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

Yves Tumor - "God Is A Circle"

The beat coursing through “God Is A Circle” is offset by a raggedy breath with a persistent in-out, in-out that makes the track feel tense and claustrophobic. Yves Tumor is an expert at building out soundscapes; this one is filled with mangled guitars and gothic synths and occasional whispering from Drain Gang’s Ecco2K. Yves sounds like the walls are closing in on them, that there are things in their mind they don’t want to confront. “Knowing you might hurt someone or yourself,” Yves intones. “You would tear everything apart just to find out… Everyone you loved loved someone else.” How can someone feel so full of light one moment and so grotesque the next? In the waking nightmares of Yves Tumor songs, sometimes it sounds like those feelings are happening all at once. —James

04

Caitlin Rose - "Getting It Right" (Feat. Courtney Marie Andrews)

Although Caitlin Rose and Courtney Marie Andrews are both ostensibly country artists, neither of them exists anywhere near the Nashville mainstream machine. I don’t know if that sucks for their career prospects, but it’s great for listeners who enjoy their roots rock with some artful flavor and their indie rock with a bit of twang. The live acoustic rendition of Rose and Andrews’ collab “Getting It Right” is unmistakably country. The studio version rocks harder and pops more infectiously, with those central harmonies carried along by huge waves of distorted guitar. “Talk too much or not enough/ Everything tender always comes out rough,” they sing, manifesting some imaginary Neko Case album recorded with her New Pornographers bandmates. “Someday I’ll find the answer somehow/ But I’m just workin’ on getting it right now.” I don’t know; it feels like they nailed this one. —Chris

03

BabyTron - "Genesis 1:1"

In the Old Testament, Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens in the earth.” On BabyTron’s Bin Reaper 3: Old Testament, “Genesis 1:1” has a slightly different version of the creation myth: “2019, I dropped Bin Reaper, they was sleeping/ Pitchfork rated it a 7, they was tweaking/ 2020, seemed like all my haters, they was peaking/ But that’s unemployment for you; I ain’t think that they was eating.”

BabyTron has spent the past few years talking so much shit that it’s second-nature for him, so it’s almost a surprise to hear him digging into his own history, sounding more purposeful over a dramatic piano-laced beat from producer Bye Kyle. But don’t worry; BabyTron is still talking plenty of shit. BabyTron hit him with that Porter’s X2, now he a particle. BabyTron don’t rap battle — 40 weapons in his arsenal. BabyTron is on a different magnitude. BabyTron maxed out his attributes. Supreme dropping off BabyTron’s shirt — this not Thrasher, dude. —Tom

02

SZA - "Shirt"

A full, studio version of “Shirt” has been a long time coming — SZA technically premiered it in an Instagram story near the end of 2020. “Shirt” was worth the wait, though. Over a stuttering, shuffling beat (the rhythm reminds me of Aaliyah’s classic “Are You That Somebody”), SZA croons achingly about a relationship that isn’t serving her and how this love interest has her spinning out: “Still stressin’ perfection/Let you all in my mental/Got me lookin’ too desperate, damn.” Even a beautiful day can’t break the somber mood: “Broad day, sunshine/ I’ll find a way to fuck it up still.” Overall, “Shirt” lays out a heady mix of anger, resentment, and vulnerable yearning, all packed away into a tight, well-executed three minutes. —Rachel

01

Yo La Tengo - "Fallout"

Yo La Tengo have been doing this so well for so long. At this point, they’ve marked out a vast but distinctive sonic territory, eclectic in taste but unmistakable in practice. Within their aesthetic, there are a few recurring archetypes, but maybe the best of them is the droning, fuzzed-out pop song where gentle melody and violent distortion seem to be holding each other in equilibrium. You know the type: “From A Motel 6.” “Tom Courtenay.” “Sugarcube.” “Cherry Chapstick.” The chugging, chiming lead single from their upcoming This Stupid World is the latest addition to that lineage. “I wanna fall out of time,” Ira Kaplan sings on “Fallout,” extending that last note until it blurs into the wash of harmonic noise. “Turn back unwind.” This is comfort food for indie-rock lifers, the kind of song we’ll accept from Yo La Tengo over and over while marveling at their ability to still deliver the goods all these years later. I want to be greedy and request an alternate ballad version of “Fallout” with Georgia Hubley on vocals, but frankly even one YLT song this excellent four decades into their career is a greater blessing than this world deserves. —Chris

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