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.)


Belle And Sebastian - “What Happened To You, Son?”

It doesn’t get much more like the Smiths than this. Belle And Sebastian often get comparisons to the Manchester pop-rock weirdos, but “What Happened To You, Son?: is peak The Queen Is Dead, with breezy guitars and a dancing bassline. Stuart Murdoch slant-rhymes poetry with chastity. “It’s hard to be kind,” he croons, as the jangle-pop atmosphere pirouettes beautifully. It’s a dreamy, introspective wonder. —Danielle


Perennial - "Action Painting"

So much happens over the course of two minutes here, all of it good. The guitar cuts like a knife, the tambourine shakes with vigor, and the keyboard veers wildly between mod-era organ tones and blee-bloop sci-fi sounds. In the second verse, this revved-up rock song halfway morphs into electronic dance music without losing its garage-band swagger. On the bridge, things get real quiet, and then that central guitar line comes back in the form of — whistling? At the forefront of it all, Chelsey Hahn and Chad Jewett trade twisted shouts — taunting their listeners, egging us on, firing us up. It works. “Action Painting” is a wonderfully hyperactive song, an energy bomb that would not work so well if it were not so meticulously constructed. It’s already a Perennial favorite. —Chris


Thursday - "Application For Release From The Dream"

It’s hard to believe that Thursday haven’t released new music for 13 years. The band has been touring, celebrating anniversaries, and sharing live albums; Geoff Rickly has been busy as ever (which you can read about in our semi-recent File on him). “Application For Release From The Dream” is a predictably triumphant return. It blazes with their signature post-hardcore apocalypse, as Rickly shouts existential questions like, “How long is time?” and “What is death?” It snowballs into a screamy breakdown to assure us that they’ve still got that fiery, ungovernable rage, and it’s better than ever. —Danielle


Sabrina Carpenter - "Espresso"

These days, pretty much all of our A-list pop stars are less concerned with making songs that’ll be fun to play loud when you’re driving to the beach this summer and more concerned with keeping fan armies updated on their love lives and therapy journeys. That’s not where Sabrina Carpenter’s going, though. Carpenter is a veteran of that whole parasocial cosmology; she was reportedly the fabled Other Woman discussed on one of this decade’s biggest hits. But “Espresso” works by refusing to be even the tiniest bit personal or vulnerable. Instead, it’s Carpenter turning on the flirty charm, singing about reducing boys to horny wrecks over a bright, playful disco groove. A fun pop song — what a concept. —Tom


Jamie xx - "Baddy On The Floor" (Feat. Honey Dijon)

After all these years, Jamie xx SZN is finally here — and with a side of Honey Dijon! “Baddy On The Floor” is the kind of joyous outburst we’ve been seeking from James Smith for years, a song so sleek and jubilant that it instantly enters the pantheon. From the moment that house piano kicks in over the groove, it’s clear “Baddy On The Floor” will be one of those tracks that instigates instant good feelings, one that will have dancefloors flourishing regardless of whether the clientele has ever heard of In Colour. It’s possible Honey Dijon is this song’s secret sauce, giving Jamie the jolt he needed to provide a proper kickoff to his album campaign. Whatever alchemy occurred behind the boards, the result is a song so warm and ecstatic that it basically moved up the start of summer by several weeks. —Chris

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