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.)
Marika Hackman - "Slime"
Marika Hackman has a knack for capturing the paradoxically beautiful and excruciating experience of yearning. Her songs are layered with pain and pleasure, and “Slime” is Hackman at her best, especially with the satisfying first line: “Stranger/ I wanna rearrange you.” The song shifts between lulled, brooding verses and big, ecstatic choruses, encapsulating the way desire can be devouring. —Danielle
Dua Lipa - "Houdini"
Lots of Dua Lipa singles hit like sugary adrenaline needles being plunged through your ribcage, but “Houdini” isn’t one of those. Instead, it’s a slinky, layered widescreen sonic experience without a huge central melody. That’s a conscious choice. Lipa recorded “Houdini” with two producers — Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and former PC Music affiliate Danny L Harle — who aren’t exactly song-machine standbys. Together, they’ve made a track full of layers and textures. You can get lost in the individual sounds: The rippling conga loop, the Flashdance keyboards, the delicious little synth-bass wobble-riff — but you might not catch yourself humming it all weekend. It’s a slow-release capsule, but it’s no less potent, and plus it’s got a video that brings the same kind of hallucinatory dazzle as the opening scene from Climax. We might’ve been taught to expect weapons-grade brainworms from this lady, but this statement-song absolutely works on its own terms. —Tom
Glass Beach - "rare animal"
J. McClendon and friends created a world unlike any other on the first glass beach album. It sounds like Plastic Death, finally arriving more than four years later, will be a whole other world that still feels fairly unique. The band’s proggy sound has evolved significantly in the interim, to the point that now they sound less hyper-online and more like a corporeal rock band on a fantastic adventure. It’s an explosive moment when “rare animal” rips open halfway through and McClendon shouts “Thinking about you!” Even when things settle down from there, the song remains enthralling, full of so many rhythmic and harmonic touches that it’ll take many more listens to untangle what’s going on. “Tomorrow was all smoke and mirrors,” classic j concludes, but the future of Glass Beach seems substantial. —Chris
Benny The Butcher - "Big Dog" (Feat. Lil Wayne)
Look, we could talk about all the narratives at work here — the convergence of rap’s mainstream and underground, the indefatigable Griselda empire, the strange mental itch that Alchemist beats still scratch after all these years. But all you really need to know is that Lil Wayne says, “Your female dog suck my cocker spaniel.” And then: “That’s a dog ho/ I smack the dogshit out your dawg, though/ For that doggy bag, I send your ass where all dogs go.” Woof. —Tom
Infant Island - "Another Cycle"
Infant Island play screamo with a scorched-earth black metal abrasiveness, and they push their voices to extremes — a shrill Daniel Kost on the high end and, on the low, a demonic turn from featured guest Andrew Shorts. Yet the opening song from the Virginia quintet’s long-awaited new album could almost be described as accessible thanks to a swelling cinematic cloud that coats everything in dreamy splendor and a dynamic approach to songwriting that ensures every section hits hard. From its “Chop Suey”-esque acoustic intro to its final descent into hell, “Another Cycle” is about as spectacular an introduction as a band like Infant Island could deliver. —Chris