Alex Porat, Shay Lia, LØLØ and more: songs you need to hear this week
6 fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now
Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
This week we got hooked on new songs from Alex Porat, Shay Lia, Baby O, LØLØ, Lola Melita and Owen Meany's Batting Stance. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'Never Say ILY Again,' Alex Porat
The moments right after a breakup can feel intense and crushing. "How am I supposed to trust somebody again?" you may ask. Of course, the answer is often time, but Porat's latest single, "Never Say ILY Again," dwells in the immediate aftermath where the thought of a future love feels impossible. "You crushed my confidence, my whole world," Porat sings over a bouncy pop beat, juxtaposing her sense of heartbreak and betrayal with a sonic backdrop that feels more nonchalant. After all, when one finally stumbles upon love again, these once heavy feelings will probably seem weightless in retrospect. — Melody Lau
'Love me, Love me Not,' Shay Lia
"I spent a month-and-a-half in Ivory Coast to visit my fam on Christmas and a lot of new warm vibes and melodies came out of this incredible vacation," explained Shay Lia on Facebook when announcing her latest single, "Love me, Love me Not." Co-written by Audrey Laurencelle and produced by Kenz Garden, the song serves up a mellow tropical-pop/Afro-pop groove that slaps enough for dancing but also steers your mind to a more meditative place. It's the musical equivalent of the "friend zone," the liminal state that's Lia's preoccupation here: "I could just ride with you/ oh, I'm down whenever you want." — Robert Rowat
'Nights in Paris,' Lola Melita
"Nights in Paris" is Lola Melita's first single, and it's an addictive, sultry soundtrack for these last summer nights. A kiss-off song from the Montrealer, "Nights in Paris" is built around Melita's incredible vocals, underscored by a light trap beat and sparse synths. "I know that you're not a bad guy/ I'm just over buying your time," Melita sings before dipping into the pre-chorus, giving words to a feeling that many of us have likely held for too long. Produced by French electronic artist David Spinelli, who has also worked with the XX and Josef Salvat, "Nights in Paris" is the Venn diagram of firm, freeing and slow jam. — Holly Gordon
'Love Letter,' Baby O
Even though "Love Letter" is Toronto artist Baby O's debut single, Olivia Pasquarelli's music has been heard by thousands of people already. Her themes and sound designs can be heard on numerous CBC podcasts, such as Hunting Warhead, Uncover - Satanic Panic and Player's Own Voice. But whereas her work as a podcast composer and sound editor aims to build an ambience that complements another storyteller, "Love Letter" lets Pasquarelli's own voice — expressive as it twists and bends words in spunky new directions — lead the way. "Love Letter" is a sunny guitar-pop anthem that is best experienced with the car windows down, winds swooping in and the rays shining brightly. — ML
'Hate U,' LØLØ
Skye Sweetnam, Avril Lavigne, Fefe Dobson. Emerging from the late-'90s adult-contempo wave, these Canadian pop-punk stars ruled the early-'00s with their feisty breakup ballads before the genre took a backseat to the second coming of bubblegum. Almost 20 years later, Toronto artist LØLØ is reviving this approach with songs like "Hate U" — a swaying, guitar-backed parting anthem that's carried by the singer's capable pop pipes. The second single from LØLØ's upcoming EP, Permanent Damage, "Hate U'' is bound to capture the next generation of young, angsty romantics sorting through feelings of bad timing and unrequited love. — Jess Huddleston
'The Androgynous Hockey Stick,' Owen Meany's Batting Stance
"Go hard against the boards and show them how to play like men./ A mad scientist experiments with mice/ to perform gender on the ice." If you haven't guessed it by the closing lines of Owen Meany's Batting Stance's new single, "The Androgynous Hockey Stick," this is no rah-rah hockey story. It's a gentle anthem at first, the Halifax songwriter's strumming punctuated with supportive horns, building in emphasis until it crashes to a short, ringing silence, giving Walker space to sing these lines: "Jeering down long enough to hear/ 'Well he's a choir boy, he must be queer.'"
"'The Androgynous Hockey Stick' was written as a means to reclaim my negative experience playing hockey as a kid into a personal anthem," Walker said in a statement. "It is a call to counter the narrative, which has both glorified the sport and traditionally ignored the varying degrees of toxic culture it has enabled.... This song draws from my childhood being exposed and reduced by those perpetuating false ideals of maleness." Written without a strict verse-chorus-verse form, "The Androgynous Hockey Stick" adheres to no rules, instead following the shape laid out by Walker's always thoughtful turns of phrase. Look out for Walker's upcoming album, Feather Weights, on Oct. 2. — HG