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.)
Fran - "Palm Trees"
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Maria Jacobson does not feel fine. Climate change is a little harder to laugh off than most things, and the leader of the Chicago band Fran spends “Palm Trees” lamenting the little time that we have left. Her voice is muted and resigned through most of it, but when she slips into the chorus, she betrays the hope she has for the future: “Do you hear what they say? How can I give it away, wanting it to last another day?” It’s not too much to ask, and her song achieves a real pathos in that moment, tugging with strings and the sweet sadness of her melody. But still, the palm trees will burn and all we can do is wait. —James
Jesus Piece - "An Offering To The Night"
“Mistook the calm for a weakness.” So begins the first new Jesus Piece song in almost half a decade, their first since a level up to Century Media. The Philadelphia band was clearly not withering away during the layoff since 2018’s Only Self. “An Offering To The Night,” the opening blast for this next phase of the band, is optimized for maximum destruction. It’s fierce and focused even as it shifts gears several times over. Jesus Piece play the kind of crushingly filthy hardcore that could easily be mistaken for death metal or even nu-metal — especially when that hip-hop-style drum and bass breakdown emerges from the chaos near the end of this song. For two solid minutes, there’s nothing weak about it. —Chris
White Reaper - "Fog Machine"
The hooks! The riffs! The ultra-catchy gang vocals! The finger-tapping, string-bending, acrobatically harmonizing guitar solo over a hard-charging backbeat! All that’s missing on “Fog Machine” is an actual fog machine. This kind of fun-as-fuck rock ‘n’ roll fell out of style a long time ago, but White Reaper have been singlehandedly bringing it back with each successive album cycle. And honey, the boys are back in town. —Chris DeVille
Caroline Polachek - "Welcome To My Island"
As a music fan who spent the ’10s (and the latter half of the ’00s) obsessed with Chairlift’s brand of electrified avant-pop, I’ve always felt a little burst of pride that its former singer Caroline Polachek has experienced such massive success in her solo endeavors. Five years following Chairlift’s dissolution, Polachek has become an alt-pop sensation, a sought-after collaborator, and a bona-fide TikTok dance tastemaker. In a sense, the percussive and synth-speckled “Welcome To My Island” could be read as a message in a bottle from the singer to herself. The note contains what sounds like a warning not to buy into her own hype too much: “I am my father’s daughter in the end/ He says, ‘Watch your ego, watch your head, girl/ You’re so smart, so talented/ But now the water’s turning red,'” Polachek chants on the bridge). Never underestimate the power of a safe space. By “going somewhere where you can’t pretend… just you and your reflection,” Polacheck imagines a secluded spot in which to look inward. Never underestimate the power of blocking out noise — even if it’s coming from inside the house. —Rachel
100 gecs - "Hey Big Man"
100 gecs have never sounded more like the spiritual descendants of Sleigh Bells as they do on “Hey Big Man,” the raucous, brash track that kicks off the pair’s Snake Eyes EP, released as a sort of apology for talking such a big game in the lead-up to 10,000 gecs and taking forever to deliver. That sophomore full-length is on the horizon, though, and “Hey Big Man” is here now with some goofy, dumb fun in the meantime. Dylan Brady and Laura Les trade lines like they’re at a frat party, snotty barbs about about shotgunning beers and leaving your car keys in the gutter and smoking so much that you can’t pronounce anemone. They’re the maximalist pop duo that the 2020s deserves. —James