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.)
Natural Wonder Beauty Concept - "Sword"
DJ Python and Ana Roxanne are two of the most talented musicians on the experimental electronic landscape at the moment, and the prospect of them teaming up on a whole album is extremely enticing. Hearing the lead single only has us more amped. “Sword” matches eerie hyperpop-ified indie-pop vocals with glitchy beat that’s barely there and synth riffs that float around the track like specters. There’s a deep tenderness to Roxanne’s performance here; she sounds like a lost soul in a world of whirring machines. —Chris
Snag - "Invasive Species (Cop City)"
Cop City, the currently-in-construction Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, is a real thing, but it also feels like a living symbol for everything that’s fucked up in the world: vast swaths of forest cut down, and insane sums of taxpayer money spent, so that cops can learn even more militarized methods of waging war against their fellow Americans. Those same cops are attacking and killing the protesters who want this construction to stop, and nobody in a position of power seems to have any interest in stopping it. The whole saga is so infuriating that language itself feels insignificant. So Milwaukee screamo warriors Snag use something better than language: serrated, math-damaged, apocalyptic noise-rock riffage, a sonic complement to the fury that the issue inspires. While the band goes into the deep-groove rage-out zone, mock police-radio chatter crackles overtop, keeping the song’s real-world stakes front and center. —Tom
Feeble Little Horse - "Pocket"
Pittsburgh indie-rock cuties Feeble Little Horse bring new meaning to the phrase “I want to carry him/her/them around in my pocket” with this playfully affectionate song. You know, that feeling of such overwhelming adoration that you just wanna squeeze the shit out of them!!! (I may or may not have used this exact phrase on my husband when we were first dating.) But if you have a lot of love to give and no one to give it to, I imagine that would feel frustrating. Feeble Little Horse capture that isolated emotional buildup on “Pocket,” which starts out like a murmur, grows to a sing-speaking bridge, and explodes in a shrieking crescendo. The central question: “Do you wanna be in my pocket?” I hope kids start asking each other that instead of “Do you like me? Check yes, no, maybe.” —Rachel
Gouge Away - "Idealized"
While Gouge Away were gone, their chosen style (rumbling aggro ’90s alt-rock disguised as accessible, muscular modern-day post-hardcore) blew the fuck up. They return as conquering heroes to one of music’s most vibrant scenes, but “Idealized” is not the take-no-prisoners comeback anthem you might expect. Slow and discordant, it spends its first couple minutes creeping along, building tension, before really blasting off. The band says they can’t wait to play this one live, and yeah, when they get to the climax, they might just spontaneously combust. Still, returning with such a patient, oblique single is quite the flex from a band that could have easily come out swinging with an adrenaline-rush ripper. No apology! —Chris
Decisive Pink - "Dopamine"
The struggle, it’s real: “Sitting at home, feeling alone, staring at my laptop and telephone/ I’m browsing the sites, I’m trying to find to fill up the void and pleasure my mind.” Angel Deradoorian and Kate NV, the enigmatic pair who make up Decisive Pink, are human after all. And humanity nowadays involves spirals of shame as you mindlessly scroll through your devices and give in to temptations you didn’t even know you had, enticed by the promise of more, more, more. (For example, yesterday: I got 20 “free points” because I ordered something from Thriftbooks and it happened to be my birthday … that’s sad!)
On “Dopamine,” Decisive Pink turn that instantaneous but empty rush into a song that’s goofy but sincere, a consumerism commentary that could be eyeroll-inducing (and maybe is, a little) but is also utterly charming in their commitment to the bit. There are lists of all the items you can find online (“Remote control centipede! Giant googly eyes! Bubblewrap calendar!”), it ends with a phone call echoing the humiliating conversations one has to have with a computer when they’re just trying to get some assistance. And all throughout, there’s that needling insistent beat, and that breathy hook (“dopamine, dopamine”) that provides a hit of dopamine all by itself. —James