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.)

Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this list comprises songs from the past two weeks.

05

One Step Closer - "Dark Blue"

I have a lot of admiration for hardcore/emo singers able to segue from scream-shriek to a perfectly on-pitch sing-howl. To hurl your vocals into the shredder and put them back together in a way that generates such catharsis — it’s an under-appreciated gift, in my opinion. One Step Closer’s Ryan Savitski is my new favorite example of such a singer, particularly on the Wilkes-Barre band’s latest single, “Dark Blue,” which is bolstered by urgent harmonies, breakneck drumming, and a wall of murky guitars. As far as merging hardcore and emo goes, “Dark Blue” sounds like an instant classic to me. —Rachel

04

BigXthaPlug - "Texas"

Sometimes, the YouTube trending chart contains wonders. Dallas rapper BigXthaPlug has had a few viral hits already — the “Safehouse” remix with Maxo Kream goes hard — but “Texas” feels different. BigX’s whole style harkens back to the slowed-down Texan funk of the Swisha House era, and “Texas” is a classic regional-pride anthem. BigX drawls hard over a beautiful slide-guitar loop. He booms out salutes to Beyoncé and Trae Tha Truth and Devin The Dude. He explains why his home state’s motto is also strong life advice. He luxuriates in what Texas has given the world, the slang and the drugs and the sounds and the feelings. I’m not from Texas, but for two minutes, BigX makes me feel like it’s home. —Tom

03

mui zyu - "Rotten Bun"

“Rotten Bun” is explicitly designed as an entryway into an alternate world. Eva Liu’s latest mui zyu single, the sort-of title track from her forthcoming concept album Rotten Bun For An Eggless Century, begins with rippling piano, plaintive vocals, and a late-breaking electronic beat. It’s a pensive, eerie introduction, one that becomes increasingly alluring as Liu piles on the layers of beauty and even more so when most of the sounds drop out two-thirds of the way through to spotlight a single weeping violin. By the time “Rotten Bun” reaches its sweeping, crashing, glamorously doom-laden finale, it has achieved its goal: We are completely immersed in the mui zyu universe, rapt at attention and eager to explore. —Chris

02

Chubby And The Gang - "Violent Night (A Christmas Tale)"

There’s already a definitive punk Christmas rager. It’s called “Oi To The World.” The Vandals wrote it in 1996. No Doubt covered that song on an all-star holiday compilation a year later, and the Vandals’ Warren Fitzgerald produced their version. (Apologies to the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight).” That’s a good one, too.) Chubby And The Gang’s new yuletide ripper is cut from the same tear-it-up tinsel. Here, the great London street-punk revivalists bash out a classic riff-stomper about getting into a drunken Christmas Eve brawl and getting out of the holding cell in time to make it home to your baby. Oi to the punks, oi to the skins, oi to the world, and everybody wins. —Tom

01

Ethel Cain - "Famous Last Words (An Ode To Eaters)"

The excellent Bones And All is an evocative tone poem punctuated by sharp, visceral bursts of violence, not so dissimilar from Preacher’s Daughter, the debut album that Ethel Cain released earlier this year. It’s no wonder that she felt an affinity for the film and ended up writing a song inspired by it. “Famous Last Words (An Ode To Eaters)” is stirring and subtle and gorgeous, a song about two characters who are fucked up beyond repair but still miraculously connect with each other. “I beg you to stay, just ’til tomorrow/ I’ll clean up the bathtub and we’ll leave the state,” Ethel Cain sings, and those who have seen the movie … well, you know. Pour one out for small-town cannibals. —James

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