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.)
Chromeo - "Words With You"
Chromeo have released new music in the five years since Head Over Heels, but there’s a good reason they touted “Words With You” as their first official single since then. The contagious groove, the effortless hooks, the abundance of immaculate flourishes — it instantly became my favorite thing the Canadian synth-funk duo has ever done. “Words With You” is a song about suspicion, about the fragility of trust and intimacy between two lovers. “I don’t wanna do a Q&A/ No fingerprints or DNA,” Dave 1 sings, in rapid-fire cadence, on the song’s breakdown. “No need for an interview/ Just a word with you.” But surely you can forgive me for first assuming his desire for a brief word was flirtatious. Every percussive guitar riff, every keyboard squelch, every saxophone stab coheres into such a joyous explosion that a party breaks out even when I’m listening alone at my desk. It’s hard to imagine Pharrell and Daft Punk coming up with a better “Get Lucky” sequel than this. —Chris
Feist - "Borrow Trouble"
Sometimes I like to joke that I can fall asleep any time of day but almost never at night. There’s something about knowing this is sleep time that sends my already overactive mind into a kaleidoscopic spiral. Or, like Feist illustrates on the orchestral and cacophonous “Borrow Trouble”: “Even before you are awake/ Your thoughts will find a clock to wind/ And put dissent into your ear/ Even before your eyes are open/ The plot has thickened ’round your fears.” While “Borrow Trouble” narrates anxiety’s brain drain, it also lovingly invites someone to share their burden with Feist (“I’ll take all of it that you’ve got to give”). Ultimately, as Feist herself has said, “Borrow Trouble” is about accepting that “there’s no such thing as perfection.” Maybe that sounds like an after-school special, but it bears repeating — I’ll take Feist’s affirmation over midnight anxiety spirals any time. —Rachel
Incendiary – "Bite The Hook"
Zack De La Rocha started out as a hardcore singer; No Spiritual Surrender, the sole EP that he recorded with the hardcore band Inside Out in 1990, remains a glittering classic of the form. There’s a lot of De La Rocha in the clipped, feverish delivery of Brendan Garrone, leader of the monstrous Long Island band Incendiary. I like to think of it as Garrone reclaiming that ZDLR bark for hardcore. “Bite The Hook,” Incendiary’s first new song in six years, is a thundering headbanger that seems to get more reckless every time the tempo switches up, which happens often. If this song was just a riff-monster, it would still be great. But Garrone sounds feverish and driven over those riffs — passionate to the point where he’s almost possessed. Garrone gives his band fire and meaning. I bet Zack De La Rocha could relate. —Tom
Lana Del Rey - "The Grants"
Oh, so Lana Del Rey is on one this time around. I’ve been lukewarm on the past few years of LDR — some career-best highs and a lot of pretty sonic wallpaper I just can’t tap into — but all the singles we’ve gotten from this new album have been sublime (no, not that kind of sublime) in their own way. “The Grants” opens the forthcoming Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd with a choir of voices stumbling over each other before swelling together into powerful perfection. The song, which is named after Lana Del Rey’s real-life family name, is all about memory and which ones will be with us when we leave this earth. “My sister’s first-born child/ I’m gonna take that too with me,” Del Rey croons on the song. “My grandmother’s last smile/ I’m gonna take that too with me.” There are less specifics here than the other two songs we’ve heard from Ocean Blvd, but it’s all about the big-picture imagery, those last flickers that might flash before our eyes before we fade away. The song meets that potential transcendence with a gorgeous, cinematic simmering tension — strings and voices and piano keys that trail off as Del Rey looks upward and prepares to go. —James
JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown – "LEAN BEEF PATTY"
A JPEGMAFIA/Danny Brown album has a very, very high ceiling. Even at its most pedestrian, it’ll still be Watch The Thrones for rap weirdos who get booked at indie rock festivals, which still sounds pretty good. But “Lean Beef Patty” is way beyond that. It’s a Tasmanian Devil whirlwind, a two-minute burst of dense reference and ignorant head-smack shit-talk. JPEGMAFIA, producing the track, named “Lean Beef Patty” after a fitness TikToker and built his jittery, blown-out track on a sped-up sample of Diddy’s “I Need A Girl, Pt.. 2. His verse starts like this: “First off, fuck Elon Musk/ Eight dollars too much, this past expensive/ For the hoes in the back and the cracks in the Slack, if I tweet then delete, then I meant it.” The beat twists itself up in new shapes in time for Danny Brown’s electric-shock yip to make its appearance, and the whole thing is energetic and overwhelming enough to leave your head spinning. This is a very promising beginning for a very unpredictable record cycle. —Tom