Alessia Cara, Tenille Townes, Faber Drive and more: songs you need to hear this week
Looking for new tunes? Here are six fresh tracks from Canadian artists
As fans and supporters of Canadian musicians, we're always on the lookout for new songs, whether they're from established artists or newcomers to the scene.
This week, Faber Drive, Tenille Townes, Alessia Cara, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, Rain Over St. Ambrose and falcxne grabbed our attention with new music in a variety of genres. Scroll down to find out why.
And hit us up on Twitter to let us know about the new Canadian music that's got you excited this week.
'Ready,' Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara has hopped on the reggae-pop 2019 summer train with "Ready," her first new music since last year's full-length album, Growing Pains. A melancholic but upbeat number, "Ready" has Cara wondering why she devotes her thoughts to someone who's not, you guessed it, ready for her. "Overstayed your, your heavy heart until you're free/ until you're ready for, ready for, ready for, ready for me," she sings over the chorus, trying to be carefree about it when we all know how hard that is. "Ready" is the first single off an upcoming July 22 EP called This Summer.
— Holly Gordon
'Taste,' Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
Ottawa's Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine are best known for their thundering pop hooks like on "Ain't Easy" and "Better Off," but on their latest, "Taste," restraint is key. The slow-build of the verses leads to satisfying sonic release in the chorus, but Fine, who has already proven that her big pipes can carry bombastic songs, pulls back on the vocal acrobatics. Instead, Fine's admission that she wants her subject to "run away with me/ any day of the week" is a sensual simmer that pulls the listener in. The song's dreamy soundscape is intoxicating; a welcome change of pace for the duo that hints at a new and exciting direction that we can't wait to hear more of.
— Melody Lau
'Mr. Good for Nothin',' Faber Drive
I was the guy alone at the back of the class,
The football team always kicked my ass,
I had the honour when I was 16,
Voted least likely to succeed.
So goes the exposition that opens this new underdog revenge song from Faber Drive, a punk-pop anthem with a zero-to-hero narrative that most of us can relate to (and that has found a present-day incarnation in Netflix's Stranger Things, for instance). Lines such as the chorus's "There's a bad taste in your mouth when you eat your heart out" would almost be laughable if it weren't for the song's cathartic told-you-so vibe and its undeniable propulsion that recalls the winning formula from the band's 2007 breakthrough album, Seven Second Surgery.
— Robert Rowat
'Drop,' Rain Over St. Ambrose
At the root of this new banger from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia's Rain Over St. Ambrose is a possible rock 'n' roll crisis. "I've been waiting, waiting, for the bass to drop/ I'm all alone, together tonight/ if you look around you might say, rock and roll is dead/ well I don't listen anyway," sings Cory Le Blanc, lead vocalist for a rock band that is no stranger to synths — and that has created something akin to its own drop before each sing-along chorus in this aptly titled track. It's complicated, as always, but Rain Over St. Ambrose makes it easy for you to throw your hands up and dance with your eyes closed. Rock is not, and never will be, dead. — HG
'Somebody's Daughter,' Tenille Townes feat. Girl Scouts of Middle Tenn. Troop 6000
"Somebody's Daughter" is one of Tenille Townes' biggest singles to date, topping the Canadian country charts last year and gaining more than two million YouTube views since its release. The emotional number paints a painful but empathetic portrait of homelessness, a topic that not many songwriters would tackle but which Townes has said "is very close to my heart." "I'll wonder if she got lost or they forgot her/ she's somebody's daughter," Townes sings, acknowledging that people you see on the streets have their own stories and once belonged to families (or still do).
Almost a year after its initial release, Townes has put out a brand new, stripped-down version of the track featuring the voices of Girl Scouts of Middle Tenn. Troop 6000 who, as Townes notes, are "made up of girls who either are, or have been, homeless." The anthemic original has become a piano ballad marked by handclaps, resulting in something that's perhaps even more powerful and poignant than ever before. — ML
'Into It,' falcxne, Chromonicci
Here's the sophisticated neo-soul song your summer playlist has been screaming for, courtesy of singer-songwriter/pianist/producer falcxne (Estevan Falcone) and Houston-based beat-maker Chromonicci (Christian Crenshaw). Following up on his EP Reflex, released earlier this year and featuring a high-energy funk vibe, falcxne dials it back on "Into It," with a satisfying mix of chill disco, ethereal strings and jazzy electric piano. (We like the skipped-heartbeat rhythm in the song's underlying piano track, not to mention the dope solo that plays the song out.) And the lyrics — rarely the strong suit in neo-soul music, to be honest — are actually quite evocative ("It's only natural, like the moon or rising sun/ they can learn a thing or two from one as beautiful as you") and hold up through repeated listening. — RR