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.)


Paper Bee - "I Don't Talk To You"

There must be something in the Philadelphia water. (Sorry … too soon?) But Paper Bee just feel so distinctly Philly, they have everything I’ve come to cherish about the past decade worth of music that’s come out of the city: an intimacy, a griminess, an appreciation for the glowering and the great. It doesn’t hurt that among Paper Bee’s ranks are two mainstays of the Philadelphia scene in the form of Radiator Hospital’s Sam Cook-Parrott and All Dogs/Yowler’s Maryn Jones, and that their upcoming album was produced by Kyle Gilbride. “I Don’t Talk To You,” the first we’re hearing from Thaw, Freeze, Thaw, starts off as a tender simmer but quickly explodes into a chugging riff on the back end, right as the band’s formidable leader Nick Berger delivers the cutting line: “I haven’t really felt lonely since I left/ You made me feel things much worse than loneliness.” It’s a song about the unconquerable gulf that can grow between two people, and in its intermingling harmonies they find a whole lot of space and hurt and, hopefully, a way forward. —James


Cola - "Keys Down If You Stay"

Cola drummer Evan Cartwright said the beat for “Keys Down If You Stay” came to him in a dream, and the song certainly feels like something that could be playing in the subconscious. It’s post-punk of a sort, but more gelatinous than angular, a ball of tension moving forward with its own strange, anxious momentum. Tim Darcy adds to that feeling with a vocal performance worthy of the Black Lodge, dispensing vivid lyrics that match the not-quite-temporal vibe: “Pace around, I’m a fragrant kind of shadow/ Play it low, this is take-all numerology.” When I say it makes me want to fall asleep, that’s a compliment. —Chris


Gumm - "Slogan Machine"

In their “Slogan Machine” band, the Chattanooga hardcore band Gumm rock out on a church pulpit. The image makes a weird kind of sense. Hardcore is practically its own religion, built on communal ritual and on articles of faith. Like any religion, hardcore can become a vehicle for people to look down on each other, and that’s what Gumm rage against on “Slogan Machine”: “I guess it’s too much to ask for you to live your beliefs! When you’d rather just hide behind a slogan machine!” The music veers from galloping pummel to twinkly near-prettiness and back again, but it’s always fervent and passionate, always true-believer shit. —Tom


Overmono - "Good Lies"

It finally stopped raining in LA (I know, I know, but year-round good weather is why a person moves here), so Overmono’s pulsating “Good Lies” really couldn’t arrive at a better time. The dizzy synths and Smeaz’s feathery vocals make “Good Lies” achieve a levity ideal for a season of blooming cherry blossoms, a crisp late-afternoon breeze, or the first sidewalk dinner after months of hibernation. But “Good Lies” is not just a “good weather” song — it’s a feat of production, with a beat that is both ever-shifting and steady; its looping synth melody hangs out in the background but is clearly audible; and Smeaz’s airy singing thrums along in perfect rhythm. Taken together, “Good Lies” sounds both sleek and substantial. Imagine how well it’ll go down at Coachella? —Rachel


Yaeji - "Passed Me By"

The Yaeji album is sick as hell, and if I had more time this week I would have liked to write something longer about it. But thankfully she dropped one of its best tracks as a single so I can just do this: “Passed Me By” is incredible, an absolute master class. Yaeji possesses such an intense attention to detail, but everything she releases comes off as effortless. Every layer on “Pass Me By” matters: each breathy intonation, billowing bass, twist of synth. Her tracks are so textural; this one crests into an immersive wave and bottoms out into a head-nodding hypnosis. Yaeji’s delivery slips between English and Korean, and I love the way she hits every word: “I like flipping the pages and feeling the physical weight of how much time has … passed me by.” The song is a love letter to her younger self, as well as a remark on how quickly you can forget what once made you so passionate. But it all comes rushing back in its closing lines, Yaeji a ghostly apparition that leaves this tangled open end: “Do you know that that person is still inside of you waiting for you to notice?” —James

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