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The five best songs we heard this week.

By Eli EnisAlex SuskindMarcus Jones and Maura Johnston
April 02, 2021 at 08:00 PM EDT
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Friday Five
Credit: drain gang/YouTube; Jenny Anderson/Getty Images; Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns; 4AD/YouTube; Dylan Brady/YouTube

Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today's edition, Garbage have a message for the men in charge, Cake Pop reunite for more hyperpop, Ecco2K delves into the extraterrestrial, Olivia Rodrigo drops her highly anticipated "Drivers License" follow-up, and Dry Cleaning creates a world out of deliberately spoken snapshots.

"Deja Vu" — Olivia Rodrigo

Keeping the momentum going after your debut single shoots to the top of the Hot 100 is a daunting proposition. Luckily, Olivia Rodrigo learned all the right lessons from the success of "Drivers License." In "Deja Vu," she once again spills her heart out over a delicate beat that crests into a sweeping bridge —  while still finding time to answer the question of whether or not kids these days listen to Billy Joel. —Marcus Jones

"Black Rum" — Cake Pop

Before there were 100 gecs, there was Cake Pop. The St. Louis supergroup — comprising gecs' Dylan Brady, Ravenna Golden, Aaron Cartier, Lewis Grant, Kevin Bedford, Pritty, Adam Newcomer, and Robel Ketema — dropped a sole EP in 2015, and now the hyperpop band is reuniting for a proper album. Lead single "Black Rum" is an overwhelmingly delightful first slice of what happens when some of the best brains in outsider pop are whipped together into a single pastry. Over a candied beat from Brady, Grant and Golden adorn their voices in glittery Auto-Tune, dropping woeful lines about drug abuse and unrequited love. The lesson is that too much sweetness eventually turns sour, but it's hard to heed their warning when the music sounds like a sugar high. —Eli Enis

"The Men Who Rule the World" — Garbage

The patriarchy has been rattling around Shirley Manson's head like a loose marble, and she's ready to excise it. "The fleecing of the people/All the f---ing time/They call it self-preservation/But we call it a crime," she sings on Garbage's propulsive new single, "The Men Who Rule the World." The song's choppy vocals and thrashing guitar work help highlight the brashness of an existing and unequal power structure — and the bold action that must be taken to bring it down. —Alex Suskind

"Big Air" — Ecco2k

Ecco2k's "Big Air" trades in the Drain Gang collective's cloud-rap influences for galactic dance rhythms and production that resembles a swarm of space locusts. The song doubly recalls the refracting witch-house vibes of Crystal Castles and the beautifully tragic resonance of Salem. Meanwhile, the quality of the production and delirious arrangements are directly in conversation with modern-day hexD acts like Fax Gang and Black Dresses. It's noise-pop for the future. —E.E.

"A.L.C." — Dry Cleaning

"A.L.C.," off Dry Cleaning's just-released New Long Leg, is the post-punk outfit at its weary peak. Guitars that sound burdened with the world's weight wobble as a bassline tries to keep up with their ersatz melody; vocalist Florence Shaw creates a world out of deliberately spoken snapshots, recalling distant cafés, disorienting weather patterns, and crap jobs. The track was the only song from the album to have all of its lyrics penned during the pandemic's lockdown, and its shattered-mirror feel recalls those days where spending too much time with oneself was life's lone certainty. —Maura Johnston

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