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.)


Grian Chatten - "Fairlies"

As the leader of Fontaines D.C., Grian Chatten has found himself at the center of songs that are increasingly more knotted and dense. Last week, when he made his solo debut with “The Score,” Chatten was part of something much more muted and lovely, and while his quick followup single “Fairlies” has a bit more bite, it seems like he’s in a shaggier, more contemplative state of mind. “Fairlies” froths into an ambling chorus, but it’s one that expresses how much Chatten wants to get away: dreaming of a way for things to become quieter, choosing a more purposeful loneliness. But music is not what Chatten wants to escape from, as he makes clear in the last lines: “How can life go so slowly? And death come so far? Across the River Styx, I’ll row along/ But I’ve got one more song.” —James


Strange Ranger - "She's On Fire"

From its first cascading synth notes, Strange Ranger’s “She’s On Fire” is positively burning with influences and sonic references that shouldn’t make sense, but do. There’s an obvious debt to shoegaze maestros My Bloody Valentine — but imagine if MBV went to a ’90s rave, scream-sang like Sunny Day Real Estate, and wrote shimmery, indie-pop melodies like aughts staple Wild Nothing. Compositionally, “She’s On Fire” contains some of the most kaleidoscopic compositions (and studio mixing) I’ve heard in a long time. —Rachel


Knower - "I'm The President"

Knower are doing a lot on “I’m The President,” which is stacked with horn flourishes, a backing choir, and a completely wild song structure that leapfrogs from bass-driven funk to high school marching band to mind-bending free jazz (shout out Paul Cornish for that fire piano solo on the bridge). Actually, the whole thing is giving that Frasier episode where Dr. Crane hires an entire orchestra to craft his radio jingle. Knower might be doing a lot, but it never feels excessive — actually, “I’m The President” looks and feels just the right amount of DIY, as if they were playing whatever they could scrounge up at a yard sale. The unlikely combo of stripped-down excess is funny and fascinating. —Rachel


Sweeping Promises - "Eraser"

Sweeping Promises, the latest endeavor from prolific musicians Lira Mondal and Caufield Schnug, is proudly and resourcefully lo-fi. Their 2020 debut album Hunger For A Way Out was recorded in a Harvard laboratory where Schnug had access due to his studies. Pandemic financial constraints forced a move away from Boston and, after stops in Texas and Ohio, they eventually landed in Lawrence, Kansas, where the pair turned a painting studio into a recording space for themselves. Compared to their debut, you can hear the change in environment immediately on “Eraser,” the lead single from their upcoming Good Living Is Coming For You: Gone are the utilitarian basslines, replaced by a warmth and coziness that still crackles with urgency. Mondal’s harmonies are tinny but effectively insistent, compact yet invigorating. —James


Beach House - "Holiday House"

Beach House just don’t miss, do they? Even those of us who don’t consider ourselves real Legrand-Scally heads can’t deny the duo’s stunning consistency, the way every new batch of songs uncovers fresh beauty within their well-established formula. The Become EP easily could have been a Record Store Day cash grab; instead it glimmers and glides with all the graceful luster of Beach House’s best. “Holiday House” (which I have chosen to believe is an original Christmas song to be added to yuletide playlists along with Low and whatnot) is dazzling and majestic — like hanging your head off the swimming pool, into the bittersweet, under the Milky Way, until you feel like you’re riding on a cloud. —Chris

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