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.)


Florry - "Drunk And High"

Keep the rootsy indie rock coming. Florry’s been leaning that way lately, and on the opening track from new album The Holey Bible — coming soon on the same label that gave us M.J. Lenderman’s Boat Songs — their flirtations with alt-country come home to roost. “Drunk And High” laces its power-pop jangle with pedal steel, fiddle, and Southern-fried lead guitar to glorious effect. Francie Medosch and friends hoot, holler, and harmonize atop the ruckus, until you end up wondering if Philadelphia somehow slipped below the Mason-Dixon line while we weren’t looking. —Chris


Slowdive - "Kisses"

How lovely it is to have Slowdive back (again). From the jump, “Kisses” is everything a Slowdive superfan could want: hypnotic and hazy melody, a tight, driving rhythm, swirling synths, and lush, whispery vocals from Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell that entwine with each other just so. The sheer dark romance of “Kisses” really makes you want to drive around Los Angeles at night (IYKYK). It’s not like we needed a refresher on why Slowdive influenced so many dream-pop and shoegaze acts of the last 30 years, but it’s great to hear from the OGs nonetheless. —Rachel


The Smile - "Bending Hectic"

“Bending Hectic” sure packs a wallop, and I can only imagine what it must be like to witness live (certain fans among us have, as the Smile debuted it on tour last year). An eight-minute odyssey of sound, “Bending Hectic” starts softly with elegant, harp-like guitar picks; every few beats, Jonny Greenwood curves the strings in an experimental manner that makes me think of early-career Animal Collective. Meanwhile, Thom Yorke’s murmur gives way to cinematic strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra, which curdle and turn dissonant — like that godawful THX chord at the movies, except more bone-chilling. The song’s conclusion is screeching, chaotic, thudding, and totally at odds with the song’s beginning. You can practically visualize its curvature, mirroring the title. —Rachel


Aphex Twin - "Blackbox Life Recorder 21f"

We shan’t be taking new Aphex Twin for granted! Richard D. James can go a long time without releasing music — even his trickle of ambiguous SoundCloud tracks has dried up. But earlier this month, he started making the festival rounds again for the first time in four years, and here comes Aphex Twin’s first official material in five: “Blackbox Life Recorder 21f” is a prelude to an EP, due out next month. And it slaps, at least in the transportive way one might expect. It’s groovy, not so frenetic as some of his more recent material, but still hypnotically unstable. There are no showy breakdowns, just a whole lot of impeccably layered sounds. —James


Doja Cat - "Attention"

Last year, Doja Cat got tonsil surgery, which forced her to pull out of the Weeknd’s stadium tour. She talked openly about career burnout. She shaved her head and her eyebrows. She mentioned the term “hardcore punk” as a possible future direction. Doja didn’t seem terribly interested in the pop stardom that she’d chased for so long, and nobody knew what form she’d take when she came back. But “Attention” isn’t the confrontational fuck-you that some of us were expecting. Instead, it’s a warm, honest, irresistible track about the pressures and headaches of fame — one that manages to pull us in rather than pushing us away.

It’s pretty. That’s the most striking thing. The backing track, from past Doja collaborators Rogét Chahayed and Y2K, is lush and pillowy, with murmuring jazz bass and florid acoustic guitar and light plucks of electric sitar. On the hook,, Doja sings in a dreamy, sleepy coo, and her words are a little nebulous: “It don’t need your lovin’, it just needs your attention.” On the verses, Doja raps with easy, conversational fire, lashing out at anyone who thinks she’s not living up to some imaginary standard: “Boo-hoo, my n***a, I ain’t sad you won’t fuck me/ I’m sad that you really thought your ass was above me.” It’s a striking statement from a true pop star — one who can go anywhere she wants from here. —Tom

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