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.
Here are the five best songs of the week, just in time for your long weekend cookouts.
The Ophelias are known for beautiful indie rock ballads with mesmerizing vocals and romantic violins, and they returned with just that on this new single “Neil Young On High.” As Spencer Peppet carefully verbalizes her regrets from a relationship that dissipated, the song quietly builds into an orchestra of swift and vibrant heartbreak. Neil Young is just a detail from a bigger picture, an elusive intimacy now gone. “I regret never celebrating smaller victories that we saved/ I would do that part over,” she sings. Her words may be reflecting on the past, but it’s for the purpose of doing better in the future. —Danielle
As we just reflected on a couple weeks ago, Justin Vernon was born to be a collaborator. The Bon Iver leader is often at his best when bouncing off others, as he does through the collaboration-heavy Big Red Machine. On “Latter Days,” the first of the three singles we’ve gotten this week from the project’s sophomore album, his falsetto is put to great use opposite Anaïs Mitchell, who takes the lead and manages not to sound corny as she reflects on the pandemic and its effect on us. “I recall it all forever/ How we sheltered in our place/ And we called each other lovers/ In the latter days,” she duets with Vernon, mixing nostalgia and despair and hopefulness in the best way. —James
In late May, beloved hardcore band Turnstile released “MYSTERY,” their first original material since 2018’s Time & Space. TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION dropped over the weekend, a surprise EP from which “MYSTERY” came, and it kicks off with the memorable, high-energy “Holiday.” The song is a celebration — a comeback anthem, even though they were never really gone. It calls for a return to shows, to shoving and swinging and dropkicking and catharsis in general. The cosmic atmosphere that was on their last record still lingers in the intro and in between verses, but caustic riffs and Brendan Yates’ yells keep it heavy and fast. —Danielle
“Why does it feel like no one cares?” Ryan Savitski yells. “Alone I’ll sit tonight and wonder if I sleep!” He sounds intense. He always sounds intense. It helps that his bandmates in One Step Closer are always providing rocket-fueled backdrops for that intensity. Like their Wilkes-Barre forebears Title Fight, the band specializes in bludgeoning rapid-fire hardcore with just a smidge of harmonic noise in the mix — music that sounds poppy within the world of hardcore but would be considered unlistenably ferocious by most self-identified pop fans. But Savitski conveys so much more anger and distress than you’ll hear on, say, Shed. He sounds like his world is ending and he’s barely holding on. His anguish is extremely convincing, but he’s wrong about at least one thing: The response to “Pringle Street” so far proves people care deeply about this guy and his band. —Chris
If Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost is a love letter to the lost art of the Gangsta Grillz rap mixtape, then “Juggernaut” is a perfect distillation of what makes the album so good. The chaotic bass-bombing production immediately slams its way into your skull, and every verse on the track goes just as hard. The singing Tyler of IGOR is replaced by raspy-voiced rap demon Tyler, and Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell both sound more fired-up and invigorated and precise than they have in recent memory. “Juggernaut” might not be the most complex or emotionally resonant or interesting track on the album, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s the juggernaut, bitch. —Peter