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.)

Note: 5 Best has been on hiatus since Dec. 8, so this week’s list includes songs released over the past four weeks.


Katy Kirby - "Hand To Hand"

Katy Kirby is one hell of a writer, and she lets that talent take hold on “Hand To Hand,” a bleary, intimate shuffle of a song that burbles with discontent. Her voice is acerbic as she contemplates pills and potions that might make her feel less. “Toss it back, hang your head again, was it worth the experiment,” she sings. “Jesus Christ — don’t you get tired of being that guy?” Kirby throws her hands up by the end, embracing total oblivion, her voice growing in size in its final lines: “What I can’t remember won’t hurt me/ Thank god in advance, I’m already forgetting.” —James


David Nance & Mowed Sound - "Mock The Hours"

When was the last time you saw a real bar band? I’m not talking about a band in a bar. I’m talking about a bar band — a bunch of friends banging out Heart and Steve Miller Band covers for the drunk townies who didn’t necessarily show up to see a band. A bar-band gig can be a real life-affirming experience, and I get some of that affirmation from “Mock The Hours.” David Nance is a veteran of lo-fi garage-punk, and the musicians in his Mowed Sound band come from Omaha’s indie rock universe, but they attack this big rolling ’70s-rock groove with the joyous intensity of a real-deal bar band. The song itself, a scraggly country-rocker of the highest order, isn’t some lost ’70s radio-rock classic, but it sounds as if it could be, and that’s a great thing. —Tom


Sprints - "Heavy"

“Do you ever feel like the room is heavy?” Karla Chubb repeats on “Heavy,” the final advance dispatch from Sprints’ runaway success of a debut, out today. The song careens through a late-night thought spiral with aplomb, Chubb’s anxiety manifesting itself in the itchy riff the band keeps returning to throughout the track. “And I can’t sleep/ And I can barely breathe/ I’m watching the world go around a window beside me,” That accumulation of doubts, fears, and unrealized dreams circling can leave you gasping for air. —James


Central Cee - "Entrapreneur"

When Central Cee and Dave’s laid-back UK rap supernova “Sprinter” came out last year, my boyfriend at the time put it on in the car and we both burst out laughing when Central Cee rapped: “She a feminist, she think I’m sexist/ Twistin’ my words, I think she dyslexic.” He sounds so serious when he says it, like he does when he deadpans, “How can I be homophobic? My bitch is gay,” on his notorious yet irresistibly catchy 2022 hit “Doja.” “Entrapreneur” isn’t as funny, but it does have a great line about his girl trying to hack his iCloud and attempting to get into his phone by putting facial recognition up to his sleeping face. That plus a hook as memorable as “We put the trap in entrapreneuer” equals another solid offering from Central Cee. Let this man cook. —Danielle


Bad Moves - "New Year's Reprieve"

New Year’s Eve is usually an optimistic occasion — a chance to start anew, a metaphorical turning of the page toward a future of your own making. But as Bono once proclaimed, nothing changes on New Year’s Day. Bad Moves offer similar sentiments on “New Year’s Reprieve,” their instant-classic offering into the canon of pessimistic holiday songs. The track is so pleasantly bouncy that it would be easy to get lost in the Velocity Girl-does-Dear Catastrophe Waitress indie-pop sock-hop vibe and miss the message completely. But don’t let that jaunty rhythm section or the sweet tunefulness of Katie Park’s vocals distract you from their intense skepticism that anything awesome is just around the corner.

On “New Year’s Reprieve,” Park drops bars from start to finish. Early on, they show off their storytelling skills via an anecdote about “cleaning literal shit from a dive bar toilet and ringing in 2019.” By the end, they’re shaping their doubts and worries into a bop-along philosophical-treatise grand finale. “Do you believe that there’ll be relief?/ Do you believe that it’ll be OK?” they conclude. “I guess we’ll find out, but I have my doubts/ It’ll come before the end of my days.” The effect is something like Charlie Brown singing about his existential angst at one of the Peanuts’ dance parties, except there’s no way that guy could write hooks like this. —Chris

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