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.)


Phoenix - "After Midnight"

Phoenix love to reinvent themselves, but much of the new Alpha Zulu’s appeal is tied up in its resemblance to the band’s classic material. “After Midnight” is the sound of Phoenix back on their bullshit, zeroed in on that gleaming, ultra-catchy Wolgang Amadeus Phoenix sweet spot. The synths flicker like strobes. The rhythm section pulses with the urgent momentum of New Order racing through time to catch up with the Strokes. Thomas Mars’ voice beams like a laser across the electro-organic landscape, casually sighing sweet nonsense about losing track of the time. It’s a fitting subject for a song and album that have me feeling like I’m back in 2009 in the best way. —Chris


Nicole Dollanganger - "Gold Satin Dreamer"

Halloween is long past, which means it must be Nicole Dollanganger season. The chilly, witchy “Gold Satin Dreamer” actually sounds like fall Daylight Savings Time. Its atonal strings drip down like dead leaves, while Dollanganger’s penetrating vocals threaten to cut through a too-thin jacket. Lyrically, the mood is desolate as Dollanganger processes the loss of a relationship. It’s a visceral, affecting track, and it couldn’t come at a better time of year. —Rachel


Vibora - "Sơn Đoòng"

Hang Sơn Đoòng is in Vietnam, near the border with Laos, and it’s one of the largest natural caves in the world. I don’t know why the Spanish screamo band Vibora named this ripper, from their new split with fellow Spanish punks Crossed, after that cave. I don’t even know what language they’re singing in. (It’s not English or Spanish or Catalan or Vietnamese.) But who needs to know everything. Vibora’s “Sơn Đoòng” is an absolute monster of a track, a stormy guttural rager with its own built-in tension-and-release dynamics. You don’t have to know anything about the song to feel it. —Tom


Pile - "Loops"

Your favorite band’s favorite band is back with a philosophical new single, which portends great things for its forthcoming album, All Fiction. “Loops” chugs, churns, and whirls as Pile singer Rick Maguire groans and rasps about the cyclical nature of personal growth, and pushes back against the resulting feeling of arriving at “more questions than answers” (as he recently put it). Even better, “Loops” also recalls some classic hard-rock pioneers such as Tool and STP (tell me you don’t hear the opening riffs to “Vasoline” in there), but doesn’t sound at all derivative. You’ll be circling back to this one. —Rachel


Fever Ray - "Carbon Dioxide"

“What They Call Us” served as the haunting, beguiling introduction to this new era of Fever Ray, but “Carbon Dioxide” really kicks things into high gear. It’s dizzying and forceful, constructed around a propulsive mangled beat that sounds like it’s darting off in a million different directions while still giving Karin Dreijer space to add in those maniacal little touches that only they can come up with. My favorite is the demonic chirrup that happens in between each of these lines: “Will you meet me/ Hocus pocus/ On the other side/ Of hyper focus.” But for all the delightful oddities contained within “Carbon Dioxide,” it swings back around to a twisted but sentimental-sounding chorus, one that feels full of fire, yearning, and desire: “Holding my heart while falling,” a sensation I’d imagine feels much like a Fever Ray song. —James

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