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.)
Teenage Fanclub - "Foreign Land"
Teenage Fanclub’s new album asserts Nothing Lasts Forever, but it’s just so comforting to see a band that’s been around as long as the Scottish indie-rock lifers stay so consistent. (Other members of this club: Dinosaur Jr., Yo La Tengo, Built To Spill, fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian.) Apparently some things can retain (and even gain) quality with time. On their jangly new lead single, Teenage Fanclub bring easy, Feelies-esque rhythms, peaceful lyrics about looking ahead with optimism (“The past’s a foreign land, I did my best, you understand”), and a very cool music video set in a historic mausoleum. Now, that is eternally cool. —Rachel
Speakers Corner Quartet - "Soapbox Soliloquy" (Feat. LEILAH)
Further Out Than The Edge — the heady, satisfying debut album from Speakers Corner Quartet — is out next week. This week, they shared its final single “Soapbox Soliloquy,” a cut featuring the UK vocalist LEILAH, last heard all over the recent SBTRKT album. Here she provides an anchor amid the London collective’s patter of drums, which sputter and smooth out and get twisted into pulsing synths and a glitchy burble that gesture toward some sort of tension but never fully lets loose, opting instead to float along on the vibes, as LEILAH’s intonations of “see what you’ve done, see what you’ve done to me” land as more of a suggestion than a command. —James
Loraine James - "2003"
New album Gentle Confrontation finds acclaimed producer Loraine James reckoning with trauma from her past. At the center of the mess is her father’s death 20 years ago, chronicled in vivid, elliptical fashion on lead single “2003.” “When I was seven my dad went to Heaven, possibly,” she begins, giving us just enough detail from there to understand that the situation only got more complicated after her dad was gone. Musically, “2003” continues down the path begun on last year’s Building Something Beautiful For Me, away from the complex, jittery rhythms that informed James’ breakthrough dance tracks, toward something somber, melancholy, and oblique, but also rooted in a confessional singer-songwriter approach. Here, as James spills her guts about the bottomless hurt that engulfed her two decades ago, the backing track is shapeless and disorienting, a cloud of grief that feels impossible to escape. —Chris
12 Rods - "Private Spies"
Ryan Olcott hasn’t lost a step. The new songs from the first 12 Rods album in 21 years are immaculately constructed and performed, particularly this week’s offering “Private Spies.” It’s a sleek little midtempo new wave number with power-pop harmonies and guitar arpeggios galore, topped off by a just slightly unhinged vocal melody from Olcott that tweaks the pristine vibes just the right amount. It channels the ’80s and has been kicking around for at least a decade, but “Private Spies” feels as fresh as such a vintage pop-rock track can feel. —Chris
Hudson Mohawke & Nikki Nair - "Set The Roof" (Feat. Tayla Parx)
The individual sounds are all so sharp and defined and springy that they’re almost abrasive. Hudson Mohawke and Nikki Nair, two producers with vastly different backgrounds, are both into restless and visceral dance music, and with this track, they’ve put together a restless and good-natured bounce — bouncy basslines and fizzy keyboard riffs and speed-garage drum programming hitting from all angles. Big-deal pop songwriter Tayla Parx becomes part of the beat, her wails and chants pitch-shifted into ultra-catchy oblivion. The track’s hard edges seem almost experimental, but this isn’t theoretical music. This is music that’s made to move people. Let it do its job. —Tom