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). This week’s countdown is below, and you can listen to a playlist of all our 5 Best Songs on Spotify.
This week, we ranked the best albums of the year so far. What are you favorites? The five best songs of the week are below.
Pa Salieu and Slowthai are two rappers capable of depth and incisiveness, but that’s not the vibe on “Glidin’.” Instead, “Glidin'” is just an energy song, a jump-off-the-top-turnbuckle song. It’s a banger, pure and simple, and Salieu and Slowthai both know it. Over a bassline that sounds like a pimp-strutting Godzilla, Salieu and Slowthai both talk a whole lot of shit and let loose with the gun-sounds ad-libs, clearly relishing the chaos that a song like this can cause when enough people are around to dumb out to it. Salieu’s best line: “You ain’t even violent and shit/ You don’t wanna die for this shit.” You don’t make a song like this if you’re feeling cautious. You make a song like this when you’re going all-in. —Tom
For their forthcoming sophomore album Vanities, the British group W.H. Lung reportedly took influence from various life-altering and/or -defining experiences amidst Manchester nightlife. That means they were digging deeper into dance music than before. The album’s lead single, “Pearl In The Palm,” was positioned as a segue from old W.H. Lung to the new, so it remains to be seen quite how far they take their sound on Vanities‘ other tracks. But if “Pearl In The Palm” is any indication, it’s going to be a worthy destination.
“Pearl In The Palm” is a squiggly, propulsive, and infectious piece of synth-pop. Everything is impeccably structured, each new element perfectly deployed — the main synth rhythm propelling the band to background yelps and the little percussive guitar embellishments, the way Joe Evans backs his vocals down just a bit in the chorus against rising synth textures, and then that euphoric synth burble that emerges towards the song’s final stretch. As sweaty late nights in the club become a possibility again, it’s not hard to imagine people losing themselves to this song, the same way the members of W.H. Lung did to whatever they heard around Manchester in pre-pandemic times. —Ryan
“State” is a queasy simmer — until it’s not. The lead single from Laura Stevenson’s latest album pulls the classic quiet-loud trick and sounds great doing it, as the song ramps up out of nowhere into a furious bashing and then back down again, ebbing and flowing as Stevenson allows herself to feel everything and then nothing at all. “I become rage,” she murmurs in its closing lines. “A shining example of pure anger — pure and real and sticky and moving and sweet.” Stevenson sounds both completely in control of her emotions and absolutely unhinged. “I’m in a state again, but I stay polite,” she sings. “It keeps me alive, it keeps me alive/ It’s easier, right?” Maybe in order to be more in control, you have to be a little unhinged sometimes. —James
Militarie Gun — the post-hardcore supergroup with members of Regional Justice Center, Modern Color, and Drug Church — emerged with a promising debut EP called My Life Is Over last year. “Ain’t No Flowers” is follow-up EP All Roads Lead To The Gun‘s incendiary opener, full of Ian Shelton’s raspy yells. Shelton is consistently one of the best ringleaders of heavy bands; at this point his voice is like the sonic embodiment of aggression. His barely-decipherable words are surrounded by instrumentals that are fast but melodic, constantly building and winding itself down. It sets the tone for the fickle, dynamic nature of the EP. —Danielle
“Yo, this the type of shit to make you curb stomp a newborn baby!” Denzel Curry exclaims. “Goddamn, Jasiah, you on the beat like a crazy washing machine!” The energy is extreme from the start, and it does not relent for the next three minutes. Dayton upstart Jasiah is a direct descendent of the wildly aggressive 2010s SoundCloud rap movement that gave us stars like Curry and Rico Nasty. On “Art Of War,” he teams with those forebears to go completely nuts. This is rabid moshpit music, the sound of three rappers trading throat-shredding flexes over pounding, clattering production from FnZ, Keanu Beats, and Luke Swirsky.
Jasiah makes a kind of rap where your intensity matters a lot more than your actual bars — the title of his recent YouTube hit “Break Shit” can’t help but recall Limp Bizkit — but his guests on “Art Of War” go hard lyrically too. Curry: “I grab the mic and I’ll damage ya/ Super Saiyan stamina, my clip is long like et cetera/ I don’t play with n****s like a racist gamer/ If my name on the feature then you endangered.” Rico: “Bitch wanna fight me? She don’t like me? Put that lil’ bitch on a mothafuckin’ white tee.” Meanwhile Jasiah keeps things blunt and effective in his refrain: “This a bad noise, this that shit that keep your head strong.” —Chris