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.)


Tinashe - "Needs"

Everyone has needs. For example, I need Tinashe to get the widespread industry recognition she so deserves. The semi-underground R&B/pop hero’s latest single is a total charmer, with the singer cooing about how nobody’s “seen moves like these” against an easy, silky rhythm and a classic ’90s beat. There’s also a lot of food imagery woven into the lyrics, which makes the grocery store-set music video — one of my favorites of the year — that much more fun, as Tinashe makes props out of fruit and baking pans before becoming one with the raw seafood bar. —Rachel


Spiritual Cramp - "Talkin' On The Internet"

We’re always talkin’ on the internet. It’s what we do. It’s why we’re here. You, the person looking at these words, are currently readin’ on the internet, and there’s a very good chance that you’re talkin’, too. But that’s probably not the healthiest way to live your life, and the Bay Area punks in Spiritual Cramp are here to tell you about it: “You’re always running your mouth about somebody else! You never leave your house! We don’t see you around!”

Spiritual Cramp are great at a bunch of different things: jumped-up old-school hardcore, ghostly dub experiments, goofy Dead Milkmen pastiche. But Spiritual Cramp shine brightest when they’re banging out giddy, slashing garage-punk, and that’s what they do on “Talkin’ On The Internet.” Their sound is so vivid and catchy and lively and sweaty — so physical — that it provides its own argument to get off the internet and go do something physical yourself. Maybe go to a Spiritual Cramp show. Maybe even leave your phone in your pocket while you’re there. —Tom


Slow Pulp - "Broadview"

In a sea of interchangeable shoegaze bands, Slow Pulp set themselves apart with songs like “Broadview.” There’s a dreamy quality to the track, but the Chicago-based band brings their sound all the way out of the haze here, trading out the requisite walls of fuzz for banjo, harmonica, acoustic guitar, and pedal steel. The result is something like Taylor Swift’s “Lover” as reimagined by Alex G, warm and woozy and lost in melancholia. Emily Massey sings the hell out of “Broadview,” too: bringing her voice down to a whispery coo, letting it open up into a gliding sigh, cranking up the intensity without losing the tenderness at the heart of the song. “Tell me I’m wrong,” she sings. “I’m just gonna give it a try and hope that it’s enough.” It really, really is. —Chris


Aespa - "Better Things"

Pop music is changing, and the South Korean pop industry is changing right along with it. When PinkPantheress became internet-famous by singing coy, twee bedroom-pop songs over skittering late-’90s dance beats, the people in Seoul with their hands on the levers took notice. In the past few months, NewJeans have become a force by delicately toying around with Jersey club and drum ‘n’ bass sounds. Aespa, their contemporaries and competitors, have gone a different direction.

“Better Things,” Aespa’s first English-language single, is a joyous post-breakup headrush anthem. The song’s writer/producers, UK pop star Raye and New Zealand-born Sabrina Carpenter collaborator Leroy Clampitt, have put together a delirious pastiche of pulsing, throbbing funky house and the kind of handclap-happy post-disco synthpop that turned the young Madonna into a club queen. Over that bubbling beat, the members of Aespa whoop and murmur triumphantly about getting over a crap relationship. Like the best K-pop, it sounds like the past and the future crashing together like tectonic plates, creating a whole new mountain range of gleaming big-budget post-genre hooks. —Tom


Jane Remover - "Lips"

“Lips” is a song about desperate, self-destructive romance, less a tribute or condemnation than a nakedly honest portrait of desire. The opening verse begins with a reference to teeth stained yellow from too much drinking and ends, “I’m your nervous wreck and I like it that way.” The sensuality only gets more intense from there — I’ll leave it to you to decide whether “Take a knife up to the belly, slide it up to where he kissed me” is alluring or alarming — and the music follows suit.

The track trembles from the beginning, giving off dissonance and a volatile energy even in its softest, prettiest moments. So it’s not exactly surprising when “Lips” explodes into a dense power-chord churn and Fridmann-level drum cacophony, but it sure is satisfying. Jane harmonizes with herself amidst the distortion, her voice practically dancing through a sonic onslaught to match her intensity of feeling. “I bite my lips, pucker up,” she sings. “I go to Hell sometimes.” It’s extremely pretty and awfully ugly all at once. —Chris

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