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.)


Clairo - "Sexy To Someone"

Claire Cottrill has a gift for understated indie-pop, but she’s at her best when the production lends some heft to her wispy, lightweight songcraft. It’s why Immunity tracks like “Bags” and “Sofia” were so engaging and why the peppy, danceable “Amoeba” was such a standout on Sling. On “Sexy To Someone,” the lead single from this summer’s Charm, she strikes the perfect balance between fragile vulnerability and crisp forward momentum.

Longing for the kind of connection you see in romantic comedies, Clairo sings relatably about how profound it can be to be noticed by just one person when you’re walking through the park or sitting at the bar. At its core, the song is lush, piano-based soul-pop under the spell of favored influence Carole King, drawing from both her Brill Building and Laurel Canyon eras. Working with El Michels Affair’s Leon Michels, Clairo laces that sound with a brisk hip-hop backbeat. It’s the kind of sound that producers like Danger Mouse have turned into relentlessly mid mall muzak, but here it works wonders, turning Clairo’s bedroom-pop longings into something vivid and pristine. —Chris


Dean Blunt - "Downer" (Feat. Panda Bear & Vegyn)

Looking for a new summer jam that could just as easily have you floating into the horizon or sinking into your feelings? Try this doom-laden, sunshine-streaked downtempo psych-pop gem from three of the brightest minds in artfully zonked-out underground music. “Downer” is noisy yet smooth, moody yet immediate, founded on a crisp backbeat yet liable to dissolve into the atmosphere at any moment. “Don’t let me go, my friend,” Noah Lennox pleads, his signature lysergic melodies backed by overdriven guitar arpeggios and programmed drums that could almost pass for trip-hop. OK, Mr. Panda Bear, you’re right; this tune you cooked up with Dean Blunt and Vegyn is one worth holding onto. —Chris


Carson McHone - "I Couldn't Say It To Your Face"

Arthur Russell is apparently a great artist to cover. Last month, Rachel Bobbitt shared a charming interpretation of “You Can Make Me Feel Bad.” Earlier this week, Carson McHone tackled “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face.” In a statement, McHone said she was “challenged” by the rendition but came to appreciate it: “When I sing it, I am acknowledging that richness, that complexity.” McHone’s delivery is meaningful and effective, especially as she asserts, “It’s my world, it’s my song/ Didn’t ask you to sing along” — an ironic line for her to perform, yet she really does make it her song. —Danielle


Horse Jumper Of Love - "Wink" (Feat. Wednesday's Karly Hartzman)

Horse Jumper Of Love have carved out a place for themselves with their hazy, cosmic slow-burners. They’re comfortable with this sound, and it only gets better with each new release. March’s “Gates Of Heaven,” made our 5 Best Songs List, and the newest one, “Wink,” has earned this honor as well. Fuzzy guitars drift like smoke, patient drumming keeps the song grounded, and Wednesday’s Karly Hartzman harmonizes hypnotically with Dimitri Giannopoulos. What more could you want? —Danielle


Billie Eilish - "Lunch"

Pop stars, almost as a rule, are self-important people. If you spend enough time standing in front of arenas full of people, all of whom are excited to see you, then you might start to get an inflated sense of self. Billie Eilish, winner of two Oscars and god knows how many Grammys, miraculously seems to be mostly escaping that trap. In an age of therapized pop lyrics about self-actualization, Eilish has taken a song about same-sex attraction, something that would’ve been fraught with significance in practically every previous pop age, and made it fun.

She’s having fun. That’s the point. Eilish could never get enough, she could buy her so much stuff, it’s a craving not a crush. The bouncy beat hints at synthpop, disco, and even ska while Eilish flirts with the track, whispering and purring and staying just behind the drums: “You need a seat, I’ll volunteer/ Now she’s smilin’ ear to ear/ She’s the headlights, I’m the deer.” By the time the blorping keyboards and house drums and spy-movie guitars kick in, the song sounds like a party. That’s good. That’s fun. We need less self-important pop songs, more that sound like parties. —Tom

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