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.)


Lil Yachty - "REACH THE SUNSHINE" (Feat. Daniel Caesar)

Daniel Caesar sounds like Thom Yorke. It’s not just that Caesar, the Canadian R&B enigma, sings the same melody that Yorke rocked on “Pyramid Song.” It’s that Caesar achieves the same lost, lonely majesty of Yorke. And it turns out that Thom Yorke would sound fucking amazing if he used his desolate tenor to tell us that he’s a baaaaad man. In the past week, there’s been plenty of conversation on whether Lil Yachty’s fancy art-rock experiment is really as advanced as his most bugged-out rap loosies, and that’s a fair question. But Yachty has vision. The same day that Daneil Caesar released his own wan single “Do You Like Me?,” Yachty recruited him to sing lead on an epic album closer that hits with the transformational force of Yachty wailing that he took the wock to Poland. The message, if there is one, is that Yachty can do what he wants. —Tom


Zach Bryan - "Dawns" (Feat. Maggie Rogers)

Zach Bryan might be a country-adjacent star, but he sings with universal, genre-defying soul. “Dawns,” about the death of Bryan’s mother, captures the incalculable grief around loss and the poignant beauty of remembering time spent with that person. Against swooping strings, thumping percussion, and heartfelt harmonies from a well-selected Maggie Rogers, Bryan begs for “one small victory” while simultaneously reassuring us that “everything that dies makes its way on back.” Even if you haven’t lost a close friend or family member, “Dawns” will make you want to call up everyone you know just to tell them you love them. —Rachel


Parannoul - "Polaris"

Parannoul broke through with hyper-compressed DIY computer recordings that sounded epic despite their lo-fi execution. Indie-world adulation and an attendant deal with Topshelf Records seemingly enabled the mysterious South Korean artist to shift into crystalline clarity on his new After The Magic, and guess what? That shit sounds even more epic. There’s nothing all that revolutionary about “Polaris,” the album’s opening track, yet thanks to Parannoul’s keen musical intuition, the song never ceases to be breathtaking. It begins with simple acoustic strums, tosses an almost childlike vocal melody on top, and threads in elegant synths and strings until about two minutes in, when thunderstuck distortion bombs rain down and extraterrestrial beauty swirls heavenward. The resulting extended climax is like M83 at their most grandiose or Sigur Rós at their least esoteric — just pummeling you with transcendent bliss until you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face if you tried. —Chris


Rosalía - "LLYLM"

Just before the chorus hits, Rosalía softly coos, “Lo diré en inglés y me entenderás.” Or: “I will say it in English, and you will understand me.” It’s crucial context. On “LLYLM,” Rosalía sings the verses in Spanish and the earworm hook in English: “I don’t need honesty, baby/ Lie like you love me, lie like you love me.” Rosalía recorded “LLYLM” with a team of pop-industry professionals, including the former Max Martin protege Shellback, a man who’s worked on a dizzy number of #1 hits. It sounds like a monster pop song, but that English chorus doesn’t sound like a commercial move. It sounds like someone doing her best to communicate an idea to someone who doesn’t speak her language. The track doesn’t adjust Rosalía’s twinkly, hook-centric style, either, since that style was already pop. Rosalía’s husky and intimate sigh is nearly as evocative in English as it is in her native language. Pop music, like love, is universal. —Tom


Gel - "Attainable"

Gel are perhaps best known for headlining a legendary hardcore show at a Sonic Drive-In last summer, a spectacle that made headlines far outside the genre’s standard perimeter of coverage. But no special circumstances are necessary to appreciate this band. Their live show appears to be an exhilarating hardcore platonic ideal, channeling raw aggression into outbursts so fast and hard and concise that you might end up buzzing from their performance exponentially longer than they play. What’s so great about “Attainable,” and about Gel recordings in general, is that the sense of violent impact and pulse-raising energy comes across every time you press play. Here, on the lead single from new album Only Constant, they’re a tank careening through sludge at dangerous speeds, nimbly shifting gears despite the heavy-duty machinery in motion. Sami Kaiser roars with some blend of war cry and desperate plea, their bandmates subtly altering the dynamics of an ingeniously simple groove. The desire to keep playing it on repeat is not unlike the compulsion to keep reaching for more french fries, except, with all due respect to Sonic, the Gel catalog is far more nourishing than anything on their menu. —Chris

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