let it go!” leader DeeDee shouts on the hook, which emerges out of all these distorted, rippling layers that add up to one of the most viscerally exciting songs I’ve heard in a long while. —James

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