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.)


Katie Gately - "Brute"

For whatever reason, Katie Gately’s music keeps getting pulled into the cycle of life. Loom, her magnificently haunting 2020 album, was recorded shortly after her mother’s death. Fawn / Brute, her new full-length, was inspired by her pregnancy and the experience she had in becoming a mother herself. In Gately’s hands, motherhood is both miraculous and mischievous. She introduced the album with its pair of title tracks, which inhabit the sort of mania one feels when bringing new life into this world. “Fawn” is the brighter of the two, but both are pretty dark-sided, and “Brute” is straight-up demented. It highlights the oppressive, nauseating side of Gately’s compositions, twisted up and tangled into what sounds like a nightmarish nursery rhyme: “Holler and holler and holler we’re had/ Bit by a substance that drove us quite mad.” —James


Naomi Sharon - "Another Life"

“Love is a wicked game/ Still we play it! Still we play it!” Hearing Naomi Sharon belt out this refrain, her voice a resounding simmer, I was immediately sold on the Dutch R&B singer. Her first single for Drake’s OVO imprint is produced by Noah “40” Shebib, who here splits the difference between his own signature atmospherics (think the soft center of Take Care) and something more like Burial’s eerie avant-garde. Into that darkness, Sharon cuts loose like Sade singing a Bond theme, believably conveying weathered heartbreak bar after bar. I probably played “Another Life” a dozen times the day it dropped, and a week later, still I play it! Still I play it! —Chris


Boldy James & RichGains - "Electric Blue" (Feat. Jonathan Chapman)

For years, Boldy James has existed in a constant flow-state, muttering exquisitely worded crime-life imagery over boom-bap beats at such a relentless clip that nobody had any time to pick apart all his metaphors. Right now, Boldy is laid up in the hospital, recovering from a car accident that temporarily landed him in the ICU. (Boldy’s publicist assures me that he’s getting better: “It will be a slow process and a long road, but he’s getting stronger everyday.”) Last week, just a few days after his accident and a month after his last LP, Boldy came out with Indiana Jones, a whole new album that he recorded with producer RichGains, one half of the Blended Babies, before his accident. The record pushes Boldy’s voice in some unexpected directions.

On “Electric Blue,” Boldy is still Boldy, and he’s still coming up with creative ways to describe his years moving “that Will Ferrell”: “Eighteen for the pastries/ Whippin’ gingerbread, I’m the baker’s man,” “Turned a half a ki to a masterpiece.” But the sound is different. With its bleary psychedelic guitars and with Jonathan Chapman’s faraway indie-rock voice, “Electric Blue” sounds loose and floaty. Guitars echo the morse-code synth-bleeps of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N’ Nite,” and the itchy drum pattern forces Boldy to switch up his cadence. It’s a subtle shift for Boldy, and it also serves to remind the world that Boldy can find beautiful ways to talk about ugly things. Here’s hoping he gets well soon. —Tom


Home Front - "Faded State"

I’m old enough to remember the band Shout Out Out Out. They got a lot of play on my college radio show, particularly the dance-punk vocoder-palooza “Dude You Feel Electrical.” Another great, perfectly indie-sleaze song title: “Chicken Soup For The Fuck You.” It was wild to see how Clint Frazier from that band is now in another band, the Edmonton post-punk howlers Home Front. Home Front sound nothing like Shout Out Out Out, and that’s fine. I just needed to explode my brain for a second thinking about Shout Out Out Out and what a time that was. Home Front’s taste for melodic no wave shines through on the gorgeous and chiming “Faded State,” which, come to think of it, reminds me a lot of Sweden’s dream-pop import the Mary Onettes — but if they were signed to Factory Records. In case it wasn’t obvious, I can’t wait to hear more from Home Front. —Rachel


Ice Spice & Lil Tjay - "Gangsta Boo"

I love the convergence of storylines here. Ice Spice, the young Bronx drill breakout star whose charisma can’t be contained by borough nor subgenre, pairs with Lil Tjay, an even younger Bronx rapper who rose to prominence as a teen and sounds more vital than ever after surviving a robbery shooting last year. They trade verses over a diamond-hard guitar loop sampled from a decades-old old Diddy song, on a track named after the dearly departed Southern rap legend Gangsta Boo. (The beat is by “Munch” producer RIOTUSA, who’s proving his staying power right along with Ice Spice.)

This is one of those collabs where the rappers are actually engaging with each other, rapping from the perspective of prospective lovers. Ice Spice, channeling the flow of late, great drill star Pop Smoke, sends mixed signals toward Tjay’s street kingpin character: “Got a place we can stay for the night but I’m too shy to invite you.” Tjay replies curtly, “I don’t think you should play with me/ ‘Cause you gon’ end up like the last opp.” It’s a narrative that captures the awkward tension of such a flirtation, but in conjuring that vibe, both of them sound smooth and effortless. —Chris

more from The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

Please disable your adblocker or subscribe to ad-free membership to view this article.

Already a VIP? Sign in.