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.)


Sour Widows - "Cherish"

The weight of grief can make one prickly and difficult. The members of the Bay Area trio Sour Widows have been affected by loss in their own ways, and they process it through songs that feel like a sigh that goes on for so long that your lungs start to burn. “Cherish,” the latest dispatch from their debut full-length Revival Of A Friend, is about pushing people away when all you want is for someone to understand your pain. “Fuck what I can’t accept/ The ugly feelings that I reject but cannot quit,” Maia Sinaiko sings on it, later joined by Susanna Thomson as they harmonize the song’s central refrain: “I wanna be cherished by you/ Not feared by you.” The song switches between yearning guitars and clamoring drums, the push and pull between hurting and hurtful played out in real time. —James


Porches - "Rag"

I didn’t get into Porches until a little while ago, and at first it was ironic. I thought Aaron Maine’s song “Car,” from his 2016 album Pool, was stupid. I mean, the chorus is just him singing, “Oh, what a machine.” But over time, I grew to appreciate the minimalist, glimmering sound and his satisfyingly clean intonation, as well as the absurdity of it all. In recent years, Maine has definitely stepped up his game by experimenting; I got hooked on the warped, bombastic “Lately” from 2021’s All Day Gentle Hold !

“Rag,” his first offering since that record (aside from a Harry Styles cover), feels like Porches actualized; it starts off like a normal Porches song, chill and horny and groovy, before abruptly breaking into something much louder and more off-kilter. A key change in the chorus is jarring in the best way, with the addition of scrappy, reverberating guitars pushing the track into a darker place as Maine shouts with abandon. This blip of unexpected, noisy grunge is followed by a great little dream pop instrumental. The twists and turns are great; “Rag” really goes places. —Danielle


GIFT - "Wish Me Away"

“Wish Me Away” whisks me away from the start. Those dreamy, post-punky DIIV guitars set the tempo, the crisp yet casual backbeat sends the whole thing whooshing forward, and TJ Freda’s falsetto arrives, crystalline and whispery, like the ghost of some forgotten Creation Records band from the turn of the ’90s. By the time the bridge kicks in and GIFT’s new single briefly descends into a pool of shimmering guitar and piano, I’m fully immersed in this band’s soundworld, caught up in the aerodynamic beauty of it all. —Chris


World News - "Back To Hong Kong"

The central riff from “Back To Hong Kong,” the new single from jangly London indie-poppers World News, sounds a whole lot like the one from Loverboy’s cheese-rock classic “Working For The Weekend.” This is not a complaint. “Working For The Weekend” goes hard, and the mere echo of that riff means that “Back To Hong Kong” has a whole lot more purpose and propulsion than what we’ve largely come to expect from jangly London indie-poppers. The two tracks exist in a kind of escapist conversation, too. World News’ style is wry and elegant and complicated in a homespun kind of way, and it’s much closer to Television or Parquet Courts than Loverboy. But like “Working For The Weekend” before it, “Back To Hong Kong” tells grand story about longing to be someplace other than your regular everyday life. That sentiment doesn’t start or end with Loverboy. That sentiment is forever. —Tom


Amber Mark - "Comin' Around Again"

The gospel piano, the crisply creeping drumbeat, the group sing-along, the handclaps: “Comin’ Around Again” strikes me as a spiritual descendant of mid-’90s pop-R&B favorites like Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and TLC’s “Waterfalls.” Those hits arrived as I was entering adolescence and my own pop music awakening, and they have a hold on me the same way a look from the guy in this song has tractor-beamed Amber Mark.

Like the best of the artists resurrecting the music of my childhood lately, Mark makes these old sounds feel vital and alive. That doesn’t mean the general public will care. Historically, Mark has been more of a cult favorite than someone who moves the needle, trend-wise. As if reflecting back the chorus here, I am skeptical that we could really see a mainstream resurgence of an aesthetic that saturated VH1, Top 40 radio, and the swimming pool PA system during my summer breaks. But if all these other ’90s and 2000s vibes can be so successfully resurrected, perhaps a brilliant new track from one of the best in her field really could break through. Maybe love’s comin’ around again. —Chris

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