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.)


Tommy Richman - "Devil Is A Lie"

“Million Dollar Baby” was such a weird little miracle. It sounds like deeply funky outsider art, a previously unknown white boy yowling with questionable confidence but total conviction over a beat that sounds like something Pimp C could’ve made in 1993. The song became an out-of-nowhere smash, and the world gets to find out whether Tommy Richman, a Virginia singer and producer who’d been toiling in obscurity for a while, has anything else in the chamber. He does. “Devil Is A Lie,” with its florid strings and its lurching, splatting drums, is swaggering, hypnotic weirdo-funk of the highest order. Like Pharrell in 1999, Richman has a falsetto that’s totally amateurish and all the more charming for it. The sketchiness, right down to the dog barking at the end, is the appeal. —Tom


Lunar Vacation - "Set The Stage"

Gep Repasky, leader of the Atlanta indie band Lunar Vacation, got a bad crush on someone, so she wrote “Set The Stage,” sent the song to that person, and then regretted it. Repasky didn’t want to flesh “Set The Stage” out into a full song with her band, and who could blame her? It’s full of the raw, weird vulnerability that some of us immediately regret sharing. But with the rest of her band, Repasky has turned “Set The Stage” into a beautiful, soft-focus fuzz-pop bomb. Those guitars are like an endless blanket fort; you could get comfortably lost in them. Also, “Set The Stage” now randomly has a Finn Wolfhard-directed video, so hopefully Repasky doesn’t regret writing it anymore. —Tom


The Japanese House - ":)"

Bain calls “:)” her favorite Japanese House song to date. It’s mine, too, and you might well feel the same way, especially if you enjoy the 1975 but can’t stand Matty Healy. The song matches Bain’s songwriting with production from the 1975’s George Daniel, conjuring a vibe that reminds me of zippy metropolitan pop-rock tracks like the 1975’s “Wintering” or Haim’s “Honey And I.” Bain wrote the lyrics about an attraction so strong that it inspired her to fly across the ocean, ultimately leading to engagement.

“Well, in three weeks, I’ll be getting off a plane,” she sings, spitting syllables in a loose conversational cadence. “Seen it written down, but how do I pronounce her name?” The backing track captures that anxious giddiness with warmth and propulsion, accenting its jaunty guitar sounds with waves of dreamy pedal steel. It somehow feels organic and mechanistic all at once, a perfect match for a tune about finding true love through a dating app. “My friends will think I’m crazy/ And maybe I am/ But who cares?” Bain says to herself. Every time I listen to “:)” I get caught up in those impeccable vibes. —Chris


Horse Jumper Of Love - "Snow Angel" (Feat. MJ Lenderman & Squirrel Flower)

Horse Jumper Of Love have a knack for making simplicity impactful, as did David Berman, whose poem “Snow” inspired the slowcore/shoegaze band’s new single “Snow Angel.” Where the late Silver Jews legend reimagined snow angels as the chalk outlines of trespassers shot dead, HJOL’s Dimitri Giannopolous watches them melt away, as if shocked by their fleeting nature. The song turns the seemingly innocuous into something more macabre: A plain “goodbye” becomes a piercing injury, a down feather poking out from a pillow becomes a key to its owner’s mind, the feeling of love becomes a dormant creature. Mix in some guitar shredding from Wednesday’s MJ Lenderman, and “Snow Angel” is enough to both wake you up and make you melt. —Abby


Cold Gawd - "All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned For A Thing I Cannot Name"

With a great title like “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned For A Thing I Cannot Name” comes great responsibility. This inexplicable, insatiable sense of longing is a common theme in shoegaze music; crashing, translucent guitars and wispy vocals often communicate the feeling of a void that cannot be filled, of grasping for a nameless, shapeless answer just out of reach. The SoCal crew captures this anguish on their sweeping new track, which is also the lead single of their sophomore album, with the similarly intense title I’ll Drown On This Earth. “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned For A Thing I Cannot Name” soars with the nebulous but heavy allure of Whirr, as seductive as it is heavy. The enormous wall of sound simultaneously serves as a sprawling blanket that provides you comfort and a tidal wave that threatens to drown you, both lovely and lethal. —Danielle

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