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.)


El Alfa - "Sacudelo" (Feat Maluma, NLE Choppa, & Donaty)

Santo Domingo’s El Elfa has styled himself as the king of dembow, the adrenaline-cranked Dominican genre that’s basically reggaeton’s more rambunctious cousin. (That’s a hopelessly reductive definition, but you probably don’t want to read a whole essay here.) King status carries weight, to the point where the man can headline Madison Square Garden while making springy-jackhammer party anthems that sound downright experimental to my hopelessly unschooled ears. On “Sacudelo,” what matters isn’t the lyrics. (Google translate tells me that the song is mostly about fucking, but you don’t have to speak Spanish to figure that out.) What matters is the way El Alfa turns his voice into a relentless helicopter-blade sound-effect, hitting a frantic cadence that serves as its own juiced-up percussion. The international cast of guest stars can’t hope to keep up with that energy, so they just meet him where he lives. This is El Alfa’s show. He’s the king. —Tom


Ellis - "It'll Be Alright"

Ever since emerging with “The Drain” six years ago, Linnea Siggelkow has been at her best when sending sweet melodies swirling upward into a whirlwind of distorted guitar. “It’ll Be Alright” boasts another incredible Ellis chorus, a refrain to rival Snail Mail or Soccer Mommy in its bright yet melancholic splendor. She sings with frankness and vulnerability — “Do you ever feel barely alive?/ I guess we do what we must to survive/ And I am ashamed to admit it out loud/ I’ve never been scared like i’m scared right now” — and the song moves with a contagious momentum, as if surging ahead toward the epiphany that inspired it. “I’ve struggled with being overly critical of all of my past selves for the decisions that I’ve made,” Siggelkow wrote in a statement accompanying the track, “but i am slowly learning to look back at all of those selves with compassion and acknowledge the girl who was just trying her best.” This time, she succeeded. —Chris


Ekko Astral - "devorah"

It’s hard to follow up a song as explosive and fun as “baethoven,” but Ekko Astral’s “devorah” calls for an even more intense mascara mosh pit. The song begins with a caustic, repeating riff and Jael Holzman’s voice echoing like a hymn before the music surges into pure punk madness. While Holzman is ferociously announcing “solidarity with all the missing murdered people,” she’s also spitting unreal bars: “You’re running through the aisles/ Drinkin Taco Bell Mild/ Creedence Clearwater Revival/ Just another two-week trial/ And you never/ Thought the violence could be stitched/ Into the cushions/ Of the couch you got in college.” “devorah” further proves why they recently earned our Band To Watch honor, and it proves their worthiness of using a Death Grips lyric as their band name. —Danielle


Jessica Pratt - "World On A String"

The music that Jessica Pratt makes is so instinctual, so self-possessed that it’s no wonder that some songs come just like that. “World On A String” seems to be one of those, an acoustic guitar warble that would maybe sound slight in someone else’s hands but feels weighty in Pratt’s. As she put it: “Record the song moments after you’ve learned it on an instrument you’ve just picked up. Oftentimes, that’s all you need.” The track’s delicate sway is part portentous, part prophetic as Pratt sings of a desire to chase the impossible: “I want to be the sunlight of the century/ I want to be a vestige of our senses free,” a reflection of something so big moving so slow. —James


Future & Metro Boomin - "Like That" (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)

“Like That” is a juicy contribution to the soap opera otherwise known as superstar rapper power struggle. But forget, for a moment, what this song means for relations between Future, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole. Let’s take a second to appreciate “Like That” as a burst of beautiful blockbuster trap music, wildly enjoyable even outside of context. Metro builds out Rodney-O and Joe Cooley’s 1988 classic “Everlasting Bass” into a cityscape of sound fit for monsters of hip-hop to stomp around in. Future growls, mutters, and breaks out into song with renewed vigor, sounding like he woke up in 2016. And K-Dot comes swinging in with the kind of controlled ferocity few emcees can pull off, slicing and dicing over cinematic synths like a superhero spraying barbed syllables. OK, sure, the electricity ratchets up exponentially when Kendrick announces, “Motherfuck the big three/ N***a, it’s just big me.” But I’d be celebrating this convergence of elder millennial legends even if they weren’t using the track to declare war on Aubrey Graham. —Chris

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