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.)
Liquid Mike - "Mouse Trap"
The big, chunky power chords that introduce “Mouse Trap” take me back to the mid-to-late-1990s, to the likes of MTV filler like Everclear and Lit. But Liquid Mike don’t stick around in Santa Monica; the Marquette band uses that pounding alt-rock foundation as a launchpad for supremely pretty post-Weezer power-pop tune. As the vocals swirl and the lead guitar wails, the lyrics take a darker turn, with Mike Maple comparing the patterns of domestic life to a deadly trap. “Knowing what you know,” he sings, “the American dream is a Michigan hoax.” You could say those who end up stuck in the glue might end up feeling like their own worst enemy. —Chris
New Forms - "Blood Orphan"
Massachusetts’ New Forms are the kind of band that prefers to roar out frantic, chaotic songs that often clock in at less than one minute; the shortest track on their new album As Dust Collects is 14 seconds. So when New Forms stretch things out past the two-minute mark, it draws your attention, almost like a highlighter. Album closer “Blood Orphan” is as fast and desperate as anything New Forms do. Through sheer speed and turbulence, their screamo often comes out sounding more like black metal. It’s a song about realizing that your parents are strangers, that you don’t need to let them into your life anymore: “Shared blood! But not words! The silence is deafening!” The words are harsh, and vocalist Mary screams them with such force that you’d never understand them without a lyric sheet. And then: “This cross you bear will not weigh me down anymore!” After that, the song abruptly downshifts into an ambient coda, as if to give you a second to process what you just heard. Hell of a way to end a 15-minute album. —Tom
Shower Curtain - "Edgar"
Per Shower Curtain bandleader Victoria Winter, “Edgar” is about “seeing my cat getting weaker with an auto-immune disease.” It begins with her resigned vocals blending into dreary guitars, which oscillate between this gloomy, fatigued state and a frantic, deafening wall of sound, capturing the way grief ebbs and flows. The discordant, colossal finale encapsulates the gravity of loss and the way it renders everything nonsensical — there’s no more rhythm to life, only chaos, though there’s a weird beauty to it, which the Brooklyn band proves with this arresting song. —Danielle
High Vis - "Forgot To Grow"
High Vis blasted out of Britain with a version of hardcore that drew heavily on Britpop and Madchester, gritty and explosive but infused with melody and sometimes even dancey rhythms. New song “Forgot To Grow” emerges from a new wave gloom, as if they’re pushing further back into UK pop-rock’s past and into the Bunnymen zone. The song trudges along like heavy machinery through the fog, and by the time the chorus hits, High Vis are soaring. “Maybe I forgot to grow!” Graham Sayle calls out, but no, this band’s evolution continues apace. —Chris
serpentwithfeet - "Damn Gloves" (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Yanga YaYa)
On his last album, serpentwithfeet treated physical desire with an ecclesiastical reverence. At its most carnal, like on the deliciously horny “Wood Boy,” the music was airy, luxurious, the sort of thing you could listen to in a warm bath surrounded by candles. “Damn Gloves” is not that. Our first taste of serpentwithfeet’s third album is sweaty and slick, a straight-up club track that’s made for sliding up next to a body and feeling (feeling) the full rush of attraction. (“It’s getting thicker!”) There’s nothing subtle about “Damn Gloves,” but Josiah Wise channels his days on Baltimore’s dance floors into a throbbing jam that fits perfectly in between the strobes of the club lights. —James